I LOVED this book. It's a real page turner. Beautifully plotted, with lots of twists and turns. The characters are very well drawn. Dale, despite all his faults, is sympathetic in many ways and Clement Spears, the FA chairman, is a hilarious creation, but also believable.
The dialogue crackles and fizzes. The mixture of tension, humour and, at times, almost farce is really deftly judged and pulled off. The descriptive detail is vivid but not overdone. The violence is not all that frequent and services the plot beautifully, it's quite graphic in places, but not gratuitously so. This helps these scenes have more impact.
The twists and turns are so well done, and it was completely unpredictable how it would all unfold. The real-life and fictional elements are merged beautifully.
A great read, couldn't put it down. As I was in my late teens at the time of the '66 World Cup and the theft of the World Cup is still vividly etched in my memory. Paul's account of the theft and subsequent recovery of the iconic Trophy, whilst fictional, is very plausible given the gangland culture that existed in East and South London at that time. Brought back to life those black and photos that graced the tabloids the day after Pickles discovered the package in the hedge of that front garden. A brilliant first offering from a talented writer.
Just finished Chasing The Game and thoroughly enjoyed it - can't remember the last time I enjoyed a debut novel more.
Too many gangster books can slip into caricature, but the highest praise I can give is that so much of the authentic period detail and Gadsby's sharp dialogue evoked memories of when I discovered Jake Arnott's series of books more than a decade ago.
It would be interesting if it could be dramatized for the 50th anniversary of the theft in 2016.
This is a really good read . The characters personalities all come alive and keep you guessing at what their fate will be. the story moves along at a good pace and makes the book difficult to put down. This is not just for the guys .
I read the blurb for this book and immediately wanted to read it so I was very happy when Paul asked me if I would like a review copy. I eventually got round to reading it this week and I was not disappointed. I absolutely love books about gangsters and London in the 60s but this book sounded like something a little bit different. Different because the firm in this book are planning on stealing the World Cup and holding it to ransom. The Jules Rimet trophy. I have read snippets about the real life theft in the past but nothing in any great detail and this is the first fictionalised version of the theft and overall it was a very enjoyable read.
The book opens with the murder of Tommy who leads a West London racketeering film. He is killed by an erratic character by the name of Malc who goes on the run after the murder. Stepping into Tommy's shoes and becoming the new leader of the firm is Dale Blake. This causes a bit of animosity between Dale and another gang member called Jimmy. Jimmy is the one who comes up with the idea of robbing the trophy. We also learn that the firm was set up by Tommy and Dale's dad who is in prison. There's also Sheryl who is Dale's wife and they don't have the best relationship. So even without the planned World Cup theft there's plenty of stuff going on and I got lost in this world straightaway. As I said I love books set in this era about gangsters so I was hooked from the off. I especially enjoyed the scene with a Cypriot character which is definitely not for the faint hearted. Left me feeling a bit squeamish myself actually and this happened early on so I knew the book was right up my street.
The setting of 1960s London was felt throughout the book. The city was definitely brought to life here. And the book had a strong cast of believable characters. Yes it's a book partly about football but you don't need to be a massive football fan to enjoy the book. It's also about friendships, relationships and internal conflicts within a firm and we all know how the real life ones usually turn out so the fictionalised one here was very enjoyable. The writing in the book is incredibly strong too. It was also a very gripping read which once your start you won't want to put it down. I've already had my dad asking me if I've read it yet as he wants to read it too. Overall a very enjoyable book, definitely something a bit different to what's out there at the minute and a book I highly recommend. Will definitely be keeping an eye out for more from this author.
The story skilfully merges fiction and the real life events surrounding the actual theft of the Jules Rimet Trophy in 1966. This is a fast paced mystery with an atmospheric setting that succeeds in depositing the reader into the vibrant, rapidly changing London of the 1960s. The book will appeal to all mystery and crime aficionados.
What a fantastic book. I initially was unsure due to the era, and thought I would be unable to immerse myself in the atmosphere. I was completely wrong. The amount of research put in to this book is immense, to nearly every detail. 60's gangsters and the rest of the trimmings, but with a clarity to the story, and writing. I can't recommend it enough.
I purchased this book for my husbands birthday but after reading the first few pages could not put it down! A fantastic read. Not only a very imaginative depiction of what could have happened when the World Cup was stolen but also an excellent underlying story of a criminal firm led by Dale. Dale has a lot to live up to and always seems to be 'chasing the game' I was really impressed with how I could empathise with each of the characters in their own right and the amount of research that must have gone into creating the storyline and plot. Not a football fan myself, I am now intrigued to know what actually happened to the World Cup and the people involved in it's disappearance! This would make an excellent television drama which I feel would appeal to not only football fans but a wider audience. I am looking forward to reading the next novel by this talented author!
This is a cracking debut from an up and coming new crime writer. Reading it, it's a wonder nobody's thought of fictionalising the tale of the Jules Rimet theft before but what Gadsby adds is a great back story featuring long firms, violence, intrigue and a good dash of 1960s London underworld. But before you cry, oh no, not another 60s throwback, cockney crime caper, what makes this stand out is the characterisation and emotional depth of the protagonists, stuck in lives they don't want to live and each one searching for a way out.
Beautifully paced, plenty of plot and a great read, it has all the ingredients of a great cup run. Highly recommended.
This timely book about the theft of the World Cup trophy in 1966 is a brilliant read. It is full of well researched detail, and the twists in the story keep you gripped until the very end. It's not just a book about a football trophy, it's so much more and I would highly recommend it to everyone.