Rating: 4 of 5
Author: Michael Balkind
Available: Paperback, Kindle
Reid Clark is at the top of his game. After fulfilling his lifelong dream of wining the Masters Tournament in Augusta Georgia, he lands a huge multi-million dollar product endorsement deal. But everything is not quite right for Reid. Having led a fairly carefree yet successful life, Reid is prone to temper tantrums which has lead the media to coin him as golf’s “Bad Boy”, and while Reid supports philanthropic endeavors, not everyone is as happy with Reid as he is with himself. Players on the tour resent his success and frequent arrogance, ex-girlfriends are legion as he is just as much a “player” off the green as on, and ex-caddies and business associates are frustrated with his juvenile outbursts.
Its no surprise Reid receives a death threat. The rules for staying alive – never win another golf tournament. Impossible for Reid. The threats do, however, cause him to take stock of his life and attitudes. He sets out to spend more time with his family, appreciate those around him, and perhaps even find the girl of his dreams. But it’s hard to turn around your life on a dime, and Reid finds himself frequently agitated by the press and those hired to protect him.
Will Reid back off and retire from golf while at the top of his game? Or will he risk everything and take on the thugs threatening him?
I enjoyed “Sudden Death”. Michael Balkind takes you into the clubhouse, the mind, and the life of a professional golfer – the stress, the deals, the parties, the game, the fans, the agents, you name it.
My one issue is that I found it hard to connect with and like Reid Clark. Though he tries to re-evaluate his life after receiving multiple threats, connecting with family and his budding relationship are all centered around buying them high priced gifts and taking them on shopping sprees. There’s no real emotional connection. This is certainly consistent with his persona, but does make it difficult to really route for him as the novel’s main character.
None-the-less, “Sudden Death” is a very enjoyable read. If you like golf and a good mystery, “Sudden Death” is for you!