January Window, Paperback
2.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Everyone knows football is a matter of life and death.

But this time, it's murder. Scot Manson is the team coach for London City FC and an all-round fixer for the lads.

Players love him, bosses trust him. But now the team's manager has been found dead at their home stadium.

Even Scott can't smooth over murder ...but can he catch the killer before he strikes again?


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Head of Zeus
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Thriller / suspense
  • ISBN: 9781784082536



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

crap , didnt even read a quarter of the book , not really a "thriller" more a detailed novel about soccer , way too much information about soccer , the teams , name dropping of "famous" soccer people, rubbish , sorry but didint like it at all

Review by

Philip Kerr has a track record of versatility. His first three novels introduced Bernie Gunther, a former cop turned private investigator operating in Berlin before and then immediately after the Second World War. He then switched tack completely, earning the title of Britain's Michael Crichton through his dabblings in futuristic crime novels such as 'A Philosophical Investigation', 'Esau' and 'The Second Angel'. These were followed by some more orthodox science fiction (such as 'Gridlock') before he resumed his chronicles of Bernie Gunther, taking him through the post war years with a series of well-crafted novels mingling historical verisimilitude with deft plotting.Kerr obviously relishes new departures because his latest novel is bang up to date, set in the feverish world of English Premier League football. Scott Manson, his latest protagonist, is the football coach and assistant manager of London City, a newcomer to the English League formed from the financially drained remnants of four East London clubs. Kerr is not reluctant to embrace cliché, but he handles it very suavely. London City is owned, and financed, by Viktor Sokolnikov, a Russian billionaire, the questionable provenance of whose fortune was recently the subject of a special episode of 'Panorama'. The team's manager is Joao Zarco, an immensely self-assured Portuguese with a penchant for exceptionally expensive suits, now in his second stint at the club (though any resemblance to Jose Mourhino is purely intentional!).Manson has his own demons, but is himself far from a footballing cliché. Half-German and quarter black, he is a university graduate and fluent in French, German, Spanish and Italian in addition to his mastery of English. He is also independently wealthy (though on a hugely more modest level that Sokolnikov). As the novel opens, he is preparing to help London City emerge from the hectic Christmas and New Year programme, by things start to go wrong on a drastic scale.I have often wondered why there haven't been many novels set against the world of football. There is, after all, so much potential material. This was, however the first successful one that I have read. Kerr clearly understands the game well, and captures the excitement and the frustration and despair that it so often brings. He even takes the opportunity to make a passing reference to himself as ghost writer of Zarco's autobiography: 'that loser, Phil Kerr!' The timing of its paperback release was almost immaculate, coinciding with the arrest by the FBI of several high ranking FIFA officials. Kerr, or at least his characters, have a lot to say about the vagaries of FIFA financing and administration.All together, very enjoyable, though readers of a sensitive disposition should be warned that it features fairly robust language throughout - at times I almost felt as if I was back in my office!

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