That primordial scream you heard three days ago was me yelling in frustration (and joy) when I saw that Mark Gimenez had released a new book. I call Mark “the quiet author” because he is. He has a website, but even that (at the time of this writing) hasn’t been updated with this new release. He does have a FaceBook Fan page, but that’s it. No social media selfies, no 140 characters on Twitter, no “this is what I’m reading” on Tumblr, and no “this is my bookshelf” pictures on Pinterest.
So yeah, I really did yell when I did a search to see when Mark’s next book would be out and then I see that it came out 3/2/2014. Once I saw that I was all over it like mud on a Jeep.
‘The Case Against William’ is a story about a boy, his father, and football. William Tucker is a football phenom in every sense of the word. Big, strong, fast, good looking, uniquely skilled. A sports beast born and bred for the gridiron. Unfortunately he has an ego that would make Maurice Green blush. William is a prima donna athlete yes, but has the resume to back it up. Mark illustrates this perfectly in the opening scene.
So I start reading and reading and reading and reading and reading and reading and reading and reading… Mark writing has always had that effect on me. Good story, good writing, and it’s fun. One of the main characters Frank, who is the father of William Tucker, is a reason for that. He’s a noble man who sacrifices his own happiness and joy to stay in a loveless gold-digging marriage for his kids. And he’s a lawyer that’s actually ethical. Almost makes you wonder if this is a sci-fi novel. In spite of his bad no sex (WTH!?) marriage, his life really isn’t that bad. He’s respected in his profession, the best at his job, adored by his kids, and makes good money.
Unfortunately, all of that stops after Frank makes a massive mistake, and that mistake changes everything. It happens at just the time when Williams needs his dad the most. Every son needs a father, especially one that has a golden arm and a bright future, and a colossal unchecked ego. But his dad is now gone, lost to his best friend Jim Beam.
William Tucker spirals down and among his faults, he confuses fan adoration with love and the accessibility to easy trim as the perfect life.
The saying is, “you can tell a lot about a man by the company he keeps.” There are three characters in this book that will keep you laughing. Ex-cop, ex-con, and ex-coach. Despite having fallen off, Frank still manages to keep friends people around him that are as colorful as an exploding rainbow.
After William is arrested for a rape/murder his father must turn his back on Jim and find someway to help his son. His arrogant son. His son that calls in “subs”. His son who craps and expects someone to clean his butt. His prima donna son. What ensues is a story with the usual turns, plot twists, and misdirection conversations that Mark does so well.
My only gripe is the ending felt rushed and certain things “fell into place” a little too neatly. I’m usually the guy that is left trying to guess who-done-it, but there was a major plot point that I got with no problem at all. Another part that felt rushed was when they were talking to a football player and one Frank’s clan did something. I saw that coming a mile away and that NEVER happens to me in a MG book. Never. And it happened twice within fifty pages.
But they were just a small hiccup because the last thirty pages or so were just pure reading magic! I was at a point where I told myself I was going to finish the book in the morning. Yeah well, that didn’t happen. Once I got past the living room conversation with the football player, the book flew. And by flew I mean faster than Billie Jean Crawford’s Mustang wide open in Western Texa.! I finished this book with my heart beating as fast as William’s. THAT’S classic Mark Gimenez.
A solid addition from Mr. Gimenez just not quite as polished as ‘The Abduction’ or (have mercy!) ‘The Governor’s Wife’. Still, Mark is an author who I don’t hesitate to buy as soon as he releases a new book for GOOD reason. Maybe next time he can drive to CA, knock on my door, hand me a postcard telling me about his new book. Yeah, I’m a book prima donna.