Kyle Sands, star quarterback for the Miami Demons, is having a rough season. First round draft pick, Tyrell Utley is doing his best to force Kyle into early retirement. Girlfriend Jessica is found brutally murdered after a very public argument with Kyle. Miami Beach homicide detectives Will Kaufman and Karen Brandt are on the case, and it seems Karen knows more than she is telling.

Follow Kyle's desperate fight to prove his innocence through twists of fate and a conclusion that will shock even veteran mystery readers.
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Starting quarterback for the Miami Demons, Kyle Sands, and his runway model girlfriend, Jessica Benson, have a very loud, very public fight at a teammate's party. They continue their fight at Jessica's apartment and Kyle breaks off the relationship, something that he has wanted to do for quite some time. He last sees Jessica screaming at him from the doorway to her apartment.

Homicide Detective Karen Brandt is woken by her partner, Will Kaufman, the following morning to investigate a murder. Jessica Benson had been brutally and ruthlessly beaten to death. While questioning the neighbor who found Jessica's body they discover that while she has been seeing Kyle for a few months she was still a party girl, enjoying herself to the fullest while Kyle was out of town. At the mention of Kyle's name Detective Brandt tries not to react. He was a very good friend of her brother's years earlier. She hasn't seen him since her brother's death.

Detective Will Kaufman decides then and there that Kyle is the guilty party, but Karen can't believe that the Kyle Sands that she knew could be a vicious killer. While she can't reveal that she knows the suspect so that she can remain on the case, she does everything in her power to work the case in a professional and non bias manner while her partner rides her about not arresting him for the crime.

The victim had not made many friends with her lifestyle and personality so it wasn't hard to find other members of the team or staff who had reason to hate her. The problem was sorting out who was hiding what and why.

It was an interesting look into the world of professional football. The writing was crisp and hard, with very complex character relationships. A number of surprising twists keep the reader guessing who the murder is up until the end. There was never a loss for suspects and personal secrets just kept flowing out. 

I would recommend this book for anyone with an interest in the hard-boiled mystery style or enjoys professional sports. The characters are memorable and story holds tight.  

Mary Fairchild

C.K. Laurence lives in Miami with her husband in what they've dubbed "the Laurence Manor." She holds a Masters Degree in Sports Administration from St. Thomas University. She has worked with the University of Miami Hurricane Football team and is the proud owner of a national championship ring, which can be seen on her finger at her website. Laurence spent many hours with Miami detectives and CSI personnel researching THE QUARTERBACK'S DEMONS.
Kyle Sands is the veteran quarterback for the Miami Demons. He is dating a woman of dubious sexual mores, and it takes him a while to come to the conclusion that she is running around on him behind his back. He spends one last painful night with her at a rave he doesn't want to attend and then goes back to her apartment to officially break off their relationship. The next morning she is found brutally murdered, and Kyle is the number one suspect. Two Miami detectives are investigating, and immediately Will Kaufman and Karen Brandt are at each other's throats regarding the murder. Karen has a history, having grown up with Kyle, and Will's motivations are rather more unclear:
"But Will stuck to his guns. 'Oh yeah, geniuses?' He eyed the two of them. 'Like there's never been a case of a clean-cut football hero that's run amok over a woman. Those divas think they can get away with anything - including murder - just because they're hot items on the field. Maybe they don't think at all. Except for the fact that they do get away with it.'"
C.K. Laurence has written a knowledgeable mystery about professional football that is gritty and honest. She does a great job of both hiding her culprit, as well as creating so many suspects that even her fictional detectives are stumped. The fun is in the exaggeration of "the prima donnas" and the groupies the industry attracts. Laurence has done her homework, and she creates characters that range from straight-arrow clean cut to pond scum.
THE QUARTERBACK'S DEMONS is a thorough and well researched first effort from a woman with a great sense of humor, of timing, and of human nature. We'll forgive her for trashing real life football heroes who might be on our team.
Shelley Glodowski, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review