Reviewed by Jon Michael Miller for Readers' Favorite
To write The Perfect 10, Eric O’Keefe had to know and master the game of polo—horses, players, technique, culture—also, U.S. and British political structures, the stock market, media techniques, police investigative procedures, communications hacking, Palm Beach locale and culture, Argentina, upper-class morals and manners, fine food, wine and drink, fashion (women’s and men’s), mega yachts, croquet, and backgammon ... to name a few. Not only this vast scope of knowledge, but he also had to manage a gripping whodunit as it weaves itself through this incredible milieu, which he does as smoothly and casually as dealing out a hand of cards. The sexy narrative starts right away with the murder of a studly, world-famous Argentinian polo star in an exclusive Palm Beach resort. Then, Rick Hunter, an accomplished “Game of Kings” player turned Army captain with White House connections, gets on the case.
How Eric O’Keefe so expertly managed this Herculean task of weaving all these elements into a perfect whole blew my mind as a reader. First off, I learned a ton, and I already thought I knew a lot about South Florida. I knew nothing about polo, and now feel I’m almost an expert. I couldn’t stop breezing through O’Keefe’s exquisite and flawless prose, yes, trying to keep things straight because in addition to all the subject areas, there’s the substantial list of characters, any one of whom might have offed the 10-goaler polo star; and not stopped with only him. Is it the financial wizard Jack Dick, planting his glamorous, insatiable, unfaithful wife Kelly, who becomes the first suspect? Or is it Walter Ned, a media mogul trying to create a transcendent global news story? Oh, or any of the multifarious and wondrously drawn characters that show up along the way? Could it be Rick Hunter himself, or his beautiful new babe Cris, a fellow Secret Service agent? Believe me when I say the answer edges out from all the surrounding tangle of possibilities. Finally, after a deep breath, I can only say that if you like a mind-blowing mystery with exhilarating writing, do not miss The Perfect 10!