Blackbird, Farewell (CJ Floyd Series #7)

( 2 )

Overview

Shandell "Blackbird" Bird has everything going for him, or so he thinks. Recently selected number two overall in the NBA draft, the 6'8", 250-pound superstar has a gleaming new ride and a salary and athletic shoe contract that make him an instant millionaire. What he doesn't have is the ability to bury secrets from his past. When Shandell is found shot to death at mid-court, his best friend and college teammate Damion Madrid sets out to find the killer. Damion is well meaning but naove; luckily his godfather is ...

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Blackbird, Farewell (CJ Floyd Series #7)

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Overview

Shandell "Blackbird" Bird has everything going for him, or so he thinks. Recently selected number two overall in the NBA draft, the 6'8", 250-pound superstar has a gleaming new ride and a salary and athletic shoe contract that make him an instant millionaire. What he doesn't have is the ability to bury secrets from his past. When Shandell is found shot to death at mid-court, his best friend and college teammate Damion Madrid sets out to find the killer. Damion is well meaning but naove; luckily his godfather is gumshoe CJ Floyd. Floyd and his partner, Flora Jean Benson, are there to watch his back as Damion stumbles down a shadowy trail that leads to Shandell's purported peddling of steroids and big-game point shaving. When he discovers a "Blackbird" he never knew and is able to put a face on Shandell's killer, Damion finds himself in over his head. Will CJ be there in time to prevent his godson from joining Shandell? Featuring the vivid characters and streetwise dialogue that have made the CJ Floyd series a critical and commercial success, Blackbird, Farewell is a punch-packing whodunit that exposes the dark side of the pro-athlete good life.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Much like Les Roberts's mysteries about Cleveland, Greer's books in this series also give readers a strong sense of place (the Denver area) and a rare look at a diverse community that works together, regardless of racial and economic barriers. Highly recommended for mystery and African American fiction collections."
Library Journal, starred review
 
“Another fine entry in a rewarding series.”
Wes Lukowsky, Booklist
 
"Damion Madrid, the godson of Denver bail bondsman CJ Floyd, takes center stage in Greer's solid eighth CJ Floyd novel (after 2007's The Mongoose Deception). Best friends Madrid and Shandell Bird led Colorado State's basketball team to the NCAA finals, where they lost to UCLA. When Bird, the NBA's second overall draft choice, is gunned down along with a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter, Madrid determines to find out who and why. With advice from CJ's partner, Flora Jean Benson, and protection (at CJ's request) from hit man Pinkie Niedemeyer and old mobster Mario Satoni, Madrid discovers much he never knew about Bird. Bird's incipient wealth attracted plenty of hangers-on, including a noted sports psychologist, bookies, fixers and pushers. Madrid stumbles a bit, but acquits himself well after entering a dangerous world where sportsmanship plays no part and you better be able to trust the person who's covering your back."
Publishers Weekly

Although this is a murder mystery, it is also a coming-of-age story… While teens looking for pure sports stories may prefer Tim Tharp’s Knights of the Hill Country or John Foley’s Hoops of Steel, those transitioning into more complex novels would respond well to this title’s sports references and the discussion of what it means to be another man’s friend."
School Library Journal
 
"Aimed at fans of African American detective stories, this series will also appeal to fans of college hoops and mysteries set in the west."
ForeWord Magazine
 
"Robert Greer has an uncanny ability to grab your attention within the first few pages of his novels and keep the adrenalin flowing until the very end.  Blackbird, Farewell is no exception with his wonderful formula character C J Floyd, a private detective par excellence. A very entertaining book for mystery fans and one they will thoroughly enjoy; highly recommended."
Clark's Eye on Books
 
“An intriguing read with an authentic setting in college athletics, Blackbird, Farewell racks up another winner for author Robert Greer.”
Mysterious Reviews

Blackbird, Farewell is a tense tale that explores the underbelly of college and pro sports.”
The Denver Post

Blackbird, Farewell is an intriguing mystery and a top pick for those seeking a fresh mystery series.”
Midwest Book Review

Publishers Weekly

Damion Madrid, the godson of Denver bail bondsman CJ Floyd, takes center stage in Greer's solid eighth CJ Floyd novel (after 2007's The Mongoose Deception). Best friends Madrid and Shandell Bird led Colorado State's basketball team to the NCAA finals, where they lost to UCLA. When Bird, the NBA's second overall draft choice, is gunned down along with a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, Madrid determines to find out who and why. With advice from CJ's partner, Flora Jean Benson, and protection (at CJ's request) from hit man Pinkie Niedemeyer and old mobster Mario Satoni, Madrid discovers much he never knew about Bird. Bird's incipient wealth attracted plenty of hangers-on, including a noted sports psychologist, bookies, fixers and pushers. Madrid stumbles a bit, but acquits himself well after entering a dangerous world where sportsmanship plays no part and you better be able to trust the person who's covering your back. Author tour. (Oct.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

