Tonawanda News


September 16, 2013

BOOK NOOK: 'Diamond Deception' suffers grammatically

Baseball has a whole new drug problem in rookie novelist Mike Gallagher’s “Diamond Deception.” 

It appears as if a couple of unscrupulous club owners — is that redundant? — employ their deviously-acquired Arizona Sidewinders — one of several nifty turns of nomenclature — as a means of distributing their addictive poisons to the likes of Philadelphia, St. Louis and New York, blackmailing troubled players as couriers.

It sounds a little preposterous, but no moreso than, for example, the 1934 movie “Murder on the Diamond,” in which Robert Young served an early internship for his later fame as “Marcus Welby.”

Besides his capricious sense of names — the unfairly incarcerated Damion Wilksbere, hotty agent Kristina Leerson and the hero himself, workhorse Pete Dobbins — the fledgling author has a keen sense of plot and it’s hard to find a hole in it. In fact, to “Deception’s” detriment, it seems sometimes as if he’s working it out as he goes, writing notes, rather than prose. Occasionally, the reader of “Diamond Deception” will feel like the man — or woman — who knew too much.

Dobbins was a great mound prospect, his career cut short by a line drive to the head. Plenty of real-life precedent for that: old-time Bison Billy Long, for one, or the Indians’ Herb Score for another. He’s an amazingly quick-witted man who shifts to a career shuffling papers at the FBI until a case comes up in which the solution might involve his reviving his old skills.

Gallagher writes some vivid scenes. The author’s worst villains fall from grace quite literally. Gravity hasn’t been used to such symbolic effect since the last scene of “Maltese Falcon.”

There’s a niftily wrought gambit about two young women in a playful bedroom-prey competition in which the loser takes nothing, and another in which the Goody Twospikes Dobbins talks Agent Leerson out of her raiment in the name of justice. Dobbins’ verbal jousts with his acutely pregnant wife are the stuff of successful marriage counseling. She’s a beaut. Gallagher claims to have patterned her after his own spouse. Lucky man.

Text Only
  • SUN LIFE Volunteers honored 1 040614.jpg Women Who Move the City (and beyond)

    April 7, 2014 2 Photos

  • SUN LIFE POUND 1040614j jpg.jpg Rock n' roll fitness

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - crib notes RGB Enough of this winter -- it's time for spring

    Midway through separating the bits of dog food from the shredded paper towel pieces on the saturated bed sheet that had been strewn across the dining-room table, I finally realized I’d had enough.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - critter companions RGB Dear readers, it's me, Kenny

    I have bad knees. I have been told to blame my grandmother. I have also been told to blame her for my love of animals. Today, we celebrate the 100th Critter Companions column.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE mummies 1 033014.jpg 'Mummies of the World' exhibit arrives in Buffalo

    As visitors arrived for the recent NCAA basketball tournament games in Buffalo, a much older group of visitors arrived via motorcade at the Buffalo Museum of Science — but these newcomers to the Queen City wouldn’t be seeking out a place to have a beer between games or where to find the region’s best chicken wings.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - double trouble RGB Years later, still spending sunny days on Sesame Street

    I always knew we’d hit “the Elmo years.”

    Going into parenthood, it seemed like a given. Both my husband and I  were “Sesame Street” fans from childhood ourselves, and we were happy enough to pass it on to a new generation. And we knew, having friends with children of the applicable age, that in this day and age “Sesame Street” equalled Elmo, the squeaky-voiced “furry red menace” (thus dubbed by Oscar the Grouch) of parents everywhere.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE Local Restaurant Week 2 033014.jpg Back for another bite

    As spring finally starts to unfold in Western New York, residents are likely eager to get out of their houses — and organizers of Local Restaurant Week hope they’ll consider eating out as they do that.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wineries invite visitors to take a Taste of the Trail

    If one weekend of food and wine pairings is a good thing, two weekends of food and wine pairings must be even better.

    For the first time, the Taste of the Trail event, which takes place Friday through April 6 and April 11 to 13 on the Niagara Wine Trail, will be split into two weekends, with half the trail’s wineries taking part the first weekend and half the second, said Elizabeth Maute, wine trail coordinator.

    March 31, 2014

  • sig - critter companions RGB CRITTER COMPANIONS: Rewards for playing nice

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE signs of spring 1 032314.jpg Region's favorite signs of spring gear up for season

    Ah, the signs of spring: The birdsong, the flowers, the green grass, the flowing waters of the Erie Canal or Niagara River ... and the words “Opening soon” on the marquee of your favorite seasonal business.

    March 24, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page
NDN Video