The Ringer by Jenny Shank

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Sidelined from coaching his sons' baseball team because he can't resist hollering at loafers, lollygaggers, and space cadets, Ed O'Fallon hopes focusing on his daughter's tee-ball team will calm his temper. But just as Ed prepares to guide the Purple Unicorns to their best season, his work as a Denver police officer changes his life forever. O'Fallon bursts into a home on a no-knock warrant, expecting to find drugs, but instead encounters a man pointing a gun. Ed kills Salvador Santillano, a Mexican immigrant he had more in common with than he could ever imagine. Worse, Ed learns his commanding officer made a grave mistake on the warrant that will force everyone in Denver to take sides.

Separated from her husband Salvador after their worst fight ever, Patricia Maestas discovers the police have killed him. Certain her husband never sold drugs, Patricia pushes to find out the truth behind the fatal raid, even while trying to keep her volatile, grieving son Ray from following a shady friend into a north-side gang.

But Ray isn't just any disaffected adolescent he's a left-handed pitching phenomenon who throws a blistering fastball. Patricia hopes enrolling him in a competitive league will keep him away from danger, but instead it puts them on a collision course with Ed, whose sons play in the same league on a rival team.

Ed and Patricia are unaware of the interconnections between them until a showdown at the regional tournament becomes inevitable, and their lives are forever altered.

About Jenny Shank

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Jenny Shank's stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in such publications as Alaska Quarterly Review, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Prairie Schooner, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Onion, Bust, Rocky Mountain News, Dallas Morning News, and Boulder Daily Camera. One of her stories was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and another was listed among the "Notable Essays of the Year" in the Best American Essays. She has won writing awards from the Center of the American West, the Montana Committee for the Humanities, SouthWest Writers, and the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund. For six years she was the Denver Editor of The Onion A.V. Club, and she is currently the Books & Writers Editor of NewWest.Net. She lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband, daughter, and son. This is her first novel.
Published March 1, 2011 by Permanent Press. 304 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Patricia realizes early that the O'Fallons are involved, but she realizes too that baseball, Salvador's passion and Ray's love, might save her son from being seduced into street-gang life.

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Dallas News

The Ringer, a story about a police shooting set against the backdrop of Little League baseball, marks Jenny Shank’s debut as a novelist.

Apr 22 2011 | Read Full Review of The Ringer

High Country News

After he pulls his gun on an old woman reaching for her inhaler and yells at children playing baseball like they're criminals during a raid, Ed begins to acknowledge that he's jumpy and short-tempered, and he starts to doubt the details of Salvador's death.

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