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5.0 out of 5 stars
A Knockout of a Novel, 16 May 2012
Emma Calin has produced all of the ingredients for a great novel. Strong characters. A twisted plot that's a thrill ride to unravel. Just the right amount of suspense. A hard, gritty look at the streets of London and often the bad side of town. A romp with the rich and powerful. The mystique and intrigue of spreading corruption. And, lest I forget, sex, plenty of sex, but it all falls quite dutifully and naturally within a loving and a consensual adult relationship. When it's all said and done, Knockout as a novel is, without a doubt, an absolute knockout.
Anna Leyton has worked her way up to Detective Inspector and has been posted to Interpol. While investigating international Internet gambling and the attempts of mobsters to fix the results of sporting events, Anna become passionately and romantically involved with Freddie LaSalle, one of the world's top class boxers who will be fighting for the cruiser weight championship. She knows she should walk away from their relationship. She knows it can mean nothing but trouble. but she can't leave him. Her heart refuses to go. For too long, she has needed love in her love, and, with Freddie, she has found it.
Unfortunately, she discovers that he has been offered ten million dollars by the mob to lose the championship fight. It's a big payday, a once-in-a-lifetime payday. And Anna is caught in the tangled web of her own conscience. Freddie, she believes, is the key to helping her unravel the mob's illegal and sometimes deadly ties with boxing. But her love won't let Anna ruin his life. She is in a quandary, and the mafia begins to fear that Freddie may not lose the fight on purpose. They need leverage. They kidnap Anna, demand that Freddie throw the match to save her life, and she becomes the focal point of a frantic battle triggered by Interpol and the FBI to take down the mob.
Her superior quickly lets the FBI know that Anna can be sacrificed, if necessary, in order for the investigating officers to obtain evidence about the growing corruption threatening sports. Her life is worthless to them. It is up to Anna and her wits to survive even as the odds become even more overwhelming than before.
Emma Calin writes with strong, poetic prose: "Even the city itself had lost the charisma that filled her heart with excitement as a young police recruit at the age of twenty-one. Now the great animal which was the city shrugged off its joys and sorrows and ploughed through time without a care for any fleas on its back."
In Knockout, the writing is sterling, the love passionate, the plot ever thickening, the fear always just a gunshot away, and the characters tightly drawn and distinctive. Emma Calin writes winners. Knockout is one of them.