Free will makes us human.
Choice makes us individuals.
Love makes us unique.
Metin Sevim has it all. At the pinnacle of international soccer playing success, he has managed to craft a perfect world for himself along the way.
When fate strips him of free will and the ability to choose his own path, he retreats from everyone and everything, destroying his hard-won career in the process.
Dragged back from the brink by his desperate family, Metin reluctantly agrees to coach the Black Jack Gentlemen Detroit soccer team but remains debilitated by memories and loss. When a surprising friendship emerges, it renews his passion for life, providing much needed solace… and extreme complications.
A saga of family dynamics and gender politics that cuts across cultures and circumstance, Red Card illustrates the human capacity for forgiveness through the life of one man as he attempts to rebuild his shattered existence.
Let me make this VERY, VERY clear. RED CARD has a distinct beginning, middle, and end. I kept comparing it to a lot of things after reading it.
1. I LOVE the movie version of THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION. It’s honestly one of the few movies I prefer to the book. Watching that film is tough, but totally worth it. Once Andy Dufresne’s world rights itself, we are so grateful. We can suddenly handle the first 90 minutes where everything was so damned painful. We can get over the fact that that he had to crawl through 500 yards of sewer line to get out of Shawshank. Um, yes. Yes we can.
2. Two years ago I started taking indoor cycling classes. PowerCycle is a 60 minute class where you sweat your ever-loving butt (and thighs and arms and gut and double chin) off. Every time I take this class, there is a distinct timeline.
5 minutes in: “Ugh. This is hard. I want to go home and eat M&M’s.”
20 minutes in: “Die, Spin Bitch! DIE!”
30 minutes in: “I’m not going to die. I’m not going to die. Oh no…rolling hills sequence!”
40 minutes in: “I am INVINCIBLE. I am a fitness GODDESS! Nobody spins better than I do!”
50 minutes in: “Cool down. I can’t believe everyone doesn’t love working out. This is awesome.”
End of class: “I am a better human being now.”
PowerCycle’s progression plays a lot like my reading progression of RED CARD.
3. While I was reading RED CARD, I did all of the following at some point (not simultaneously, though):
- Nearly threw my Kindle across the room.
- Messaged a friend to tell her that this book’s antagonist is THE most antagonizing character I’ve ever read and that I wished she would just die already.
- Cried. At least twice.
- Laughed through tears. I don’t know how many times.
So, in summary, this is NOT an easy book. It’s SOOOOOO freaking worth reading, though. Serious props to Liz Crowe, who is one of the few authors I know that can turn truly repellent, frustrating, exhausting characters in to the heroes of the tale. She can turn said characters on a dime and make you almost forget you ever harbored any ill will toward them. I really shouldn’t be surprised by this feat anymore. She’s done it to me before. She’ll probably do it again. And, I’ll stand in line for her roller coaster until they turn off the carnival lights.
I’m not telling you any more. Not one iota. I don’t want to take anything away from you. This post is a cautionary one. If you’re expecting something along the lines of the plot from the first book in this series, MAN ON, please know it’s just not. It’s tragedy and pain and love and redemption and all the things that make great drama. It’s beautiful and brutal. It’s BRUTIFUL.
Find Liz Crowe and RED CARD on the interwebs
Microbrewery owner, best-selling author, beer blogger and journalist, mom of three, and soccer fan, Liz lives in the great Midwest, in a major college town. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse. While working as a successful Realtor, Liz made the leap into writing novels about the same time she agreed to take on marketing and sales for the Wolverine State Brewing Company.
Most days find her sweating inventory and sales figures for the brewery, unless she’s writing, editing or sweating promotional efforts for her latest publications.
Her early forays into the publishing world led to a groundbreaking fiction subgenre, “Romance for Real Life,” which has gained thousands of fans and followers interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”). More recently she is garnering even more fans across genres with her latest novels, which are more “character-driven fiction,” while remaining very much “real life.”
With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and many times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate, and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.
If you are in the Ann Arbor area, be sure and stop into the Wolverine State Brewing Co. Tap Room—but don’t ask her for anything “like” a Bud Light, or risk serious injury.