Beyond the story of a boxer, his trainer and a magazine writer, The Professional is about keeping true to your ideals and not accepting mediocrity. Read it and you’ll never look at life, boxers and boxing the same.
The Professional got my attention because I joined a boxing gym last summer and it’s become my primary source of exercise. I often spar with kids half my age and it’s the most physical and mental workout I’ve ever experienced.
Heinz, who covered the Normandy invasion at D-Day for the New York Sun and co-wrote MASH under the pseudonym Richard Hooker, tells a terrific story. His characters and dialog are genuine. Elmore Leonard wrote the forward and in it mentions that Heinz read one of his Westerns and recommended that he work at developing character through conversation. The Professional demonstrates how to do it. BTW, the forward contains a spoiler so read it after you finish the novel.