Putnam, Feb 2004, 23.95, 288 pp.
Entertainment public relations specialist Reece Germaine and professional football star Raygene Price shared a tight wild weekend in Vegas. Raygene, a Dallas Cowboy player, bets $25,000 on the Arizona Cardinals winning the Superbowl at 50-1 odds. He gives the ticket to Reece as a seduction sweetener and because as a player he is not allowed to bet on the games.
Now eight months later Reece is pregnant from that tryst and Raygene refuses any involvement including child support as this situation is not new to him. Besides his finances are a disaster, he has impregnated other women. However the improbable is that the longshot Cardinals are playing in the Superbowl on Sunday so that if they win, Reece will forget child support and run with the 1.25 million. Others vicious people want a piece of Raygene's hide and that wager would make a fine down payment.
FIRECRACKER is quite exciting while showing the darker side of American professional sports. Paraphrasing LBJ, the irresponsible and unlikable Raygene seems like he played football without a helmet and the prime thug acts like his brain tripped and never recovered. The wild Superbowl weekend is vividly described and Reece is a solid heroine whose efforts to keep safe (ask the drunk she knocks out with a punch) and retain the ticket is fun to follow, but Raygene, not her, is the center anchoring the story line and he fails to stop the sacking of the plot.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner