I have the privilege of bringing you an exclusive book review of Spark Out written by British novelist and journalist, Nick Rippington.

It’s probably a world-exclusive as I believe it is the first pre-publication review of Nick’s thrilling novel. It is planned to publish Spark Out on Amazon some time in July but I am told that it will be available by the end of June through other outlets. I suggest you follow @NickRipp on Twitter for updates on the publication dates.

spark out


The Dolans’ Are Back!


It seems some time ago now that I read and reviewed Nick Rippington’s first novel in the Boxer Boys series, ‘Crossing The Whitewash.’ I enjoyed that read and this one even more.

I know it’s a cliché to say ‘Spark Out’ is a “page turner” but truly, it is. That is partly to do with the even pacing of the author’s technique in that there is hardly a lull in the action or the intrigue. Rippington is one hell of a good story teller in this suspense thriller genre.

One of the things that struck me about the author’s style is he is unafraid to duck social issues such as domestic violence and bullying both of which feature in this gripping novel. Yet, he does it in a sensitive manner despite some graphic details.

The book is set mostly in London and the Home Counties in the early 1980’s just before and after the Falklands War. I have to say Rippington does a great job of painting pictures with words of the full horrors of war in the context of that war when the United Kingdom sent a large task force to free the islanders from their Argentinian invaders. A war seen through the eyes of one of the key characters.

This is an author in touch with ordinary working-class people, the London criminal scene existing in the early 1980’s and the accompanying gangland violence. I should know as I was a detective in this era. Rippington, despite the background of violence, writes pointedly and with great sensitivity about human relationships. Those relationships encompass spouses and their infidelities as well as the relationship between Big Mo Dolan and his gang members and his son, Chuck.

He amply draws the reader in to these relationships so much so that any reader has to end up with the greatest sympathy for Beryl, Dolan’s long-suffering wife.

Big Mo is the main character and he is the sociopath to end all sociopaths. I trembled with fear as to what this crazed man was going to do next. He has viciousness oozing from every pore of his body. His violent streak is truly disturbing. Rippington also deals with the side of Big Mo’s character that tries to justify his violence in attributing these words to Dolan, “I’m like fizzy pop (soda). Shake me and I explode!”

The other characters in this novel are all well-developed by the author. Most of them are relatives of Big Mo. This Boxer Boys series is developing into quite some family saga. I can’t wait for the next instalment!

This novel has it all – suspense, great characters, well-paced and a satisfactory ending. A cracking good read and highly recommended!

I received a free Advanced Review Copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Spark Out is available now on Amazon for pre-order. Click on this link.

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