Aaron Wallace, a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter who goes by the name of Woodshed in allusion to the damage he did an opponent in an early fight, is offered what appears to be the chance of a lifetime. Stuck fighting no-name cards against mediocre opponents, he’s approached by a promoter to headline a big-ticket match against Junior Burbank, a popular fighter whose only loss came, not coincidentally, at the hands of Woodshed Wallace.

It’s a rematch made in fight-promoter heaven, and by the time Woodshed discovers that it’s about more than just he and Burbank squaring off, there are lives, including his own, hanging in the balance. Brown has extensive training in various martial-arts disciplines and takes readers deep inside the world of MMA to provide a vivid and frequently painful portrait of Woodshed and his environment. He also gives readers a smartly constructed, well-told crime novel.
– David Pitt
Booklist Online