Dead Ball by R.D. Rosen

Dead Ball by R.D. Rosen

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Blissberg returns to baseball to protect a player who’s on the verge of making history

Fifteen years after retiring from baseball, Harvey Blissberg is suffering a bad case of what his girlfriend, Mickey Slavin, calls “sad man-ism” when the owner of his former team, the Providence Jewels, tracks him down. The team’s star, Moss Cooley, is on the verge of shattering Joe DiMaggio’s “unbreakable” fifty-six-game hitting streak. But Cooley has been receiving racist threats, such as a decapitated lawn jockey with a note reading, “escape retribution.” Would Blissberg mind playing bodyguard for a while? 

When Cooley’s streak ends shy of DiMaggio’s record, the threats and hate mail continue, suggesting that there’s more at stake than preserving a white man’s supreme achievement. Blissberg follows the trail of clues back into the past, and finds that Moss is not the first Cooley man to be persecuted. A determined psychopath is out for Cooley’s neck, and if he has to murder a few ex-ballplayers on the way—so be it.


“Compelling characters, ingenious plotting, vivid writing, and some pretty great baseball, too—the complete Rosen package.” —Daniel Okrent

“The language crackles quick and sharp, full of hard-boiled one-liners, and there is some oddly beautiful writing about the game of baseball. The ugly and graphic history of lynching is a strong plot point, and the final denouement is both shocking and bloody.” —Booklist

“In Dead Ball, baseball and race—two enduring, and inextricably intertwined, American fixations—combine in a story filled with appealing characters and spot-on dialogue.” —S. J. Rozan

“R. D. Rosen can weave as good a mystery as any of the top writers of the genre. Dead Ball is socially complex, emotionally compelling, and spot-on when it comes to realistic sports action and dialogue.” —The Providence Phoenix

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