After the events of the previous book, Hand of God, Scott Manson has found himself out of work and looking for a new managerial position. It’s not as easy as he hoped it would be, however, and the promise of a job in Shanghai soon turns out to be fraudulent. Knowing that the press will have a field day over his part in the scam, Scott jumps at the chance of working for Barcelona. The only problem is, it’s not as a manager but as a private detective, hired to locate a missing footballer. As his investigations take him to Paris, Antigua and Guadeloupe, he finds himself embroiled in yet another story that the press would love to get hold of…
This is the third book in the Scott Manson series and while it’s not vital to have read the others, there are hints in this book that may spoil some of the previous plots for anyone who chooses to go back to read the series from the start. False Nine is slightly different from the other books as there is less of an emphasis on football and more about Scott’s investigation. As a football fan who enjoyed reading about the day-to-day workings of London City, I hope that in the fourth instalment, we get to see a managerial return for Scott.
The mystery is an interesting one although I did have an inkling as to what the twist would be quite early on in the book. This did not spoil my enjoyment, however, as it was fascinating to see how Scott dealt with this new information he had discovered. I grew to like Jerome Dumas (the missing footballer) and really hoped that he would be able to tackle his demons and further his career.
I did, however, find myself on several occasions disliking Scott Manson. He has never been a faithful, one-woman man but I found his philandering in this book a bit uncomfortable and had sympathy towards his unwitting girlfriend back home in London.
The ending of False Nine has made the next book a very interesting prospect!