Photo courtesy of Michael Balkind
Acclaimed Somers mystery novelist Michael Balkind spins a yarn of skiing, fame, and the Olympics in a new, nail-biting book.
Somers-based novelist Michael Balkind has made a name for himself crafting nerve-racking mysteries that intersect with the world of sports, penning five books that focus on topics from figure skating to football, interwoven with tales of crime and corruption. His newest page-turner, Stealing Gold, enters the world of skiing, a favorite topic for the author. “I’ve been a skier all my life, and I just wanted to write a ski novel,” shares Balkind. “The timing of it was great because it came out just before the Winter Olympics and just after the Summer Olympics, which was the only time they were just six months apart.”
Stealing Gold, which hit shelves in October, takes the stakes to an entirely new level. “The mystery of Stealing Gold is a scenario where America’s top medal contender in the upcoming Olympics crashes in a downhill race — downhill skiers race at about 80 miles an hour — and he is kidnapped from the hospital,” says Balkind. What ensues is a pulse-pounding sprint by various law-enforcement entities to save the star skier before he meets a dire fate. “I want somebody to feel as they are reading it that this really could happen,” says Balkind. “I’ve had ski racers come back to me and say, ‘I don’t know if I can keep reading this — it’s scaring the s–t out of me!’” Ahead, Balkind plans to author both a memoir and a young-adult fiction — with a twist. “It’s a World Cup soccer mystery that has flavors of cartels and Mafia all thrown in yet is still for kids,” he says.
By Michael Balkind
Telemachus Press (2021); 237 pages (pbk & hc)