Monday, August 30, 2021

Andrew Welsh-Huggins's "An Empty Grave"

A son of the Finger Lakes in western New York State, Andrew Welsh-Huggins now calls himself a “proud native adopted Ohioan.” By day, he is a reporter for the Associated Press in Columbus. By earlier in the day, he is the author of seven books in the Andy Hayes private eye series, featuring a former Ohio State and Cleveland Browns quarterback turned investigator.

Here Welsh-Huggins dreamcasts an adaptation of the latest novel in the series, An Empty Grave:
I get this question a lot, and the answer is easy: the best person to play Andy Hayes, my disgraced former Ohio State University quarterback, is actor Keanu Reeves. Why? He’s done it twice on screen already.

The first time, in 1991’s Point Break, he teamed with Patrick Swayze in a crime fiction tale involving the FBI’s investigation of a violent California bank robbery gang whose members investigators believe are surfers. Reeves plays Johnny Utah, a former Ohio State quarterback who quit the sport after blowing out his knee, and later becomes an FBI agent. The second time, in the 2000 sports comedy The Replacements, Reeves plays Shane Falco, a former Ohio State quarterback who saw his star dim after a blow-out loss in the Sugar Bowl. In the movie, he’s hired during an NFL players strike to join the fictional Washington Sentinels, coached by Gene Hackman. To my mind, Reeves' brooding skepticism, moodiness, and perpetual sense of hauling around baggage fit Andy perfectly. At fifty-six, Reeves is probably a little older than I imagine Andy at the moment—Andy’s in or around his early forties—but Reeves is still my sentimental favorite.
Visit Andrew Welsh-Huggins's website.

--Marshal Zeringue