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The Baby Game Hardcover – August 8, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Wordslinger Press (August 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 096316385X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0963163851
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,861,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Prominent adoption attorney Hicks, author of the well-received Adopting in America: How to Adopt Within One Year (2004), makes an uneven fiction debut, the first in a series to feature a young California adoption attorney. Toby Dillon's closest childhood friends, now prominent Hollywood celebrities, have turned to him for assistance when they're unable to have children. But the process turns messy when the birth mother disappears; the frantic search for her proves successful, and the couple is rewarded with a beautiful baby girl. The rollercoaster continues when a doctor reveals the mother actually gave birth to twins, leading to another frantic search. Two murders follow before Dillon stumbles on the truth. While the ending twist may surprise some, Hicks hasn't succeeded in effectively grafting his real-world experience onto a mystery plot.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"A light and tasty treat... an engrossing mystery." -- Mystery Scene Magazine

"An energetic and remarkably adept thriller... a fiction tour-de-force... I could not put this book down." -- Mystery Ink (home of the Gumshoe Awards)

"Light, easy-to-read prose, self-deprecating humor and constant action place this first novel high on the must-have list." -- Library Journal

"One of the most engaging debut novels I've read this year." -- Mystery News

"The ride is fast, the resolution is satisfying and it's got one of the best 'first kiss' scenes I've ever read." -- T. Jefferson Parker (Edgar Award winning author of LAGUNA HEAT and STORM RUNNERS)

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
And the characters were real.
Mark Baker
Oops, one more thing, he knows adoption, and that's the basis of this book, although this is fiction.
Nancy Drew
And I find it hard to believe famous actors realy are so nice and humble and down to earth.
Dr. Cathy Goodwin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Detra Fitch VINE VOICE on August 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Toby Dillon graduated law school one year ago. He resides in California, but his "office" is at his home. His "home" is currently in one of the condos ringing the golf course of the Coral Canyon Country Club. (Free perk due to his side job as their assistant tennis pro.) Toby is one of the rare lawyers that are actually out to help people, rather than to fatten his own wallet. His specialty is adoption.

Brogan Barlow and Rita MacGilroy are famous movie stars. Toby and Brogan were geeks (friends) together in high school. So to Toby, Brogan and Rita were just great friends who wanted to adopt a baby. All seems to be going pretty much normal. But the birth mother gives birth without going to the hospital. No one thinks too much about it though, because the birth mother hands over the baby girl to the happy new parents.

The birth mother has a time limit, during which she may change her mind about giving her baby up for adoption. One day after this date, Brogan and Rita are celebrating with Toby and some friends when a call comes in that will rock their foundation. In result to the call, the new parents and Toby rush to question the birth mother only to find her gone. Brogan and Toby begin to search for answers to some hard hitting questions. Problem is that the people they need to speak with either do not exist or are turning up dead.

***** I cannot tell more without giving away spoilers, which I refuse to do. The phone call is the turning point, where the reader finds out exactly WHAT the mystery is. However, if you want to figure out the "who" and "why" you will have to pay attention from the very first page. This may be Randall Hicks's first mystery novel, but he wrote about something he knows well, adoption.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Quick on August 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The Baby Game is one of those rare books where the improbable works seamlessly. The serious parts make the hairs on the back of your neck tingle and the funny parts are laugh out loud hilarious. An ex Peace Corps, assistant tennis pro, home schooled California attorney, who drives a Ford falcon convertible with a wooden cigar store Indian permanently wedged in the passenger seat sounds like the loser of a Dumb and Dumber contest, but Toby Dillon turns out to be believable, lovable, and competent, in roughly that order. The plot is deliciously twisty and at the halfway point, I still had no idea who the bad guys were. Although there is real jeopardy, there is still some question at that point as to whether a crime had even been committed. Well, actually Toby was well along the way to the five felonies he commits in the course of the book, but otherwise...All is well that ends well and the ending of The Baby Game - "And then I kissed her." The best way to describe it, The Baby Game is similar to Lawrence Sanders' McNally series, only a whole lot better.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on August 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In San Diego County, California, recent law school graduate attorney Toby Dillon opens his shingle out of his condo overlooking the Coral Canyon Country Club where he also serves as an assistant tennis instructor. Tony's legal practice deals with adoptions.

Movie stars Brogan Barlow and Rita MacGilroy want to adopt so they turn to Toby, who was Brogan's high school pal when they were nerds. Toby arranges things with a single neighbor Sammy who became pregnant from a casual inseminator as the state would say. Toby takes Sammy to the hospital in his nightwear, but instead of her going inside with him, she vanishes with his car. Besides Toby's PJs embarrassment and concern for Sammy, things went great even though the biological mother gives birth outside a hospital. Toby's clients have a daughter to lovingly raise together until a day later a phone call nukes their world; With Tony they go to see the birth mom to obtain the truth, but she has vanished. Other follow-ups go nowhere as those they need to speak with are either dead or never existed in spite of the paper trail.

THE BABY GAME is a fabulous tale that starts off as a simple family drama, but quickly turns into an exciting action-packed thriller. Once the call comes, the story line accelerates from a celebrating couple with their friends to a deep tense investigation in which nothing goes right. Randall Hicks insures his exhilarating story line seems realistic with the tidbits involving adoption so that the audience has a one sitting chilling investigative novel that feels as if it could happen.

Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. J. Roberts TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Hicks has written a particularly engaging character in Toby. I also appreciated his making the celebrity couple real, grounded people. There was interesting legal information which didn't bog down the story, and some good twists along the way. But it was Toby's relationship with his grandfather was particularly touching. The book is a bit mystery light, but is an entertaining first book and a series I shall definitely follow.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark Baker HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Toby Dillon only partially grew up. Yes, he's a lawyer. But he only does that part time. The other part of the time, he is the assistant tennis pro at the country club where he lives.

Toby has stumbled into the adoption business, helping couples navigate all the legal proceedings necessary to make their new child officially their own. It's a specialty he loves because it allows him to help people.

His latest clients are really special to him. They are Hollywood power couple Brogan Barlow and Rita MacGilroy. But to Toby, they are his best friends. The three grew up together in a tiny town in northern San Diego county. So, naturally, Toby is anxious to help them.

Things go well, and the news of the adoption leads off a whirlwind press tour that Toby becomes part of.

Then comes a phone call with a shocking revelation for Brogan and Rita. Naturally, they want to question the birth mother, but she has disappeared. What's really been going on?

Let's be clear, I loved this book. Between the humor and the twists, I couldn't put the book down.

The story starts a little slowly, with frequent pauses to give us some history on Toby. We do need to get to know him, but frequent flashbacks are a bit of a pet peeve. Still, that was the only flaw. Once the story gets going, I could not put the book down, staying up late a couple nights in a row to read just a little further. The plot twists and turns all over the place, yet I found every one of them logical and believable. And the characters were real. Toby, Brogan, and Rita felt like true friends by the end of the book. And as the book progresses, we are drawn into a darker and darker web.

Author Randall Hicks has created a new series that shows lots of promise. I can't wait to visit Toby and company again.
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