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on April 10, 2014
This is yet another terrific story by Loretta Giacoletto. I've read several of her stories, and in this account of parents who will stop at nothing to push their children to compete and win, she scores again. Lethal Play is set in a vividly drawn world of soccer moms and dads who have forgotten what sport is about. As far as the game is concerned, she obviously knows her stuff, and, as usual, she brings it all together with her own terrific writing style. I loved this and would recommend it.
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on April 12, 2012
Someone certainly didn't like Coach (Rex) Meredith, that's for sure. He was wrapped in netting and left hanging from the soccer field's goal post. Many an enemy he might have had considering the various and sundry deals he had made to ensure the boys' playing time.

Was Francesca that naïve? She didn't exactly fall for the coach's sick advances but she was more interested in "not letting the `imported' grapes go to waste"- her excuse for drinking the proffered wine. Stretches believability a bit as she must have known the consequences of imbibing in alcohol and its `loosening' effects. And to think the coach! Yuk! So ya, she did fall for the coach after first falling for alcohol's beckoning.

This book has me laughing. Not out of humor but from the sheer stupidity of the way she fell for the dork's advances. Francesca backs herself into some pretty tight corners and fights to backpedal out from them. (She's pretty quick.)

Meet Officers Reardan and Winchester, a pair of tenacious bulldogs. Not quite as tenacious as patronizing female juvenile officer Armstrong. Armstrong is like a dog chewing on a bone and sucking out the marrow til there's nothing left.

An interesting story. One that will have the reader turning the pages as it did me. The ending? Well, let's just say it was a surprise. It did have me wondering `Huh?'
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on January 3, 2014
This novel was taut with suspense. A real page-turner, I finished it very quickly. I literally couldn't put it down.

The central character, Francesca Canelli, is having problems coping with the accidental death of her husband, Ben. Ben had big plans for their son Matt's soccer career, and now that her husband is gone, Francesca does not want to let Matt down. She wants to do whatever she can to make Matt's soccer dreams come true. Unfortunately her efforts get her and her son into more trouble than she could ever have imagined.

Intriguing mystery full of twists and turns and great human drama. Highly recommended.
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on December 5, 2013
Not being a soccer fan, I surprised myself by enjoying LETHAL PLAY tremendously. Loretta Giacoletto's realistic portrayals of setting and characterization add dimension to a superb plot. I learned more than I ever knew (or cared to know) about the game of soccer . . . and about a perverted coach taking advantage of a grieving and misguided soccer mom who'd give the world to see her son succeed at his chosen sport. I was left wondering how many other women have become "soccer sluts" to obtain special favors for their sons. I highly recommend this book to readers of intrigue, mystery, sports, and crime stories.
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on April 10, 2014
American junior football, as we call it in the UK, the domain of the soccer mum. Francesca is a recently widowed mother, bobbing around on the dangerous currents of jealousy and ambition. When her son's soccer coach is murdered she becomes a suspect. As detectives focus in on her and her family, a murky world of corruption and abuse of power is revealed. A tirumisu of a book, dark with flavour and deftly assembled.
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on March 9, 2011
Francesca Canelli never was the stereotypical soccer mom, even though the center of family life was son Matt's aspiration to play for the top club team in St. Louis. She had zero feel for the game and, if possible, even less interest in schmoozing with the other parents.

But when Matt's soccer-nut father Ben is fatally struck by a van on an early morning jog, Francesca tries to pick up the slack, doing everything she can - and that turns out to be an outrageously big "everything" - to support her son.

The team, Pegasi, is coached by Rex Meredith, and no more loathsome individual ever walked a sideline. He uses his team's success to extort everything from medical services to appliances to sex from the soccer parents, and even players.

When Rex's body is found hanging from the soccer goal crossbar, naked but for socks, not even his widow is heartbroken. Was it suicide? It's possible but unlikely. Francesca Canelli, who may have had ample reason to murder Rex, certainly couldn't have put him in that position by herself. But with an accomplice...? Disaffected players cannot be overlooked. And what about the Canelli family friend who took over the team after Meredith's death?

Det. Guy Winchester and Lt. Sam Reardan, assisted by Juvenile Officer Quinella Armstrong, are on the case but seem to find no one who has a credible story. (I don't know whether Giacoletto thought through the fact that Armstrong is typically referred to by her first name, while the male detectives are identified by their last.)

Eventually the case appears to be nicely wrapped up, ending a little more cleanly than one might desire. Thankfully, though, that conclusion is no more satisfying to Reardan and Winchester, so they continue to probe.

Lethal Play has plenty of complexity to keep readers off-guard. Giacoletto has created characters the reader can pull for or against and also recognize. It's a good read, and we look forward to seeing other books from her.

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on June 3, 2014
This was the first book I read by the author and thoroughly enjoyed it. Since I love soccer it was a very authentic and kept you interested so you didn't want to stop reading. Great book.
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on December 6, 2013
I live in a country where soccer is the national religion so I can say that the author really studied the subject or is a big fan herself.
Many plots and twists make it an enjoyable ride.
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on October 12, 2014
Held my attention. At times seemed a little far fetched but made sense in the end. Would read more by this author.
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on March 17, 2011
Following the primary character, Francesca, through her trials and tribulations related to her son's desire for soccer stardom, was intriguing.

Francesca faces single parenthood after her husband is struck while jogging. She then goes beyond the "norm" to insure a spot on the soccer team for her son, Matt. This insurance brings her very close to the coach of team, Pegasi, evil Rex Meredith.

When coach Meredith is found dead, there are numerous suspects. Is it possible that our heroine, Francesca, could have been responsible for Rex's demise?

I really enjoyed the twists and turns of this novel and look forward to more reading enjoyment from Loretta Giacoletto.
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