The Champion Makerby Kevin Joseph
His shot at redemption arrives in the form of
World-class miler Nick Vance has it all-until his dreams of Olympic gold are shattered by the Moscow boycott and suicide of his wife. Years later, after being fired from a string of coaching positions because of his Spartan training methods, Nick finds himself in a dead-end job as a writer for a running magazine.
His shot at redemption arrives in the form of Stanley "Bullet" Gardner, a high school phenomenon equally talented in both sprinting and distance events. Nick convinces the magazine to run a feature article on Bullet and soon becomes his coach and agent. But when Bullet fails a drug test at the Olympic Trials, Nick must uncover the truth to restore the runner's eligibility. Nick must peel back the layers of a shocking conspiracy with implications far beyond the world of sports and athletes.
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The author artistically incorporates continuous action and suspense into this novel, all while centering the story around running and various topics of science. As well, the book moves the reader along at a pace of a 5-minute mile, while stimulating the reader intellectually. The author uses accurate references to the DC area, much the way Dan Brown references the Vatican, with a similar plot intensity. Very good read, laced with thinking person's humor and modern day allusions. Highly recommended to those with an interest in running, law, or Big Brother. Reader is left craving a sequel. Mr. Joseph, will you oblige?
¿The Champion Maker¿ is a strong first effort by new author Kevin Joseph. The book describes the plight of Nick Vance and his protégé ¿Bulllet¿ Gardner as they grapple with the origin of ¿Bullet¿¿s incredible speed and endurance. I would characterize the book as a thriller that deals with both competitive track and the science and social implications of genetic engineering. The book is thought-provoking, entertaining and will likely appeal to a wide audience. As a scientist, I was particularly refreshed by the book¿s accuracy with regard to scientific content. The story has a good pace, well-developed characters and an element of humor. I found the mix of humor and action reminded me of Nelson Demille¿s style. The novel was engrossing and managed to deliver a satisfying ending unlike many other thrillers I¿ve read. Furthermore, the story line was not ridiculously far-fetched, nor was it riddled with holes and inconsistencies as I have seen in many books of this type. On the whole, it was a very enjoyable read leaving me looking forward to future offerings from this author.