Review: The Crew by Dougie Brimson (5/5)

Monday 9 June 2014

The UK’s most downloaded sports title of 2012! The prequel to the Movie Top Dog starring Leo Gregory and Directed by Martin Kemp APPEARANCES CAN BE DECEPTIVE - as Paul Jarvis of the National Soccer Intelligence Unit is only too well aware. He knows that Billy Evans is no ordinary Cockney lad made good. He's also a thug, a villain and a cop killer. Jarvis just hasn't been able to prove it... Yet.So when Jarvis discovers that Evans is putting together a hooligan 'Super Crew' to follow the England national soccer team to Italy, he feels sure he can finally put Evans behind bars - if only someone can infiltrate the group and get him the proof he needs.

But nothing is ever that simple. The Crew believe Evans is just out for a full-on riot. Jarvis thinks he's trafficking drugs. But Billy Evans is always one step ahead. He has another plan. And it will be catastrophic for everyone concerned.


Now this is a book that I've wanted to read for a long time, but never got round to. So I was very happy to have finally read it over the past few days. It's one of those books however that I don't think needs a massive review, and with nearly 450 reviews on Amazon alone I don't know what else I can say that hasn't been said before. First published in 1999, you can find out more about it's conception over on Dougie's website here. Very interesting to see how the book came to fruition. I read a few hooligan books when I was younger but this is the first fictional book I've read.

It's an absolutely brilliant book and one you don't need to be a huge football fan to enjoy, yes football is part of it but it's so much more than that. There's a lot of reviews over on Amazon from female readers who have read and really enjoyed this book. Some scenes are a bit brutal, but to be honest anyone going into the book not expecting that is a bit naive. For me having grown up witnessing and watching violence in films and real life it doesn't offend me in the written form. That said, the violence is absolutely necessary to the book and isn't just thrown in for the sake of it. Plenty of swearing also which I don't bat an eyelid at but I know some people complain about it in books which is baffling.

The book is full of twists and turns, and as for the ending, I'm reeling and can't wait to read Top Dog when my review tbr is less staggering, especially as it's now a film. I know a few people were disappointed by the ending of this book but I'm certainly not one of them. All through the book my opinions changed about each of the characters. At times I liked them, at others I couldn't stand them. You get to see both sides: the hooligans and the police attempting to uncover what they have planned in Italy. The police have no idea however just what Billy Evans has planned. You can really feel the frustration that Paul Jarvis has trying to take Evans down and the hatred he has for him is so strong.

All very realistic and believable it's a very hard hitting and thought provoking read. And I don't think there's many people more qualified to have written a book like this than Dougie Brimson. The writing is incredible.

Buy from Amazon

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