The Plot to Kill Jackie Robinson

Donald Honig, Author Dutton Books $18 (288p) ISBN 978-0-525-93530-8
Novelist Honig ( The Last Great Season ) is better known as a baseball historian ( Baseball When the Grass Was Real et al.). Here he uses baseball history to propel a thriller centering on the first black major leaguer. In 1946, Joe Tinker, a New York Daily News sportswriter, witnesses a murder with racial overtones and is drawn into a labyrinthine plot featuring a racist psychopath who is determined to prevent Jackie Robinson from playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Tinker, the novel's most convincing character, is disillusioned by his WW II combat experiences, uncertain of his career path, and both inspired and confused by Robinson's quiet, fierce dedication. Although the other characters are mostly cardboard, the book moves smoothly, carried along by Honig's evocation of the rhythms of the period and of the sportswriters' milieu. Honig's depiction of Tinker's education in the etiology of racism and his grimly accurate portrait of the casual bigotry of the time are vivid reminders of a not-so-distant past. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/04/1992
Release date: 05/01/1992
Mass Market Paperbound - 368 pages - 978-0-451-17584-7
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