Picks and Pans Review: The Cheat

updated 12/03/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/03/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Pat Jordan

The hero of this dynamic first novel is a free-lance writer with a wife who is fearful of sex. He loves her and their small son, but he begins to cheat. He takes woman after woman to his office, willy-nilly, until a college friend introduces him to an older woman who is divorced and, after a fashion, they fall in love. The hero does a magazine article about a baseball pitcher, once a sensation, who has become an alcoholic. The writer interviews the pitcher's old buddy, a born-again Christian, who becomes enraged when the article, changed in tone by an editor, makes fun of his beliefs. A libel suit is filed and becomes the focus of the plot. Jordan, a former minor league pitcher, a magazine writer and author of seven nonfiction books, has written a variously romantic, cynical and moving novel. It is at its best in its vivid pictures of motels in California, of gamblers in Reno, of migrant vegetable pickers boarding a truck to the fields before sunrise. Jordan grabs a reader's attention in hypnotic fashion and never relaxes his hold. (Villard, $13.95)

From Our Partners