Tuesday 8 August 2017

Review ~ Spark Out by Nick Rippington

Cabrilon Books
July 2017
Boxer Boys #2

What's it all about...

MAURICE 'BIG MO' DOLAN is prone to headaches and there is one main cause: his family. He believes eldest son Chuck, 7, needs toughening up, his wife Beryl is too lenient, his career-criminal father has no respect for him and he is about to lose his younger brother Clive to the army.

There is light at the end of the tunnel, though. With Margaret Thatcher's government backing initiative and suggesting people get 'on their bikes' to find work, Mo believes it is the perfect time for him to expand his business... into armed robbery.

As he plans the ultimate raid to drag him out of the poverty trap, he believes his fortunes are bound to get better... but with the Falklands War just around the corner they are about to become a whole lot worse.

Spark Out, the second book in the Boxer Boys series, is a prequel to Crossing The Whitewash.


What did I think about it...

Spark Out starts with real insight into what makes this crime fiction series so compelling. Written as it is with a fine eye for detail and a compelling turn of phrase, the author doesn't shy away from recreating a fairly bleak time in our history. A time when there was social injustice on a wide scale and where the growing discontent between the have and the have nots seemed to grow ever wider.

For 'Big Mo' Dolan, taking the Thatcherite philosophy of getting on his bike to find work opens up a whole new meaning to the term job seekers. Wanting to do right by his family and still earn the respect he thinks is his due, means that Mo has some difficult choices ahead of him, and this forms the basis of how his life starts to unfold in the rough and violent world where only the most craftiest of individuals can hope to survive with any sign of longevity.

I think that the author really gets to grips with this fierce and ferocious way of life. Always telling it like it is, there is, quite simply, no room for sentimentality in the world that Mo inhabits. Dark and gritty violence is sometimes the only language that the people in Mo’s world understand and the author brings this world to life in graphic detail. And yet, there is also a perceptive side to the story, particularly, in the way that Mo’s long suffering wife, Beryl deals with her relationship with her husband, and also the effect on Mo’s son, Chuck, who is doomed to be forever in his father’s shadow.

The author has done a commendable job of bringing this destructive world to life whilst still maintaining the notion that the idea of family rises above everything else.

Dark and gritty, Spark Out continues this gangster series with characteristic style.

NICK RIPPINGTON is the author of gritty gangland tales that aren't for the faint hearted. If you like a family saga with stories of crime, betrayal, revenge, twists and turns you will love the Boxer Boys series.

More about the author can be found on his website by clicking here 

Follow on Twitter @nickripp

Amazon UK

My thanks to the author for sharing his stories with me.



  1. Hi Jo thanks so much for the review. Spark Out is on a 5-day Free Kindle Promotion with Amazon from today (August8-12)so it's perfect timing!

    1. That's great news , Nick !!
      Hope the promo goes well.

  2. thanks Jo, and the good news is... on the day you published your review on the blog and on Goodreads, Spark Out went to No. 1 in the free section of the Contemporary Urban Fiction category on Amazon, and No. 3 in the Urban genre fiction category. It was also no. 29 in the suspense category for all free downloads in the UK, one behind Terry Hayes, who has just released a follow up to I am Pilgrim. So, thanks again for the well-timed remarks!

  3. Wow, that's great news, Nick. Many congratulations. Glad to have picked the right day to review !!


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