A Final Four Mystery
By John Feinstein
(Knopf Books for Young Readers, Hardcover, 9780375831683, 256pp.)
Publication Date: February 8, 2005
List Price: $16.95*
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Steven Thomas is one of two lucky winners of the U.S. Basketball Writer’s Association’s contest for aspiring journalists. His prize? A trip to New Orleans and a coveted press pass for the Final Four. It’s a basketball junkie’s dream come true!
But the games going on behind the scenes between the coaches, the players, the media, the money-men, and the fans turn out to be even more fiercely competitive than those on the court. Steven and his fellow winner, Susan Carol Anderson, are nosing around the Superdome and overhear what sounds like a threat to throw the championship game. Now they have just 48 hours to figure out who is blackmailing one of MSU’s star players . . . and why.
Praise for John Feinstein:
“The best writer of sports books in America today.”—The Boston Globe
“Feinstein’s beat, it turns out, isn’t sports; it’s human nature.”—People on A March to Madness
“A basketball junkie’s nirvana.”—Sports Illustrated on A March to Madness
“One of the best sportswriters alive!”—Larry King, USA Today on A Good Walk Spoiled
John Feinstein is the author of many bestselling sports books, including A Season on the Brink and A Good Walk Spoiled. Feinstein worked for The Washington Post as both a political and sports reporter for more than 10 years and continues to contribute articles. He is a regular commentator for National Public Radio and Sporting News Radio and an essayist for CBS Sports. He lives with his wife, son, and daughter in Bethesda, MD, and Shelter Island, NY.
“Last Shot is a brisk novel set in the madness of the NCAA’s Final Four. Exceptionally knowledgeable about the college basketball world, Feinstein has a fine time lampooning broadcaster Dick Vitale and the bureaucrats who populate the NCAA itself. The blackmailing plot that unfolds over the course of Final Four weekend threatens a student-athlete who isn’t a student, implicates an ethics professor with no ethics, and otherwise introduces to young readers the sleaze beneath the glitter of college basketball’s biggest show. Remarkably, Feinstein pokes holes in the illusions without diminishing the excitement of the games themselves as seen through the eyes of two eighth-grade reporters. He writes as if he’s having a fine time at the keyboard, and the result will entertain not only young readers, but the oldsters looking over their shoulders as well.” —Boston Globe
“Score! That’s exactly what author John Feinstein does with this mystery.”—Dallas Morning News
“You’ll feel as if you have a courtside seat at the SuperDome. Last Shot is Feinstein’s first entry into fiction for young people, and it’s an impressive one. The story is intriguing, the dialogue snappy and the finale exciting.” —Bookpage