Lookout Mountain State University’s football team is undefeated and the team and community are riding high. Going into a bye week after seven wins, the future of the team and its star quarterback, Ben Wright, couldn’t be brighter. But lurking just below the big plays, the Top 10 ranking, the Heisman hopeful, the ESPN highlights and chatter, is an unethical snake, playing the system for all it is worth. Pay-offs are made, deals are brokered, innocent players are put at risk and big money rules.
The Long Shadow of Hope is an impressive debut novel by author Andy Spradling. It is much more than a sports story; it has intrigue, murder and romance. Being about a university and football, you almost need a program to keep track of the characters. However, once main players of the mystery are set, the plot begins to develop and the story flows nicely. As a former sportswriter and college administrator, Spradling has had a reserved seat to what goes on behind the scenes. He provides details in this book about a fictional university that only an authentic insider would know. Sports equals big money and greed often leads to ignoring the rules.
So break out the tailgate snacks and sit down with The Long Shadow of Hope; it was an excellent, enjoyable read and I highly recommend it.