This is the fourth book from Texi Smith featuring his character, Jarrod Black, following on from Introducing Jarrod Black (book one), Jarrod Black – Hospital Pass (book two) and Jarrod Black – Guilty Party (book three) as well as his book about Jarrod’s sister, Anna Black – this girl can play.
Chasing Pack finds Jarrod about to start a new season with Darlington after clinching a Play-off win and promotion to League One, with the plotline of the betting syndicate and its chief Yannick Lefevre continuing from Guilty Party. However, as with any good writer, the author provides enough snippets of background information and character introductions for a new reader to pick-up this book in isolation.
As detailed in previous reviews, Jarrod Black and his adventures on the pitch are very much in the Roy of the Rovers vein and in Chasing Pack the author adds a James Bond-esque twist as Jarrod gets the opportunity to play action hero Harlowe Croft. This takes the setting of the majority of the book back to Australia from England and the chance for Jarrod to play in his homeland.
As with the bulk of the series, the book is made up of short sharp chapters (in this case 81), providing readers with quick-fire, fast paced action, in easy to digest bursts. As ever, Smith continues to display his knowledge of the game, this time focusing on the A-League in Australia, mixing fact and fiction to create an authentic feel to the game action and the life of a club and its players.
Interestingly in this book, Jarrod appears to be a tougher and perhaps more flirty character than in previous stories, with his language seemingly more ‘industrial’, perhaps reflecting his move into the movie world and the Harlowe Croft character.
Texi Smith has a winning formula with this series of books and Chasing Pack is as accessible and an enjoyable romp as the other Jarrod Black titles. Where will the next adventure take readers?
(Publisher: Popcorn Press. December 2022. Paperback: 302 pages)
Buy the book here: Chasing Pack