Firstly I wish to thank Sarah Hardy of Book on the Bright Side Publicity and Promo for inviting me on the Blog Tour for CROSSING THE WHITEWASH by Nick Rippington
Some Family feuds just won’t go away… For 40 years the Dolans and the Marshalls have lived side by side on the same rundown housing estate in east London. While teens Gary Marshall and Arnie Dolan forge a close friendship, fighting constant battles to survive both on the streets and closer to home, the relationship between their parents is complicated and, at times, toxic. Gradually family secrets emerge which have their roots in the early 80s… and Gary and Arnie realise their entire upbringing was built on lies.
Sometimes your best friend can be your worst enemy
Talented 13-year-old sportsman Gary Marshall experiences the realities of living in a poor suburb when knife-wielding thugs try to rob him of his bike. Rescued by streetwise tough kid Arnie Dolan and his dog Stevo, the two strike up a close bond, forming a gang called the Boxer Boys to protect themselves and their territory.
When Gary accepts trials with a professional football club, the boys go their separate ways, only to be thrown back together when his parents split up. As Gary’s world spins out of control he suffers a horrific injury on a night out and worse is to follow when the Boxer Boys get caught up in a street brawl which leaves a man dead.
Torn apart by circumstance it isn’t until eight years later that Arnie seeks out his former partner-in-crime.
So where is Gary? And why is he so keen to let the past stay in the past?
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
NICK RIPPINGTON is one of the victims of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal you never hear about.
As the newspaper’s Welsh Sports Editor, he was made redundant with two days notice when Rupert Murdoch closed down Europe’s biggest-selling tabloid in 2011.
On holiday at the time, Nick was never allowed back into the building, investigators sealed off the area with crime scene tape and seized his computer, which contained all the secrets to his Fantasy Football selections.
Handed the contents of his desk in a black bin bag in a murky car park, deep throat style, Nick was at a crossroads – married just two years earlier and with a wife and 9-month-old baby to support. Options were limited but self-publishing was booming. Having hit on an idea for a UK gangland thriller taking place against the backdrop of the Rugby World Cup, in 2015 he produced Crossing The Whitewash.
The book was praised by many, received an honourable mention in the genre category of the Writers’ Digest self-published eBook awards and more than 25 five-star reviews on both sides of the pond.
Almost two years after Crossing The Whitewash came the second in the Boxer Boys series, a prequel called Spark Out, which was released in paperback on July 1 and for Kindle on July 10, 2017. The book received an award for best cover of 2017 with the Chill With A Book website, along with a readers award, before receiving the IndieBRAG medallion from a prestigious site covering Independent writers and publishers throughout the world.
The third book in the Boxer Boys series Dying Seconds, a sequel to Crossing the Whitewash, was released in December 2018.
Married to Liz, Nick is now a full-time back bench designer on the Daily Star sports desk and has two daughters – Jemma, 36, and Olivia, 8. A Bristolian at heart, he lives near Ilford, Essex. In the past he has worked for the Sunday Mirror, Wales on Sunday and Media Wales in Cardiff as an executive editor.
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14194075.Nick_Rippington
Blog: On the website – Say Hello to My Little Friends
Amazon Author Page in the UK: