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Independent Press Award

2024 Distinguished Favorite

Dead Shot

David Benjamin

The high-school gym in Hercules, Wisconsin is haunted, by a basketball player, John Roszak, whose death on the court in 1968 haunts the gym and harasses living players like Stewart McCullough. Stewy doesn’t believe in ghosts but his new girlfriend, Meryl, convinces Stewy to reach out to his personal ghost. While Stewy deals with his otherworldly specter, another―mortal―danger begins stalking him. Clay Lutz has come back to town. He has made it his mission to carry off the girl―Meryl―whom he regards as his personal property. Dead Shot, fourth in the Jim Otis crime series, follows a tense cat-and-mouse struggle with Clay Lutz that frustrates police chief Otis chief and steadily escalates into deadly violence. As the basketball season progresses, Stewy and Meryl fall in love and develop an eerie rapport with the enigma of John Roszak. But they find themselves living―and dancing―under a cloud cast both by the living and the dead.

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