Fallen Idols by Neil White
|Fallen Idols by Neil White|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Who is killing Premiership footballers and how are the murders connected to a ten-year-old rape and murder? A debut novel that's a better-than-average read and an author to watch for the future.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 528||Date: July 2007|
Jack Garrett is almost on the scene when the first of the Premiership footballers is murdered. He's a crime reporter and his Soho flat overlooks the street where Henri Dumas was shot. He should probably count himself lucky as there are two dead estate agents in a nearby flat, victims of the same killer. Before long another footballer is dead. How are these deaths linked to the murder and rape of a teenager in Jack Garrett's home town some ten years before?
Fallen Idols is the debut novel of solicitor-turned-Crown-Prosecutor Neil White and he's obviously put his experience of the murkier side of the law to good use. There's the sort of background knowledge here that you normally associate with the likes of Ian Rankin.
It's a good, if not brilliant, story too. Premiership footballers are being mercilessly targeted and murdered for no apparent reason and there's a brutal disregard for anyone who might need to be used to do this. The body count is high. Most of the story revolves around the efforts of Jack Garrett and DC Laura McGanity to uncover the identity of the murderer but probably the most dramatic part is the chase to catch the killer and bring justice to the victim of a rape and murder which had been brushed under the carpet for a decade. Some of the scenes are quite gory and put me in mind of Mark Billingham. There's nothing unnecessary - it's just not the book to read if you're feeling a little queasy.
The plot relies quite heavily on coincidence - that Garrett should have been close to the scene of the first murder is not unreasonable, but that the origins of the story should come back to his home town, Turner's Fold, the scene of a ten-year-old rape and murder connected to another Premiership player and that his father should have been the policeman who discovered her body left me muttering 'as you do'. Put this to one side though as this is a story that's worth reading.
The characters are very good. Laura McGanity is a single mother determined to do a good job, which gives two good reasons for some of her fellow officers to resent her - and the good relationship with her senior officer. Garrett is convincing as the slightly jaded free-lance crime reporter who only gets into the story because it might make him a little money and provide a way to assuage the guilt he feels about not seeing his widower father more often. The Premiership footballers pandered to all my prejudices! I think - I hope - that Neil White will be someone to watch for the future.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending this book to The Bookbag.
If you enjoy this type of book then you might also enjoy Cath Staincliffe's Bitter Blue or The Graveyard Position by Robert Barnard. You might feel that it compares with the recent Peter James books - Dead Simple and Not Dead Enough - but frankly I think it's better than either of those.
You can read more book reviews or buy Fallen Idols by Neil White at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Fallen Idols by Neil White at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.