The Perfect Game Final (Small)Reviewed by Lauren Cannavino

Kyle Vine is a psychologist and college professor who is, as his friend Eddie calls him, a “goody two shoes”, whose life takes a strange turn when he goes against his normal behavioral patterns. Kyle has been texting one of his much younger students and when they finally agree to met out for a drink, the night takes a salacious turn and not in any fashion that Kyle could have planned for or imagined. When his student, Allie, is rendered unconscious almost invisibly in an alley, all Kyle can do is panic and watch as a man runs away from the scene. After calling 911, Kyle has no way to realize that at stake is more than just his reputation.

Kyle is soon contacted by Allie’s eccentric Uncle Liam who owns a comic book shop and Liam insists that two meet in order to discuss Allie’s condition and how she may have ended up in a coma after all. Kyle thinks the girl’s uncle is aware of the nature of their relationship and panics but agrees. Ultimately, that would have ended up being a better outcome for the two men. Liam wants to discuss theories on energy transfers between humans, a theory Kyle knows a little about, but Liam is interested in the darker side of the exchanges; essentially when someone is responsible for stripping someone else’s energy by killing them in order to harvest their energy. Liam tells Kyle that Allie is lucky to be alive, but others in New York City have not been so lucky lately. The men meet and Liam shares his findings and opens up an entire world of information and mystery to Kyle. There are discussions of secret government contractors, murders across the city that all involve young people dying of strokes, little police help and more. Liam becomes an unlikely friend and ally to the polished Kyle, and when his theories on a popular Yankees pitcher being connected begin to appear true, a new series of secrets and information is pushed to the surface.

Kyle and Liam join up with Kyle’s friend Eddie to get to the bottom of the mystery and the dynamic between the three is entertaining. The twists that they endure are far from expected and everything from kidnappings, to night watches and mystery underground networks seems completely possible. Stephen Paul’s thriller has mysterious and almost supernatural undertones yet he presents his story in an exciting, well-paced way that makes all of the actions seem believable and plausible. Kyle and Liam grow as individuals and friends and while Kyle is the main character, Liam is an excellent foil to his character and their relationship makes the action and the drama of the book even more enjoyable. The ending of the book wrapped up the story nicely and completely, but all of the secret happenings in the story are not given away, leaving The Perfect Game on the brain long after completion.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Lauren Cannavino is a graduate student, freelance writer, wine lover, and avid reader. Random musings can be found over at www.goldiesays.com.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Stephen Paul. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.