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False Nine

Philip Kerr
The follow up to the book Hand of God, which had nothing to do with Maradona!

Hand of God introduced us to Scott Manson a modern black football manager who managed the fictional Premier League side London City.

Well as we fans of football know nothing lasts in football least of all managers and Scott is no longer in football management. This story sees Scott in his other roll as a private detective, who is hired by Barcelona and PSG to find a player who has gone awol. PSG have a player on their books a Jerome Dumas a black Frenchman who originates from the French Colony of Guadeloupe in The West Indies. After a big money move from Monaco Dumas fails to settle in Paris and a loan move to Barcelona is arranged. The player goes on leave back to his homeland and then fails to appear and so with Scott having contacts at Barcelona where he was a coach after his playing career finished he finds himself having dinner with representatives from both clubs with a rather lucrative offer of 3million Euros plus expenses to find the absent player. Both clubs wanting to keep the story as hush hush as possible!

That is the basic outline of the story. There is far more to it as the story and Scotts investigation takes him from Paris to Marsaille and to Guaeloupe, in his efforts to pocket the full 3million retainer, payable on the player getting back to Barcelona.

I'm not sure why but I found this book a lot better read all round than Hand of God, thus the mushroom heads score. This story had more to offer and the style of writing made for a very entertaining and at times very funny read.
Scott gets into trouble with the FA due to one of his sexists tweets and the author writes a few tweets in the book concerning Scott, these read like a few posts that you see in Arrse (including the ripe language) and I wouldn't be half surprised if Mr Kerr is an occasional poster on this site!!

The author slips in little anecdotes about real clubs and players without deviating too much from the story, this keeps the pace going and when chapters finished I wanted to start another and another which led to a few very late nights as I wanted to know what next was in store for Mr Manson.

If you are a football fan and like a light read then this book is for you. But read Hand of God first and if possible the first book in the series January Window.
An easy read with a few good laughs along the way 4/5 Mushroom Heads!
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