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Tiebreaker Hardcover – June, 1989

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An aging tennis pro who's done a few jobs for the CIA in the past is dragooned into one more operation in this promising first entry in Bickman's ( Day Seven ) new mystery series. Former champion Brad Smith is asked to go to Yugoslavia to aid the defection attempt of top woman player Danisa Lechova. Pretending to be a magazine writer covering an international tennis match in Belgrade, he makes contact with Danisa, gains her confidence and falls in love with her, despite opposition from her jealous coach and stern parents and further complications from a sister who is a fervent Communist. Meanwhile, other wheels are turning. Hiding from the FBI, the CIA and the KGB in the north central U.S. and in Canada is top KGB agent Dominic Partek, waiting for the CIA to deliver on a promise before he defects to the West with a trove of valuable information. When Smith's CIA contact disappears and Danisa's escape attempt fails, Smith concludes he's been set up and must take matters in his own hands. Bickman offers a keen-eyed view of life on the tennis circuit, using real players in bit parts and conveying the pressure and sense of urgency of big-time play.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Ex-tennis pro Brad Smith works as a magazine writer near Dallas, but occasionally sidelines for the CIA. This time, he acts as intermediary between the CIA and a rising Yugoslavian tennis star, Danisa Lechova, who wants to defect during the Belgrade International Tennis Tournament. Phony cover stories, fake passports, obvious undercover agents, "mysterious" beatings, and bugged rooms notwithstanding, the writing here vacillates between gracelessly superficial and "meaningfully" intense. Despite the obvious twists and uneven tone, however, the tennis names and descriptions may carry the plot for some. Marginal.-- REK
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 314 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (June 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312931441
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312931445
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,190,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By vrkaya on May 31, 2006
Format: Paperback
I got this novel after reading Jack Bickham's books on writing. I was pleasantly surprised to find this to be a very enjoyable international espionage novel - even after the many years since it was published. The main character, Brad Smith, is a likeable retired tennis star, and the plot was logical and believable. Bickham writes in a direct method that follows right along with the method he preaches - scene & sequel. I have since bought the other novels in Bickham's Brad Smith series (I think there are 5 or 6 total). Since reading this one, I have read 4 other Jack Bickham novels and I like the way he writes. The stories are good. This is a good solid read.
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