Wednesday, March 18, 2015

I Can't Wait to Read: THE FIXER

Last year I launched a new irregular series here on Crime Watch, "I Can't Wait to Read", which features myself and some great guest bloggers highlighting crime novels that we are really looking forward to reading. Today I'm very happy to showcase the upcoming debut novel from a new New Zealand crime writer who has quite the unusual and interesting background. 

The book blurb: 

Topical and compelling, John Daniell, an award-winning writer, turns his attention to the illegal world of match-fixing in this page-turning novel. A story about greed and guts and honour, above all The Fixer is about what it means to be a man.

Mark Stevens is 32 and his career in French rugby is starting to slide — slowly at first, before picking up speed in front of our eyes. When a beautiful Brazilian asks for an interview, there is more than one temptation on offer . . .

Mark thinks he’s living the dream. As he tries to prolong that dream, it slowly becomes a nightmare.

Match-fixing is one of the biggest issues surrounding sport at this time. John Daniell, a former professional rugby player, shows how an innocent player can be drawn into an illegal world, one where your actions place your family, half a world away, in danger.

The author: 

John Daniell’s first book Confessions of a Rugby Mercenary won the British Sports Book Prize. It was described as ‘a gem’ (The Observer) ‘riveting’ (The Guardian) and ‘as good an insight into the everyday life of a professional sportsman as you could hope to read’ (The Telegraph). John is a New Zealander who has made a career playing professional rugby in France. He is now a writer and lives in France.

Why I can't wait: 

Two of the things I've loved my entire life - books and sports - combine here. I enjoy reading a variety of crime fiction, novels that swoop across a diverse range of locations, characters, and issues. Yet the sporting world, which is important to so many people (players, legions of fans, those working in the industry) on some level, is rarely seen in the pages of crime fiction. Which is a little strange. Outside of Harlan Coben's Myron Bolitar books, and an occasional novel here and there (eg Arild Stavrum's EXPOSED AT THE BACK) there are few sporting crime novels. Which is interesting, when you think of all the issues and money tied up with various professional sports nowadays. Drugs, match-fixing, sports betting, big money and big issues would surely mean big motives? 

So this book ticks many boxes for me. A crime novel. Set in the sports world. By a new author. A new New Zealand author. Who is himself a former professional sportsman who has won awards for his insightful and honest writing about the inner world of professional sport. In the year of the Rugby World Cup, I am very excited to read this rugby-set crime novel.  

When it's available: 

9 April 2015 in New Zealand. 


You can read more about John Daniell and THE FIXER here: 


Do you like the idea of a crime novel set in the world of rugby? Have you read/enjoyed any other crime novels set in the world of sport? What do you think of professional sport as a fertile setting for crime fiction? Comments welcome. 

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