The bright and beautiful neurologist Dr. Olivia Norris doesn’t care much for boxing. She never follows the sport and couldn’t tell you who’s fighting if her life depended on it. At least not until her 29 year-old brother and UBA heavyweight contender, Curtis Montana, suddenly and inexplicably collapses during a prizefight.
His tragic injury leads her on a journey into the dark side of the world of boxing in DEATH IN VEGAS (Win By KO Publications, 2014, softcover, $18.95; Kindle, $9.99) by Margaret Goodman, a former chief ringside physician.
At the hospital, Olivia discovers, tucked away in one of his boxing shoes, a note with a cryptic sequence of numbers that may hold the key to explaining what has happened.
Mysteriously, Montana’s boxing coach suddenly dies. But his cut man, Lou, suspects that something was wrong, that Montana may not have been one-hundred percent when he went into the ring.
Olivia finds an unusual ally in Bartolome Rossi, a former ringside physician now turned boxing judge. Once the city’s most respected emergency room physician, he now plays poker for a living. Rossi’s girlfriend, Amanda Weekly, cub reporter for Channel 8, also knows there is more to Montana’s injury than meets the eye. Together, they search for the real truth about Montana’s injury.
Yet the search for the truth is fraught with disturbing questions and discoveries. To get closer to the truth, she becomes a ringside physician wherein she gets an education in the seamy underbelly of professional boxing. As Olivia struggles to reconcile with her estranged family, she discovers that her mother Sophia Montana has been harboring a dark secret about Curtis. Who, she wonders, is the mysterious Bernard Champion and what was his role in her brother’s life. What about those repeated trips to Mexico Montana took? Is there a cover-up? Are the politicians and boxing commissioners somehow responsible for Curtis’ collapse?
DEATH IN VEGAS explores how boxing, once one of the most highly respected athletic endeavors, has evolved into a niche sport due to insufficient regulations and a lack of unified standards. Commissions, promoters, networks, and the politicians bear equal responsibility. While repeatedly professing to care about fighter safety, none are willing to make the necessary changes. As a result the risks of acute and chronic brain injury accumulate. In the end, it is the boxers who suffer.
Margaret Goodman’s DEATH IN VEGAS is a riveting page-turner whose plot’s twists and turns will keep readers mesmerized and rolling with the punches to the very end to find out the truth about Curtis Montana.