Thursday, March 12, 2009

FORGOTTEN BOOKS: THE PRO #1 ~ THE $3-MILLION DOLLAR TURN OVER BY RICHARD CURTIS!

FORGOTTEN BOOKS: THE PRO #1 ~ THE $3-MILLION DOLLAR TURN OVER BY RICHARD CURTIS!

Ever wonder what those references to Dave Bolt were all about in the acknowledgements for Harlan Coben’s popular Myron Bolitar books? Well, here’s the scoop – Dave Bolt was the sports agent character in a series of four paperback original mysteries published under the series title The Pro (from Warner Paperback Library), which provided some of the inspiration behind the sports agent career of Myron Bolitar.

The Pro books were written by literary agent Richard Curtis (or at least packaged by him) in the mid ‘70s. They were slim volumes, but told good stories with the character of Dave Bolt the traditional wiseacre – more private eye than sports agent. I always saw Richard Crenna in the role if it ever made it to TV or movies (no chance).

In The $3-Million Turn Over:

Dave Bolt bags a basketball deal – and blocks an off court steal.

My name is Dave Bolt.

Officially, I’m an agent. I represent professional athletes in basketball, football, tennis, golf. You name it; if money is paid for any athletic performance short of copulation, I take a commission on it.

I say ‘officially’ I’m an agent. Unofficially, I’ve backed into another job; I’m a troubleshooter for sports organizations – a kind of undercover operator. And it was this Richie Sadler case that got me into it.

Aside from a hairline fracture of my cheekbone, temporary blindness, a scrotumful of somebody’s knee and the loss of my most promising marital prospect since my divorce, I didn’t get anything out of this case but the right to keep a staggering commission that really belonged to me.

But now, when people in the sports world need someone to help unglue the fixes, wrestle with the drug problems, the gangsterism, and the sex scandals, they call Dave Bolt.

The biggest deal in basketball!

Dave Bolt had copped Richie Sadler, the hottest pro basketball prospect from right under the other agent’s noses. Then he finagled him the biggest contract ever signed in ABA-NBA history. Dave felt great about the whole deal because Ritchie was not only a top scorer, he was a helluva nice guy.

But before this nice guy scored point-one in pro basketball, his private system of credibility points would plunge agent Dave Bolt into a life-and-death playoff – an off-court game with no referee to call foul!

You have to love the promo language, a scrotum full of knee. And you have to love the line about the biggest contract ever signed in ABA-NBA history – probably somewhat lower than pine riders get today. Still, despite the dated references and the purple prose, The Pro was a series I really enjoyed.

THE PRO #1 THE $3-MILLION TURN OVER
THE PRO #2 DEATH IN THE CREASE
THE PRO #3 STRIKE FOUR
THE PRO #4 SUICIDE SQUAD

1 comment:

Bill Crider said...

I enjoyed it, too. I asked Harlan about the Dave Bolt reference not long after I met him for the first time. I didn't know anybody had read those books except me.