Detroit Ghost: Tennis Life by Richard Daley
Richard Daley’s Detroit Ghost: Tennis Life expands the story of Mickey Dryden, a kid from the mean streets of Detroit who has grown up to be a dazzling and charismatic tennis player. Mickey’s moves on the court are rivalled only by his moves in the bedroom, and he leaves a trail of broken hearts wherever he goes. That is, until he meets Alessandra Tessini, CEO of Tessini Sports. It is love at first sight for both of them and soon Mickey and Alessandra seem “as if they had been together and a happy couple for years.” Soon, Mickey transitions from bad boy tennis pro to gifted marketing executive for Tessini Sports. Mickey has never been so happy – until Alessandra is killed in a plane crash and with her, all of Mickey’s hopes and dreams. Mickey’s grief over Alessandra’s death is so extreme that he begins forgetting their time together, a coping mechanism a doctor labels “dissociative amnesia.” With the help of his manager and Alessandra’s friend Diane Gottfried, Mickey begins to come back from the depths of his grief, but he is never quite the same. Diane helps Mickey return to tennis and he becomes an instructor at a country club.
Mickey’s charm and outsized personality, even when dampened by his grief, cannot be contained for long, however, and soon Mickey is using all of the skills he learned working with Alessandra to achieve success. Although the story sometimes suffers because of poorly integrated narrative asides and often lacks coherent secondary character development, Daley’s fast-paced and beautifully detailed narrative will keep the reader wanting more of Mickey’s story, a character so well drawn and nuanced that he seems as if he must be real.
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