Neil White

Fallen Idols

"'... a whirlwind of a novel.'"


The famous footballer, Henri Dumas, stands in Old Compton Street in London for an assignation when out of the air a sound like a crack of lightning is heard above the street. Seconds later, the footballer is dead, shot through the head. A few days later, another footballer is dead. Shot. And then another…

Returning to Turners Fold to write a feature on the celebrity footballer, David Watts, Jack Garrett is suddenly in the thick of the chase to hunt down this sniper who is targeting some of the most revered and idolised footballers in the country. As Jack Garrett digs up information about his subject, little does he realise that he is about to be embroiled in the manhunt of the decade. And, strangely enough, it all leads back to Turners Fold and a ten year old murder. Soon Jack, helped by DC Laura McGanity, is personally involved and - even his loved ones are in the firing line.

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Fallen Idols comes with a strong byline that could seem slightly bold… It informs the reader that “Fans of Ian Rankin, Mark Billingham and Val McDermid will be left gasping for more”. Brave indeed! For a writer launching his first novel, it is a very daunting task to be compared to these masters of their craft who have been writing for many years. However, I would say that Neil White certainly gives it a good stab. The action takes off from the word go with the assassination of Henri Dumas, setting the flavour for the rest of this novel. The writing is fast and furious, giving the action a dazzling pace throughout the book. I did worry where the writer was going to take me - with 500 pages exactly to hold my attention - but I was pleasantly pleased and surprised by the end result. Neil White obviously has a penchant for bringing places to life with in-depth descriptions of London and Liverpool in particular, especially the Molly Moggs pub at the end of Old Compton Street. Even Turners Fold is vividly brought to life. It is, in a way, partly to blame for the consequences of today’s actions - started ten years after the initial murder. Fallen Idols is a whirlwind of a novel. It would certainly be on my list of recommended books to take with you on a beach holiday, or to wile away the dark hours of a winter’s evening. The actual puzzle doesn’t take much to fathom, however, the breakneck journey getting there is definitely worth taking. And – what about that byline? Did it live up to the claim? I think Mr. White needs a few more books under his belt to be sure - but I would certainly call him a serious contender to match these giants of the crime fiction world in future. So to all their fans… I’d say that Neil White would, indeed, be one to read – for sure!

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