Monday, July 3, 2017

HFVBT Review: The Babe Ruth Deception by David O. Stewart

Title: The Babe Ruth Deception
Author: David O. Stewart 
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Kensington
Publish Date: September 27, 2017
Source: HF Virtual Book Tours

What's the Story?:

From "Babe Ruth, the Sultan of Swat, is having a record-breaking season in his first year as a New York Yankee. In 1920, he will hit more home runs than any other team in the American League. Larger than life on the ball field and off, Ruth is about to discover what the Chicago White Sox players accused of throwing the 1919 World Series are learning—baseball heroes are not invulnerable to scandal. With suspicion in the air, Ruth’s 1918 World Series win for the Boston Red Sox is now being questioned. Under scrutiny by the new baseball commissioner and enmeshed with gambling kingpin Arnold Rothstein, Ruth turns for help to Speed Cook—a former professional ballplayer himself before the game was segregated and now a promoter of Negro baseball—who’s familiar with the dirty underside of the sport.

Cook in turn enlists the help of Dr. Jamie Fraser, whose wife Eliza is coproducing a silent film starring the Yankee outfielder. Restraint does not come easily to the reckless Ruth, but the Frasers try to keep him in line while Cook digs around.

As all this plays out, Cook’s son Joshua and Fraser’s daughter Violet are brought together by a shocking tragedy. But an interracial relationship in 1920 feels as dangerous as a public scandal—even more so because Joshua is heavily involved in bootlegging. Trying to protect Ruth and their own children, Fraser and Cook find themselves playing a dangerous game . . ."

My Two Cents:

"The Babe Ruth Deception" is the third book in David O. Stewart's Dr. Jamie Fraser and Speed Cook series. There are a few story lines in this book. The first one concerns the title: in this book, Babe Ruth is already a well-established baseball player. He is still well known for being an excellent ball player but scandal now threatens to color his legacy. Another story line has to do with Fraser's daughter and Cook's son. Violet Fraser is white. Joshua Cook is black and in the bootlegging business. In the 1920s, interracial relationships are frowned upon and alcohol sales are illegal. Fraser and Cook have their plates full between protecting the Babe and their families.

This is indeed the third book in the series and I have to tell you that I haven't read the first two books. I do wonder that if I had read them, if this book would have resonated with me a little more. This book dives right into the action, which is great, but as far as characters go, it feels very much like we are jumping in the middle of things (which we are) but makes for unfriendly territory for those new to the series.

I am not really a sports person but Babe Ruth is one of those names that transcends the sport that he played in. I loved getting to see a very different side of him in this book. He is making a silent film and spends his days being caked in make-up to show well on film and then going to play a game. Some of the thoughts (and quips) he has during this are very funny. I also found the light that the author shed on the scandal he faces in the book really interesting.

I was also very interested in the relationship between Violet and Joshua. Now not having read the first two books, I can't say for sure but in this book, the love and relationship seems to come up very quickly. I would have liked a little more of a lead up and a little more of a build up to make their story feel a bit more real to me.

The writing of the story was good. There were a few parts that felt a little slow to me and others that left me wanting a bit more detail. Overall, this was an interesting take on a past time!


1 comment:

  1. I just went to a ball game Saturday and had a great time. Sometimes a book loses something if you pick it up mid stream, but it sounds like this is worth the read anyway.

    sherry @ fundinmental


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