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The town of Paradise receives a tragic shock when the acting mayor is discovered dead. It's ostensibly suicide, but Jesse's not so sure. And when the town becomes embroiled in a controversial and dodgy land deal, all signs suggest that the victim may have gotten in the way of some bad and powerful people.
PI Sunny Randall has often relied on the help of her best friend Spike in times of need. When Spike's restaurant is taken over under a predatory loan agreement, Sunny has a chance to return the favor. She begins digging into the life of the hedge fund manager who screwed Spike over - surely a guy that smarmy has a skeleton or two in his closet - and soon finds this new enemy may have the backing of even badder criminals.
At the same time, Sunny's cop contact Lee Farrell asks her to intervene with his niece, a college student who reported being the victim of a crime but seems to know more than she's telling police. As the uncooperative young woman becomes outright hostile, Sunny runs up against a wall that she's only more determined to scale.
Then, what appear to be two disparate cases are united by a common factor, and the picture becomes even more muddled. But one thing is clear: Sunny has been poking a hornet's nest from two sides, and all hell is about to break loose.
When a body is discovered at the lake in Paradise, Police Chief Jesse Stone is surprised to find he recognizes the murder victim--the man had been at the same AA meeting as Jesse the evening before. But otherwise, Jesse has no clue as to the man's identity. He isn't a local, nor does he have ID on him, nor does any neighboring state have a reported missing person matching his description. Their single lead is from a taxi company that recalls dropping off the mysterious stranger outside the gate at the mansion of one of the wealthiest families in town. . . .
Meanwhile, after Jesse survives a hail of gunfire on his home, he wonders if it could be related to the murder. When both Molly Crane and Suitcase Simpson also become targets, it's clear someone has an ax to grind against the entire Paradise PD.
When Sunny's long-time gangster associate Tony Marcus comes to her for help, Sunny is surprised--after all, she double crossed him on a recent deal, and their relationship is on shakier ground than ever. But the way Tony figures it, Sunny owes him, and Sunny's willing to consider his case if it will clear the slate.
Tony's trusted girlfriend and business partner has vanished, appears to have left in a hurry, and he has no idea why. He just wants to talk to her, he says, but first he needs Sunny to track her down. While Sunny isn't willing to trust his good intentions, the missing woman intrigues her--against all odds, she's risen to a position of power in Tony's criminal enterprise. Sunny can't help but admire her, and if this woman's in a jam, Sunny would like to help.
But when a witness is murdered hours after speaking to Sunny, it's clear there's more at stake than just Tony's love life. Someone--maybe even Tony himself--doesn't want this woman on the loose...and will go to any lengths to make sure she stays silent.
Sunny Randall is "on" again with Richie, the ex-husband she never stopped loving and never seemed to be able to let go, despite her discomfort with his Mafia connections. When Richie is shot and nearly killed, Sunny is dragged into the thick of his family's business as she searches for answers and tries to stave off a mob war. But as the bullets start flying in Boston's mean streets, Sunny finds herself targeted by the deranged mastermind of the plot against the Burke family, whose motive may be far more personal than she could have anticipated...
Michael Arroyo has a pitching arm that throws serious heat along with aspirations of leading his team all the way to the Little League World Series. But his firepower is nothing compared to the heat Michael faces in his day-to-day life. Newly orphaned after his father led the family’s escape from Cuba, Michael’s only family is his seventeen-yearold brother Carlos. If Social Services hears of their situation, they will be separated in the foster-care system—or worse, sent back to Cuba. Together, the boys carry on alone, dodging bills and anyone who asks too many questions. But then someone wonders how a twelve-year-old boy could possibly throw with as much power as Michael Arroyo throws. With no way to prove his age, no birth certificate, and no parent to fight for his cause, Michael’s secret world is blown wide open, and he discovers that family can come from the most unexpected sources.
Perfect for any Little Leaguer with dreams of making it big--as well as for fans of Mike Lupica's other New York Times bestsellers Travel Team, The Big Field, The Underdogs, Million-Dollar Throw, and The Game Changers series, this cheer-worthy baseball story shows that when the game knocks you down, champions stand tall.
Twelve-year-old star Little League pitcher Nick Garcia has a dream. Several in fact. He dreams he'll win this season's MVP and the chance to throw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium. He dreams he'll meet his hero, Yankee's pitcher Michael Arroyo. He dreams they'll find a cure for Lupus so he sister won't have to suffer. But mostly, he dreams one day his family can stop living in fear of the government. For one kid, it's almost too much to bear. Luckily, Nick has his two best friends Ben and Diego to keep him balanced. But when Nick notices a mysterious man lurking on his street corner, he senses a threat. Suddenly, his worst fears are realized, and just when it seems there's no one they can trust, an unexpected hero emerges and changes everything.
Praise for Strike Zone:
*"Lupica skillfully addresses the timely and complicated topic of living as the child of undocumented immigrants and the uncertainty facing many American families....This exceptional baseball novel delivers both lively sports action and critical subject matter." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
--"Lupica's action sequences are thrilling and fast-paced....[a] solid purchase where Mike Lupica and the Yankees are popular." --School Library Journal
--"As he did in Heat, Lupica skillfully juggles the baseball drama with the larger social issues that swirl around it, vividly putting a human face on the immigration crisis." --Booklist
--"Strike Zone brings the game of baseball to life, but moreover, it addresses immigration, a current issue in U.S. culture and politics. Teens will choose to read Strike Zone as a "sports book" but will root for Nick both on and off the field. The Garcia family's desire to become legal U.S. citizens is well woven into this fast-paced story." --VOYA
Jake Cullen is a freshman quarterback playing high school football in the high-pressure land of Friday Night Lights (Texas). He is also the brother of Wyatt Cullen, who quarterbacked his team to the Texas State Championship last season--not to mention the son of former NFL quarterback and local legend, Troy Cullen. To be a Cullen in Texas is to be royalty . . . and a quarterback. All of which leaves 14-year-old Jake in a Texas-sized shadow, a tall order for any boy, especially one who's merely a freshman.
