Christine’s Review: Hang a Crooked Number by Matthew Callan

Extra special stuff today – the first review from my new associate reviewer, Christine Linial! She’s a long-time on-line pal who also loves books, and I am sharing some of my bounty with her (and getting more reviews on my pages at the same time).

crooked numberIf you’re a baseball fan who loves intrigue, Hang A Crooked Number is your next read. Callan’s newest book delves into the near future, where America has become a post-terrorist police state.  For Backstop, a Triple-A catcher, being left alone is not easy. He’s a man on the edge, and the Society won’t back off.  Are they the CIA? the Mafia?  Even his manager is tied up in a mess that goes way beyond Backstop’s pay grade.  Plus, a femme fatale is digging into the disappearance of his former roomie and teammate, Mark.  Backstop won’t be able to lay low until this situation works out, or until he hits the majors–if he ever makes it. You’ll have to read to find out how professional baseball is now tied up with the underbelly of this new America.

This book is exasperating–in a good way.  You have to ferret out the mission of the Society and Backstop’s role in it.  While he would prefer to lay low, he’s got to decide who to trust. Will your decisions for Backstop match his actions?  Overall, I really enjoyed this book.  The game and the underlying tension between teammates was excellently woven into the plot. Once I had a better idea of the futuristic setting, I was engrossed and found the book hard to put down.  My only disappointment was in the ending.  While logical, it left too many loose ends for my taste. Hang a Crooked Number brings you into a version of the future that I hope never actually comes to pass. (While I’m a baseball fan, I had to look up the term, “hang a crooked number.”  It means that your team has scored at least two runs in an inning against the pitcher.)

This title is available as an eBook with availability in all current formats.  My copy of Hang A Crooked Number was an advanced reader copy, provided free of charge.

~Christine Linial (from

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