cover image Winter Games

Winter Games

John Feinstein. Little Brown and Company, $21.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-316-27721-1

Sportswriter Feinstein (A Good Walk Spoiled) brings his basketball savvy to this dark portrayal of murder and rampant corruption on the college courts. When burned-out Washington, D.C., reporter Bobby Kelleher seeks rest at his boyhood home on Shelter Island, N.Y., he finds the tiny community abuzz about Rytis Buzelis, a Lithuanian immigrant who could lead his high school to a state championship. Hungry college coaches and sinister sneaker-company flacks descend on the island, angling for a piece of the future superstar. When Kelleher's friend Scott Harrison, an assistant coach at a big-time hoops college, is murdered, Kelleher connects the killing to the Buzelis recruiting frenzy. Joining forces with local reporter Tamara Mearns, Kelleher clashes with Buzelis's controlling father, his alluring supermodel sister, a bombastic sportscaster and masked thugs bent on stopping anyone who upsets their game. Although Feinstein's prose is unexceptional and some characterizations skimpy, his plotting is able and his roundball knowledge makes this effort worthy of a high seed. (Nov.)