Killing the Curse

WINNER Great Southwest Book Festival
International Book Award Finalist
San Francisco Book Festival Honorable Mention
Honorable Mention Great Midwest Book Festival
Readers' Favorite International Book Award-Honorable Mention

Cubs fans will love this one!


WINNER Great Southwest Book Festival–Best General Fiction
International Book Award Finalist – Best Cross Genre Fiction
San Francisco Book Festival Honorable Mention Best General Fiction
Honorable Mention Great Midwest Book Festival Best Fiction
Readers’ Favorite International Book Award-Honorable Mention-Best Fiction-Sports

The Chicago Cubs haven’t won a World Series for more than 100 years or even played in one since 1945. Now they’re positioned to win the Series for the first time since 1908 – if only curses and bad luck don’t haunt them as usual. That’s what happens when a swarm of gnats helps the Boston Red Sox tie the Series at three games each. To kill the curse, the Cubs must win Game 7 in Chicago.

No one wants the Cubs to win more than Luke Murphy, President of the United States and lifelong fan. Leading the chorus of disbelievers is Murphy’s boyhood friend, Bob Walters, a sports radio talk-show host with a beautiful daughter and a big ego who built ratings by being “the man Cub fans love to hate.”
The Cubs have someone else on their side—a brilliant, crazed fan who will do anything to make sure they win. Anything. It starts with an attack on the father of Boston’s best pitcher and grows into an escalating threat that could destroy Murphy’s career, expose childhood secrets, and kill hundreds of innocent people.

Everything comes to a head as Game Seven unfolds—a game the Cubs must win no matter what.

What People Say

Hetzel draws skillfully on decades of top-level reporting experience, a keen understanding of the often fragile (and sometimes twisted) human condition and his lifetime membership in the fellowship of long-suffering Cub fans. The man, in other words, knows his stuff. Killing the Curse truly touches ’em all.
Brian Davis, sportscaster

The best part of Killing The Curse is the obvious fact that it was written by a true Cubs fan. This is evidenced not only by the plentiful amount of Cubs’ trivia but more so by Dennis Hetzel’s seeming acknowledgement that the Cubs are inevitably tripled-teamed by fate, destiny and karma. A true Cubs fan, Dennis Hetzel long ago blew by the first four stages of grief and now resides in the final stage – acceptance. But Killing The Curse imagines the consequences of a deranged fan’s inability to achieve this peaceful state and does so in a gripping, well written thriller that holds the reader’s attention like a perfect game.
Jack Greiner, attorney, lecturer, and lifelong Reds fan


OK, full disclosure here. I am not a Cubs fan. And I mean, really not a Cubs fan. So when I picked up Killing the Curse by Dennis Hetzel, I wasn’t sure if I would like it, just because it follows the team through the end of a gasp winning season. Hard to believe, I know. But Killing the Curse is a fantastic read, Cubs fan or not. When a crazed fanatic tries to tip the scales in the direction of their favorite team, first by attacking the father of rival Boston’s pitcher, and then by even more diabolic means, involving the sports reporter the Cubs fans ‘love to hate’ Bob Walters, his beautiful daughter, Aimee, and no less than Bob’s best friend and the President of the United States, Luke Murphy, the book takes us on a wild and intriguing ride.

This book was fun, fast-paced and an easy read. I got sucked in early and spent the majority of an evening and into the night reading this one, as I just couldn’t put it down. The information about the games being played came across as realistically as if I was watching a game myself. Killing the Curse is a book that would appeal to any person who enjoys reading fiction with a tie-in to sports, mysteries, or those Cubs fans who continue to live in hope that their team will actually win the big one. Dennis Hetzel has a winner with Killing the Curse, and I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for an enjoyable, exciting and absorbing read. —Chris Fischer for Readers’ Favorite





6 x 9




Dennis Hetzel, Rick Robinson




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About the Authors

Zoom Into Books Author

As a journalist and media executive, Dennis Hetzel has won numerous awards for writing, industry leadership and community service, including the 2003 Paul Tobenkin Memorial Award from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism for leadership in coverage of race and diversity issues. Since 2010, he has been president and executive director of the Ohio News Media Association in Columbus, Ohio, and president of the Ohio Coalition for Open Government.​

He began his career as a weekly newspaper sports editor in the Chicago suburbs and has been a reporter, editor, general manager and publisher at newspapers including the Madison, Wis., Capital Times, the Cincinnati Enquirer and the York, Pa., Daily Record, where he was editor and publisher for 13 years. Under his leadership, the York paper won national awards from the Scripps Howard Foundation in public service journalism and a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. He also has taught journalism at Penn State and Temple universities.​

Hetzel grew up in the Chicago area and inherited his lifelong affection for and frustration with the Cubs from his late father. He has a degree in political science and a minor in journalism from Western Illinois University, where he met his wife, Cheryl, a school psychologist and guidance counselor. They have three grown children and a home they love in Holden Beach, North Carolina, where he does much of his writing. He welcomes opportunities to do manuscript editing and critiques.

Season of Lies is Dennis Hetzel’s second novel, following the award-winning Killing the Curse in which events precede those that unfold in the latest novel.​

Hetzel also plays guitar and bass in an acoustic trio, “Phil’s Five & Dime,” which includes fellow author Rick Robinson on mandolin. He’s still hoping “this guitar thing” works out when he grows up.

Zoom Into Books Presentations

Not Fake News! Weaving facts into fiction and why it’s so important for thrillers that work. Available on Zoom Into Books YouTube Channel – Click HERE 

  A thriller writer’s search for his birth parents. How Dennis Hetzel solved a lifelong puzzle and what he learned that can help others. – Available HERE on Zoom Into Books YouTube Channel

Zoom Into Books Author

With over three decades in law and politics, Rick Robinson’s award winning political thrillers are as current as today’s headlines.

Robinson was named 2016 Independent Author of the Year at The Florida Book Festival for Alligator Alley and 2013 Independent Author of the Year with the Grand Prize for Alligator Alley at the Great Southeast Book Festival. For the work on his previous novel, Writ of Mandamus, he garnered the Grand Prize at the London Book Festival and Manifest Destiny won Grand Prize at the DIY Book Festival plus eight additional national and international awards, including Best Fiction at the Paris and New York Book Festivals. It was named one of the year’s best thrillers by USA Book News.

As a conservative humorist, 48 percent of Americans think Rick’s work is devoid of any journalistic value whatsoever — let alone humor. Of the remaining 52 percent, half of them think his columns are serious. Yet, the remaining group helped make his collection of columns, titled Strange Bedfellow, premiere at No. 1 on Amazon’s Top Seller List of political humor.

Find Rick’s political and pop culture columns on Rare, the Daily Caller, the River City News, NKY Magazine,  Northern Kentucky Tribune and KYForward.

“Everybody has one book in them, and I spent 30 years writing the wrong one.” Rick Robinson


Zoom Into Books Presentation

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