“Just three years ago, someone told me that my sport was broken, twisted and perverted by money. Perhaps that was true; true for the oligarchs and the oil sheikhs and the shady businessman death exploit venerated foul purposes. It has been said by many that those less salubrious days were when football experienced its death knell, that those were the days when football died. It’s nae true, though, for me. It’s nae true for the players, nae true for the fans, nor for those people that love the game. For all of us who care so deeply for our sport, football is about competition, togetherness, unity and community.” – 3/5 stars!
Attention! This book contains: european football, Oktoberfest, drug tests, a strong Scottish accent, goals, haggis, toxins, stadiums and arm wrestling.
A feeling of lethargy during a cup semi final soon develops into something more sinister for Claston Celts star, Paddy McAlpin. A random drug test post match soon reveals more than he could ever have expected and sets him on a dangerous journey to discover the truth.
In this thrilling and humorous tale we follow the arrogant and talented Paddy McAlpin as he searches for the truth behind the attempt on his life, taking him back to his ignored, if not forgotten roots in Claston’s slums, before setting him on a whirlwind voyage of espionage and peril. Using his strength of body and mind to seize what he needs, he draws closer to the truth, putting himself into greater danger each step of the way.
Throughout his journey, he is forced to take an introspective look and comes to the realisation that there is more to his life than himself.
This is not the kind of book I would usually pick up for myself, but I was surprised with the story after reading it. I had no idea what the book was about because the blurb in the back cover doesn’t give out a lot of information, as well as the title – which made me even more curious to know what the story was even about.
I was surprised to discover this book was actually a mystery (the who-did-it kind of mystery) with a mixture of sport (european football to be exact). I thought it was an unusual combination and I had never read anything like it before, but I thought it was creative and overall it worked out well.
The mystery was well made, intriguing and overall surprising – I admit I wasn’t expecting that plot twist near the end. I just don’t know what to think about a football star investigating his own homicide attempt and traveling around Europe to get answers. I think I found that a bit odd because it wasn’t very realistic, but again, this is a work of fiction so take my opinion with a grain of salt!
I really liked Paddy as the main character. I really liked his personality, accent and the unfortunate (but sometimes funny) situations he put himself to. He feels like a real person with real flaws, real characteristics and a true love for football.
I have to say I really liked the writing. It’s very atmospheric and easy to keep up with! The pacing is good, but there are a few chapters where the story slows down to give some backstory and additional information. The football scenes were very detailed and well explained, and I’m sure readers who love football would love the game scenes! One thing I really liked was how Paddy’s Scottish accent was written in his dialogue. I thought that was a nice touch and it gave him more character, even though I had some difficulty trying to understand what he was saying sometimes. I also appreciate that we get some background information on other characters. Does that mean they will be featured again in the second book in this series?
It has sports, action and a good dose of humor. I think this would be an interesting book for fans of European football and mysteries in general.
A big thank you to the author A.D. Stephenson for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review.