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The Total Zone Hardcover – August 16, 1994

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Jordan Myles Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Not content with having delivered her own outspoken memoir, the tennis ace now ventures into the mystery field, with novelist Nickles's help. It's a workmanlike story, involving the mysterious disappearance of a teenage tennis whiz, the strange behavior of her horribly pushy parents and the efforts of heroine Jordan Myles, tennis veteran turned physical therapist, to find her. But the key element is the authenticity of the tennis background, shifting from Forest Hills to Wimbledon, with excursions to a racquet expert in Florida, a sports physique center in California and Madison Square Garden. Navratilova offers absorbing asides on life on the tennis circuit, the customizing of racquets and the game's sometimes weird "groupies." She even gets to create a perfect image of herself as a cool Russian-born dynamo called Mariska Storrs, who repels a stream of young challengers to her crown. Tennis buffs will lap it up, but mystery aficionados may feel that Myles, despite her pluck and her adorable dog (named after the legendary Alice Marble), is not sufficiently colorful or perceptive to become a competitive series sleuth.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

In the five years since a stinging Wimbledon defeat sent her into retirement, physical therapist Jordan Myles has learned to turn a colder eye on the pro tennis tour. So she's not unduly impressed when a call from the family of 16-year-old superstar Audrey Armat sends her home to the Desert Springs Sports Science Center to start a high-pressure rehab program with Audrey. But when star-crossed Audrey and her twin brother, E.J., take off from Desert Springs after only one day, Jordan realizes she's dealing with something a lot worse than a pair of stage-mother parents--and that's even before (1) a younger rival of Audrey's is fatally wounded on the courts at Wimbledon; (2) Audrey apparently leaps to her death from the family balcony; and (3) Emilio and Corinne Armat hit Jordan and Desert Springs with a $40 million lawsuit. Audrey's anxieties mask some ugly secrets on the women's tour--and Jordan, joining forces with a shamus called the Fish, is ready to make every sacrifice to expose them. Legendary tennis star Navratilova and her co-author's expos‚ of the women's tennis scene is heavy on you-are-there bromides and dirty (very dirty) linen, light on coherent plotting, detection, and actual tennis. First of a series that has a ways to go before it's ready for the Grand Slam. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Villard; 1st edition (August 16, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679433902
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679433903
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,281,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A good book combining the life of a professional tennis player with a murder mystery. The murder took place in the family of a top tennis athlete and the intense pressure imposed on the athlete by her family was described in detail. Interesting.
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Format: Hardcover
Ex-Tennis pro Jordan Myles is looking for answers. She travels to south Florida, Wimbeldon, and Flushing Meadows to find out just what has happened to Audrey Armat, the best female tennis players in the world. When Audrey turns up dead, Jordan is determined to expose the killer, or die trying.
A suspense-filled whodunnit that will keep you guessing up until the very end. Navratilova's extensive knowledge of tennis and tournaments make this an interesting read for enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts alike. Very similar to the "Brad Smith" tennis novels authored by Jack M. Bickham and just as enjoyable.
Looking forward to more courtside suspense from Nickles and Navratilova!
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Format: Audio Cassette
Navratilova brings a level of authenticity to this book about the competitive world of tennis. And given that this was written a while ago, it still has echoes with the modern game. You can see Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, Sharapova, Lucic, Dokic, Hingis, Davenport, Graf, Evert and Martina herself in bits of all the characters here. What is amazing of course is that many of the players I've named above weren't playing when the book was written.

The story revolves around 16 year old teen queen Audrey Armat who has a controlling family but exudes exterior calm. When her game inexplicably begins to fall apart she goes to the Springs' conditioning camp run by Jordan Myles, a former pro who had to give up the sport after injuring herself while hiking. I won't give any more story details away. But having been to Wimbledon, I must say that Navratilova fantastically captures the atmosphere at SW19. Also the pace never lets up, and she tackles a number of key issues in modern sports- the relationship between parent and child, the role of the promoters and the sponsors and so on.

There is one thing that stands out for me. The human face of the players. Navratilova doesn't use the players and the tennis circuit to tell a story. The players have their own foibles, but they are all human, and most of them are nice young women. It's a reminder that behind the world of glamorous tennis queens lies some troubled, but on the whole normal teenagers.
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By Cary on February 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Martina is actually a great writer. Book kept me very on edge and couldn't wait to turn the page. Well done. I have ordered the entire Jordan Miles series.
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