While his teammates assume the starting job will be handed to Jake on a silver platter, the truth is that he has to fight for every snap and every ounce of respect. Jake may be a Cullen and he may play quarterback, but he is not his brother or his father. Being a good teammate comes naturally to Jake; being a winner and a celebrity does not. He's just like every other boy--awkward around a pretty girl, in awe of his famous family, and desperate to simultaneously blend in and cast his own shadow.
Inspired by the real-life Manning family of quarterbacks (father Archie, Super Bowl-winning sons Peyton and Eli) and set amid the football-crazy culture of Texas immortalized in Friday Night Lights, QB 1 is a coming-of-age story perfect for the fan of MILLION-DOLLAR THROW, HEAT, and of course FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS.
"This is a wonderful book by a great writer. All football fathers and sons will enjoy it."--Archie Manning
Forced to live on his own after his mom dies and her boyfriend abandons him, 12-year-old Jayson does whatever it takes to get by. He will do anything to avoid the foster care system. Besides, his real home has always been the beat-up basketball court behind the projects in the North Carolina hills, and his family has always been his friends and teammates. He manages to get away with his deception until the day he gets caught stealing a new pair of basketball sneakers. Game over. Within a day a social worker places him with a family from the other side of town, the Lawtons. New home, new school, new teammates.
Jayson, at first, is combatative, testing the Lawtons' patience at every turn. He wants out, yet the Lawtons refuse to take the bait. But not everyone in Jayson's new life is so ready to trust him--and even Jayson's old friends give him a hard time now that he's attending a school full of rich kids. It's on Jayson to believe that he deserves a better life than the one he once had. The ultimate prize if he can? A trip to play in the state finals at Cameron Indoor Stadium–home to the Duke Blue Devils and launching pad to his dream of playing bigtime college ball. Getting there will be a journey that reaches far beyond the basketball court.
In the tradition of uplifting stories like The Blind Side, Fast Break has all the family-friendly sports action Mike Lupica has become known and loved for.
Praise for Fast Break
"Eager fans will find this a slam-dunk. A must-purchase."–Booklist
"Lupica's announcer-like delivery will have you breathless, on the edge of your seat, cheering."–Florida Times-Union
"Fast Break is the perfect middle-grade read for fans of basketball. With so much attention to detail in each game, readers are practically with the characters on the court. Lupica has done it again."–VOYA
Everyone calls Nate Brodie "Brady" because he's a New England quarterback, just like his idol, Tom Brady. And now he's got a chance to win a million dollars by throwing one pass through a target at halftime in the Patriots; Thanksgiving night game. More than anything, Nate's family needs the money—his dad's been downsized, his mom's working two jobs, and they're on the verge of losing their house. The worry is more weight than a 13-year-old can bear, and it's affecting his playing for his own football team. Suddenly the boy with the golden arm is having trouble completing a pass . . . but can he make the one that really counts?
Twelve-year-old Danny Walker may be the smallest kid on the basketball court -- but don't tell him that. Because no one plays with more heart or court sense. But none of that matters when he is cut from his local travel team, the very same team his father led to national prominence as a boy. Danny's father, still smarting from his own troubles, knows Danny isn't the only kid who was cut for the wrong reason, and together, this washed-up former player and a bunch of never-say-die kids prove that the heart simply cannot be measured.
For fans of The Bad News Bears, Hoosiers, the Mighty Ducks, and Mike Lupica's other New York Times bestselling novels Heat, The Underdogs, and Million-Dollar Throw, here is a book that proves that when the game knocks you down, champions stand tall.
There's a reason teammates call him "True." Because for basketball phenom Drew Robinson, there is nothing more true than his talent on the court. It's the kind that comes along once in a generation and is loaded with perks--and with problems.
Before long, True buys in to his own hype, much to the chagrin of his mother, who wants to keep her boy's head grounded--and suddenly trouble has a way of finding him. That is, until a washed-up former playground legend steps back onto the court and takes True under his wing.
In this age of street agents promising riches to kids barely out of elementary school and college programs being taken down because of recruiting violations, True Legend is a resonant and inspiring novel in the Lupica tradition.
***"The perfect trifecta of deep knowledge and portrayal of the history and culture of basketball, keen insight into the obstacle course of motivations and temptations facing a talented young man, and perfect-pitch sports writing. . . Lupica is the greatest sportswriter for middle-grade readers, and this book, True Legend, is a reminder of his dominance."*** —VOYA, starred review
“Lupica scores another winner with this cautionary tale. . . . Loaded with action-packed, suspenseful basketball sequences, crisp dialogue, sharply drawn characters, and keen insight into contemporary basketball culture in America, Drew’s story illuminates the realities and choices facing gifted young athletes.” —School Library Journal
"Written in a fluid mix of slightly distant exposition and terse dialogue, the tale features plenty of suspenseful, expertly depicted hoops action along with choices both wrong and, ultimately, right made in the face of glittering temptations." —Booklist