After signing a multimillion-dollar contract to play basketball for the Denver Nuggets, Shandell "Blackbird" Bird is shot to death. His best friend, Damion Madrid, decides to investigate since his godfather, CJ Floyd, is in Hawaii on his honeymoon. Damion gets help from Flora Jean Benson, the former military intelligence agent now running the bail bond company started by Floyd. Damion has two weeks before medical school starts, and he is determined to discover who killed his friend. Every entry in the versatile Greer's CJ Floyd series (The Mongoose Deception) is different in scope and theme. Here, he takes on professional and college basketball, the pressures placed on young men to perform, the media hype, and the organized crime possibilities of point shaving and drug dealing. Much like Les Roberts's mysteries about Cleveland, Greer's books in this series also give readers a strong sense of place (the Denver area) and a rare look at a diverse community that works together regardless of racial and economic barriers. Highly recommended for mystery and African American fiction collections.


—Jo Ann Vicarel
School Library Journal

Adult/High School

Damion Madrid is a 22-year-old college basketball player freshly graduated from Colorado State University, and the last summer vacation before he becomes a medical student is no bed of roses. His best friend and teammate, Shandell Bird, aka Blackbird, a first-round NBA draft pick by the Denver Nuggets, is found dead on a neighborhood court beside a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper reporter. The son of a defense attorney, Damion decides to take up the case himself and begins investigating parts of Blackbird's life he never knew existed. Although this is a murder mystery, it is also a coming-of-age story, as Damion realizes that he can never possibly know everything about the people in his life. He discovers that people he trusted, including the college basketball team's trainer and Connie Eastland, Blackbird's girlfriend, may have more knowledge about the murder than Damion would like to admit. While teens looking for pure sports stories may prefer Tim Tharp's Knights of the Hill Country (Knopf, 2006) or John Foley's Hoops of Steel (Flux, 2007), those transitioning into more complex novels would respond well to this title's sports references and the discussion of what it means to be another man's friend. Readers who are enthusiastic about this book may be interested in the novels in Greer's "C J Floyd" series (Frog), although Damion plays a much smaller role in them.-Sarah Krygier, Solano County Library, Fairfield, CA

Kirkus Reviews
Greer benches series hero CJ Floyd (The Mongoose Deception, 2007, etc.), who's sorely missed in this slow-moving tale of murder and big-time basketball. Bail bondsman CJ Floyd, whose smarts, toughness and gravitas have served Denver so well, isn't about to be drawn back from his Hawaiian honeymoon, though clearly Damion Madrid, his godson and protege, is in over his head. Damion's friend, and everybody's All-American, Shandell "Blackbird" Bird, has been snuffed out as he stood at the very edge of a brilliant new career. Having signed a multimillion-dollar NBA contract, Blackbird was weeks away from joining the Denver Nuggets when a sniper's bullet ended the dream he'd cherished since fourth grade. So Damion has to know why. And who. Since his godfather isn't available, he turns to ex-Marine Flora Jean Benson, CJ's partner, for badly needed sleuthing help. There's no dearth of suspects: the beautiful, blonde, hard-shelled girlfriend whose six-foot-one meal ticket was showing signs of disenchantment; the on-again-off-again dad whose fondness for Blackbird bloomed suspiciously late; and a surfeit of others. It turns out that Blackbird had as many dark secrets as fancy floor moves. Greer fills his tale with red, white and black herrings, but he takes a long time to get where he's going, and he disappoints when he finally gets there. A low-scoring game.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781583942505
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books
  • Publication date: 10/14/2008
  • Series: CJ Floyd Series , #7
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 9.28 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 1.31 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 18, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Read Something Else

    Could not get through this for many reasons, I thought my interest would be higher, living in the Denver area.<BR/>Buy a differant book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2008

    A winner

    Denver based bail bondsman CJ Floyd is in Hawaii on his honeymoon when he learns that Shandell Bird, the friend of his godson reporter Damion Madrid, was shot and killed at center court. The two friends had led Colorado State University's basketball team to the NCAA basketball championship game losing to UCLA. Bird was the NBA¿s second overall draftee.-------------- With a desperate need to know why especially when rumors sprout that the late superstar tanked the UCLA game and the murder was obviously a professional hit, Madrid begins to investigate after receiving the investigator¿s point spread from CJ's partner Flora Jean Benson. From the islands CJ also arranges special protection of Damion by some cronies. Another former teammate insists Bird was dealing in their Five Points neighborhood, which seems illogical to Madrid as Shandell was worth millions once he went NBA. However, as he begins to uncover a side of his friend he never knew especially the roles of the superstar¿s retinue Madrid begins to learn the full truth including the secret that Bird tried to hide from everyone even in death.---------------- Whereas CJ takes a breather (see THE MONGOOSE DECEPTION), Madrid cuts his teeth on an investigation that at times is amateur sleuth because he fumbles and bumbles his way until he realizes what Benson warned of this is no game with preset rules as his adversaries will make them as needed including killing nosy former teammates. The story line is driven by Madrid¿s obsessive need to know but along the way his naive innocence turns to hardball reality that in the game of life, your teammates better not be shaving the score.------------ Harriet Klausner

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