Spiked, Bruce Melrose
When it comes to knowing anything at all about sport, if it's not cricket, then I'm the last person you want on your trivia team (and then only if you're really short of subject matter experts). The author of SPIKED, on the other hand, seems to know a lot about this environment, particularly when it comes to the Olympic games - and all the behind the scenes rivalries, and the internecine carrying on. SPIKED is a bit of an unusual crime novel in that it's set very much within the world of professional rivalry in amateur sport (I think the Olympics are still "supposed" to be amateur aren't they - not sure, don't quote me). Anyway, there seems to be a field of rich pickings in this area, and the intrigue was pretty high throughout SPIKED. Unfortunately, there's also a lot of repetition, a big of heavy-handed logic manipulation and so many changes of heart from characters that I did seem to have to keep checking who was who.
For this reader, the level of suspension of disbelief required got too overwhelming, and the character motivation a bit too confusing, in what was already subject matter that I was struggling with in the first place. It might be one for those that absolutely love their sport stories, and the Olympics in particular.
John Kelly's gorgeous daughter, Mirka, is as brilliant a sportsperson as her dad - and now it's her turn to represent her country at the Olympics in her chosen field of beach volleyball. John Kelly is still coaching runner Gayle McKee, so he's part of the national squad at this Olympics too, and Gayle finally has the chance to prove herself against the best runners the world has to offer.
Elite international sport is tough enough without all the jealousy, plotting and maneuvering Mirka, John and Gayle face as they pursue their goals. Where careers can be made and broken in a few seconds, where everything is on the line, can this expectional trio withstand all the attempts to ruin their years of training and preparation?