The writer of this story is quite a prolific author although to be honest I have not heard of him before now. He is the author of The Bernie Gunther series of novels as well as several other stand alone books and children's books.
- Phillip KERR
Hand of God is part of "The Scott Manson" trilogy of books and is number two in the series, the first book for those of you who are interested is called January Window, (which I have not read) the third of which I will start to read later today and will be reviewing in due course is called False Nine.
So who is this Scott Manson character, and what is the subject matter of these stories? Well Scott is a black football manager who manages a fictional Premier League football club called London City. So if you don't like football I can't imagine that you would like this particular series of stories. As this is the second book in the trilogy not reading the first book didn't spoil the read, the author did dip into the past book to explain certain situations which helped any new comers to get to know the character of Scott Manson.
The book is very much in the mould of "Roy of the Rovers" stuff, the club finished fourth in the league last season and so qualified for the qualification game to the Champions League in which they drew a Greek side called Olympiacos, the first leg to be played away in Greece. Thus starts a rather intriguing story full of modern day political and monetary grief in Greece, coupled with murder, suspected murder and in house football wrangling, with team mates almost coming to blows and at the centre of all this Scott Manson who as well as been the manager has served time in prison for a crime he didn't commit.
It is touched upon in this book that in the previous story Scott helped out The Metropolitan Police by actually solving a murder, so very early on the reader is aware of Scott's all round man management skills and line in chat which helps him and his club in this rather fast moving story.
London City is a club who are based in The Silvertown Docks area of London. They are owned by a Ukranian billionaire and they lose the opening game of the season away to newly promoted Leicester City.
The way the author gets Scott to give the after game team talk on the coach back home to London is rather well done, if you like football which I know a few of us who visit this site do then I suspect that you will like this book. After this game the team fly out to Greece.
The style of writing makes for a very easy and enjoyable and at times a rather funny read, it's a footballing romp mixed with murder, and typical 'who done it' questions. The language at times is rather ripe but then again it is set within a football dressing room environment and so at times it is rather apt.
I hope that gives you some idea of the story without going into to much detail and spoiling it. I would put this book in the category of an easy read commuter type of book, one where you can lose yourself for an hour or so without having to concentrate to hard.
For those of you who are thinking of Christmas I think this book will make a good stocking filler. Well worthy of 3.5 mushroom heads.
I will endeavour to get the next review of this trilogy up in the next couple of weeks.