Book Review: Jarrod Black – Guilty Party: Another Unashamed Football Novel by Texi Smith
This is the third book from Texi Smith featuring his character, Jarrod Black, following on from Introducing Jarrod Black (book one) and Jarrod Black – Hospital Pass (book two). Guilty Party picks up after the finish of the season which had been concluded at the end of the second book and immediately explodes into life in a fast-paced opening which sets the scene for the third instalment of the Australian international player, continuing to ply his domestic trade in the north-east of England.
Stylistically it is a return to the short sharp chapters of Introducing Jarrod Black, which keeps the reader engaged as the scenes move on in quick-fire fashion, which has overtones of a televisual style. Smith continues to display once again his knowledge of the game and mixes fact and fiction to create an authenticity around how clubs function and the characters within it.
There is a change though in the plotline, as Guilty Party is something of a whodunnit, which Smith skilfully and believably handles, and as in the previous books, there is a Roy of the Rovers feel about this latest adventure, with the feel-good factor retained around the central character. Indeed, as a reader, the authors pride and love of his home city Newcastle and its team, is evident through his portrayal of Black.
As with Hospital Pass, there is a double-meaning in the title of Guilty Party, which will become evident to readers. To say anything more about it, would be to spoil the plot!
Have Texi Smith and Jarrod Black got another winner here? Absolutely. It’s a read that will hook you in and be difficult to put down.
(Popcorn Press. May 2020. Paperback 306pp)