The Federal Case

The Deadball Files

Fiction - Sports
219 Pages
Reviewed on 09/25/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

The Federal Case serves as Book 4 of The Deadball Files.

JB Manheim is Professor Emeritus at The George Washington University, where he developed the world's first degree-granting program in political communication and was later founding director of the School of Media & Public Affairs. In 1995 he was named Professor of the Year for the District of Columbia.

He learned his love of baseball watching Dizzy Dean on the Game of the Week and huddling with his grandfather for warmth on July nights at The Mistake By The Lake, AKA, Cleveland Municipal Stadium, and renewed it when the National Pasttime finally returned to the Nation's Capital.

Manheim brings to life his expertise in propaganda and strategic communication through his fictional stories of baseball behind the scenes. His writing will lead you to question whether what you think you know about the history of the game and about the powers who control it is real, or whether it's just a carefully nurtured product of lies, deceptions, misdirections, and propaganda.

JB Manheim is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research, the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, and the International Thriller Writers.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Federal Case is a work of fiction in the sports fiction, legal drama, and slice-of-life subgenres, and it forms the fourth novel in The Deadball Files book series. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience and contains some occasional use of adult language. Penned by author J.B. Manheim, this captivating blend of legal thriller and baseball history is set in the Deadball Era of the early 20th century. In 1915, the Federal League challenged the American and National Leagues' dominance, filing a lawsuit alleging antitrust violations. Fast forward to the present day, and young lawyer Andy Dennum stumbles upon an old case file that suggests there might be more to the story than previously known. When his prestigious law firm dismisses his discovery, Andy, determined to uncover the truth, embarks on a thrilling journey with the help of his girlfriend, Keiley Barefoot.

Author J.B. Manheim's meticulous research brings the Deadball Era to life, immersing readers in the tumultuous world of early baseball and the legal battles that shaped its future. As the story unfolds, Andy Dennum's pursuit of justice becomes not just a fight for baseball's business model but a personal journey that challenges his career, identity, and integrity. The parallels drawn in the narrative are impressive, handling both the emotive reality at the character level and the bigger picture and its impact on the future of the sport. The novel masterfully combines legal drama with America's favorite pastime, making it a must-read for baseball enthusiasts and legal thriller fans alike. Overall, The Federal Case is a gripping and enlightening read that keeps you on the edge of your seat whilst also being a highly enjoyable sports drama, and I would not hesitate to recommend it as a unique and very engrossing read indeed.

Frances Deborah Kerr-Phillips

Yet again J. B. Manheim has his readers intrigued from the get-go in The Federal Case. How can the shenanigans in the upper echelons of baseball management in the United States over a hundred years ago be related to Andy Dennum, a rookie lawyer working for the prestigious firm of Stetson, Varney, and Handelmann, one wonders? When, in the depths of the firm’s basement storage space, Dennum turns up a fascinating case file of three documents, his planned career trajectory takes an unexpected turn. Through twists and turns involving genealogy, legal gymnastics, a romantic interest, and the reappearance of Manheim’s notorious Commissioner, the reader is swept forward page by page with delight and curiosity as the parallel narratives move closer together.

I was delighted to find there was a fourth book in The Deadball Files, and The Federal Case certainly did not disappoint. Manheim's style of switching between two narratives creates an energy in his writing. In addition, the characters in the two different settings are each imbued with their own voice as their thoughts unfold, almost as if they were talking to the reader, thereby creating a more personal and, indeed, almost real reading experience. Layered onto this is the fact that Manheim marries fact and fiction, such that the reader is not sure where one begins and the other ends – surely a sign of a master storyteller. The ingenious plot had me enthralled and guessing until the final page. The Federal Case by J.B. Manheim is a rare treat!