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Firecracker

Ray Shannon

15 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 039915146X / ISBN 13: 9780399151460
Published by Putnam Adult, 2004
Condition: Good Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Firecracker

Publisher: Putnam Adult

Publication Date: 2004

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Good

About this title

Synopsis:

Determined to force football superstar Raygene Price to help support the baby fathered during a wild Las Vegas weekend, resourceful PR professional Reece Germaine hopes to use the betting slip Raygene bankrolled for her, unaware that he is in a bind himself, thanks to a greedy homeboy blackmailing him for $200,000. By the author of Man Eater.

Review:

Having at least temporarily abandoned both his real name and his gritty, socially conscious series about LA private eye Aaron Gunner (All the Lucky Ones Are Dead), Gar Anthony Haywood--writing as "Ray Shannon"--delivers in Firecracker an animated, rapid-fire thriller about professional sports, greed, and the sometimes outrageous consequences of clashing egos.

Reece Germaine is a gutsy, mid-30s PR exec from Los Angeles who, even in her eighth month of pregnancy, is fetching enough to "stop traffic on the last lap of a NASCAR race." Aggravated by her failure to wrest support money from her baby's father, Dallas Cowboys star Raygene ("Gene the Dream") Price--"the best tight end in football, bar none"--Reece hopes instead for a compensatory payoff from the Super Bowl betting slip that Raygene, flaunting his success and foolishly ignoring league regulations, had given her during their all-too-brief fling. If the "lousiest team in football," the Arizona Cardinals, pulls off the impossible by winning the latest Super Bowl, that slip will be worth a cool $1.25 million. Unfortunately, Reece isn't the only one who knows this; so does Raygene--and he could sure use that dough himself. Boyishly naïve, he recently lost most of his fortune on imprudent real-estate schemes, yet he's being blackmailed by a childhood chum, drug dealer Thomas "Trip" Stiles (a "deeply disturbed white man who suffers the delusion he's black"), who is threatening to frame Raygene for murder, unless the footballer can come up with $200,000. Fast.

Like Man Eater, Haywood/Shannon's first standalone, Firecracker propels an expansive cast of misfits and malefactors toward an inevitable (and inevitably comic) collision of interests. The results play out in Las Vegas, where Reece has gone to await the Super Bowl's conclusion, pursued by Raygene and the thuggish Trip--both determined to relieve her of that wager receipt--as well as by PI Aeneas Charles, who's working undercover as Gene the Dream's ghost writer, while he protects the star player's interests and develops his own interest in the soon-to-deliver Reece. Despite it's easy comparisons to the works of Carl Hiaasen and Elmore Leonard, and its surprisingly flaccid subplot about a vengeful cop-turned-"casino security flak," Firecracker comes off with a bang. --J. Kingston Pierce

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