L. L. ENGER – Swing. Pocket; paperback original; 1st printing, August 1991.

L. L. ENGER Gun Pedersen

   This is the second adventure of Gun Pedersen, a former baseball slugger who’s now a righter of wrongs, a Travis McGee type of non-PI, the kind of guy who you’d want on your side, one who sticks up for his friends. I haven’t read the first one, Comeback, but I have a copy, and I’m sure I’ll dig it out and read it one of these days.

   Pedersen’s home is Minnesota now, and the scene makes several dramatic changes back and forth between the cold, ice-covered lakes of the North Country and the sunny climes of Florida, where a former teammate is trying to hang on in the Senior League.

   Moses Gates is his name, and there’s always been a connection in his past with another ballplayer who once committed suicide (by hanging) during spring training. Now a reporter looking into the story is also dead, again by hanging, and Moses’ alibi looks awfully shaky.

   This is a story far larger than life, and heads off in directions Gun hardly expects when he begins his crusade. (I didn’t expect them either, and I’m still a little amazed by it all.) There is far more action (of an extremely violent sort) than there is detection, but if that’s what you’re looking for, this is a story that will certainly get your blood flowing just that much more quickly.

   For what it’s worth, though, I also found it a little depressing, in tone, in substance, and in style. (That’s a personal reaction, I hope you realize, and not necessarily a critical comment.)

— Reprinted from Mystery*File 33, September 1991 (slightly revised).

       Bibliographic Data:

L. L. ENGER. Pseudonym of Leif & Lin Enger [brothers]. Series character: Gun Pedersen in all.

    1. Comeback. Pocket Books, pb, 1990. [Nominated for an Edgar.]

L. L. ENGER Gun Pedersen

    2. Swing. Pocket Books, pb, 1991.
    3. Strike. Pocket Books, pb, 1992.
    4. Sacrifice. Pocket Books, pb, 1993.

L. L. ENGER Gun Pedersen

    5. The Sinner’s League. Penzler Books, hc, 1994.