11th HOUR

Bradley Warshauer, Author . Pinnacle $6.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-7860-1527-6

This electrifying debut from 18-year-old Warshauer will elicit roars of approval from sports aficionados and thriller enthusiasts for its knowledgeable portrayal of pro football and hard-charging suspense. Drafted to the Missouri Gunners with an $18-million signing bonus, Heisman trophy winner Julian Lloyd can't believe his good fortune. But when a career-ending injury leaves the running back sidelined before the season even begins, Julian fears he'll go down as the "all-time biggest bust" in football history. Unscrupulous team owner Vince Petty, desperate to recoup his capital, offers the unwitting rookie as a guinea pig to a financially struggling genetics company. Through illegal and highly controversial treatments, Julian recovers, returns to the game and starts breaking records. But when skeptics of Julian's performance start turning up dead, St. Louis detective Anthony Sutton makes it his mission to ferret out the truth. Warshauer's writing occasionally suffers from repetitive prose and rusty dialogue, but it's clear from his skillful portrayal of secondary character Ryan Walker, a veteran athlete clinging to his career and his youth, that he understands human nature. The book's primary virtue, however, lies in Warshauer's infectious enthusiasm for football and his lively, play-by-play descriptions of the game. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 08/04/2003
Release date: 09/01/2003
Genre: Fiction
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