Well this is a bit of a blast from the past. I first came across Nick Rippington’s book Crossing the Whitewash on Netgalley in August 2015 and this is some awesome kick ass story and still remains one of my all time favourite books! So the review below is my original Netgalley review. The thing is Nick is publishing the second book in the series round about July 2017 so I thought this would be a great opportunity for some of you folks to get in front and ready for it’s launch.
So come on, come and meet THE BOXER BOYS, you won’t ever forget them!
“evocative, original, unfailingly precise and often humorous. Arnold is terrifying” -Writer’s Digest Ebook award judges
“Flows and rages like a Welsh mountain river” – 5-star review
Football prodigy Gary Marshall and best mate Arnie Dolan spend their teen years battling adversity together on the rundown London estate where they live. Then a series of life-shattering events intervene to split them apart.
Eight years later Arnie sets out to track down his old sparring partner with the intention of imparting a shocking secret he has harboured all his life.
But where is Gary? And why is he so keen the past stays in the past? The mysteries are about to unravel…
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
When I got this book I thought it was going to be a lot of rugby with a bit of a thriller thrown in, how wrong I was.
Gary Marshall, at 13, is a typical lad and very bright for his age. He loves his bike, his family and football, especially West Ham, but when he is going home after doing his paper round a group of lads decide they would like to relieve him of his bike. Petrified, but not wanting to give it up, he really doesn’t know what to do. Arnie Doles steps in. He goes to the same school as Gary and is the same age but they don’t hang around together, though Gary has seen him watching him at school. The only thing Arnie loves is his dog Stevo. Arnie’s family aren’t without money but it is well known it hasn’t been earned legally. His dad is always in and out of prison and at the moment he is serving time for armed robbery. Arnie and his dog wipe the floor with the lads and from then on Gary and Arnie are best mates. Something that Gary will regret more than once. The Boxer Boys have arrived.
This novel is an absolute gem. It has everything that anyone could ever want in a book. The story begins in 1996 to 2015 and follows the life of Gary. There is violence in the book that makes you read with just one eye open. A love story. Drugs, tragedy, murder, rape and football hooligans but there is also comedy that makes you laugh so much.
When the story moves to Wales it moves to rugby too. Gary needs a new start and changes his name to Gareth. It is in Wales that he discovers what real friends are. The character of The Legend is totally legend, he is brilliant. The author Nick Rippington can certainly tell one hell of a story. The book flows and rages like a Welsh mountain river to an end I never saw coming. Absolutely loved it.
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
AWARD-WINNING author Nick Rippington wrote his debut novel, the Urban gangland thriller Crossing The Whitewash, in response to becoming a silent victim of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal. As the paper’s Welsh Sports Editor he was informed at 48-hours notice that it was closing, and had to collect the contents of his desk from a colleague in a Wapping car park. Publishing the book in August 2015, it was recently given an honourable mention in an EBook Awards competition run by prestigious American magazine Writer’s Digest. The judges described it as “evocative, unique, unfailingly precise and often humorous”. Nick lives with wife Liz in London and has two daughters, Olivia and Jemma. (to find a full video blog review of Crossing The Whitewash check out Allie Morgan’s on her YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uq2ETgVzGtQ)