King may be best known for horror tales of murderous clowns and unhinged fans, but his voice also is perfect for this suspenseful tale of the dark side of America’s pastime. He nails the vernacular of the sport and the era in this short, punchy novella as the suspense ratchets to a stunning conclusion.
In 1957, catcher Billy Blakely was called up from the New Jersey Titans’ farm system. ‘Blockade’ Billy guards the plate with such tenacity that his teammates are willing to overlook some of his stranger habits, like wounding the runners who collide with him. Still, something about him worries George “Granny” Grantham, now-retired third-base coach, who reveals the shocking events of that pinnacle season. (CEMETERY DANCE, May, 112 pp., $25.00)