Cross the Line is the second in the Cal Murphy series of thrillers. I haven't read the first one but that posed no problem in my enjoyment of this novel which would have had me chewing my nails, if I had any, worrying about the characters involved particularly a boy and his family.
The reason for this Partners in Crime blog tour is that the story is set during the week leading up to the Super Bowl. Quarterback Noah Larson of the Seattle Seahawks will, according to most people, lead his team to Super Bowl victory over the Miami Dolphins and their decidedly second-rate quarterback. That quarterback is a blowhard who would never admit it was their defense that got them to the Super Bowl. He thinks it's all his doing. Larson is of course thrilled that his career will end this way; he has promised his wife that he will retire after the game. His six-year-old son Jake will finally have his dad home. Dad can watch him play the game he loves - soccer.
Then Jake is kidnapped on his way to the school bus and Larson is told that unless he loses the game, Jake will be killed. He is warned not to tell the police, etc. and tries to keep it quiet, only telling his wife. Another aspect is that the FBI is informed by Las Vegas casinos about wild bets being placed on the Dolphins.
Will Jake be treated well or killed? Can Larson save his son? Will he throw the biggest game in his career? Cal Murphy, sportswriter for the The Times in Seattle knows Larson well enough to see something is very wrong. Murphy's former college roommate, an FBI agent, gets in touch with him, and suddenly Murphy is right in the middle of this dangerous hostage situation.
I really like Cal Murphy and I will certainly find the first in the series, Cross Hairs, and then settle in to wait for the third book. It helps if you're a football fan like me, but if you aren't, no worries. It's just a heck of a good thriller that just happens to be about football's biggest game. There are also issues that will be very interesting to journalists. Ethical issues that will give a journalist pause.
Highly recommended reading.
Source: Author through Partners in Crime Tours