cover image Forced Out

Forced Out

Stephen Frey, . . Atria, $24.95 (326pp) ISBN 978-1-4165-4963-5

Known for his financial thrillers, Frey (The Takeover ) mixes baseball and crime in his less than compelling 15th novel. Arthritic, 63-year-old Jack Barrett, who lives with his grown daughter in Sarasota, Fla., where he bags groceries at a convenience store, wonders how he got sacked from his job as a respected scout for the New York Yankees and robbed of his pension. While watching a local minor league baseball game, Jack sees a player who just might be his ticket back to “The Show”: Mikey Clemants, a gifted centerfielder who displays his talents intermittently and doesn't seek or earn the approval of the fans or his teammates. Add to the mix Johnny “Deuce” Bondano, a Queens hit man hired to murder the guy who killed a Mafioso's grandson. Readers will enjoy unraveling the mysterious backstories of Barrett and Clemants, but a plethora of subplots and minor characters slow the main action. (Aug.)