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Tuesday 3 May 2016

‘Hand of God’ by Philip Kerr

Published by Head of Zeus,
5 November 2015.  ISBN 9780-1-78408-159-1

Hand of God is the second in a series with featuring main protagonist Scott Manson. He is acting manager of Premier League football club, London City. Manson is back after his appearance in Kerr's previous novel, 'January Window', in which he investigated the murder of his predecessor at City.

London City are due to play an away match against Olympiakos in Athens. But before they fly out to Greece, the team is on a downer, following defeat in its first fixture in the Premiership by newly promoted Leicester City and hostility between certain players. On arrival in Athens the team finds itself beleaguered with tensions, both racial and religious. Plus and the players are met with hostility from the fanatical Olympiacos fans.

In the opening minutes of the match the team’s star striker collapses and dies.A prostitute who was seen entering the player's room the evening before the match, is found dead, drowned in the harbor.

The whole team is detained in Athens, unable to return to London before various investigations can be completed. The police seem to be getting nowhere, beleaguered by strikes and industrial action being taken by the Greek authorities. And so, Manson has to find the answers before he and his squad can get back home.

The setting of this novel is Greece and their financial problems play a big part in the backdrop of this book, Kerr has a few digs the UEFA and there is even a bit of FIFA corruption thrown in for good measure.

This is a fast paced book, a page-turner. If I were interested in football I would have enjoyed it immensely. If you love crime stories and are a football fan you will enjoy Hand of God
Reviewer: Sue Lord

Philip Kerr  was born 22 February 1956 in Edinburgh. He was educated at Stewart’s Melville College and at a grammar school in Northampton. He studied at the University of Birmingham from 1974 to 1980, gaining a master's degree in law and philosophy. Kerr worked as an advertising copywriter for Saatchi and Saatchi before becoming a full-time writer in 1989. A writer of both adult fiction and non-fiction, he is known for the Bernie Gunther series of historical thrillers set in Germany and elsewhere during the 1930s, the Second World War and the Cold War. He has also written children's books under the name P.B. Kerr, including the Children of the Lamp series. Kerr has written for The Sunday Times, the Evening Standard and the New Statesman. He is married to fellow novelist Jane Thynne; the two live in Wimbledon, London and have three children. He is a life-long supporter of Arsenal.

Sue Lord originally studied Fine Art and Art History, her MA is in Creative Writing. She now, revues, teaches, mentors and script doctors. She lives in central London and Cornwall. Her favourite pastime is gardening.

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