(note: I was given this book by the author for an honest review. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book)
I was introduced to the book Death Match by the writer himself, Jason Ridler. He recommended it to me because I mentioned that I liked another series of books by another writer I will not mention that other writer because I believe that this book deserves to be judged on its own merits and not be compared to anything else out there. It is definitely that unique.
A friend’s death at a pro wrestling show sends gutter journalist and punk rock has been Spar Battersea back to the underground of the city to find the killer. Along the way he rams into a washed up grappler deadlier than a snake bite, a dominatrix who dresses like June Cleaver, and the freak of nature who may be the killer, the mime known as Johnny Silent. To get to the truth, Spar will have to contend with each and then survive his very own . . . Death Match!
What I thought:
The character of Spar;
Spar Battersea is a burnout reporter and a burnout punk rocker, in fact he is just a burnout. I have to tell you that I loved this character. He had a heart and tries desperately to find out what killed his friend. He was not the most likeable character, and I think that is what I appreciated about him the most. He was a hero with a past and a present that wasn't the most sterling...and it was all his fault. Yet, I found Spar to still be someone who I could appreciate and would want to know. Spar has your back! The other characters in this novel are great and twisted in their own way. You will really enjoy the interactions between Spar and Rachel, the dominatrix, and the interactions between Spar and The Bullet.
The world the Ridler has created:
It is just as seedy as it can be. It really represented the character of Spar well because he has spent a lot of time in small bars playing punk rock music with a band that now hates him and blames him for all of their woes and failures.
Keep in mind that I am not a wrestling fan at all, but Ridler completely sold me on this whole wrestling environment and trhe kind of people that promote and enjoy this sport. This novel made me want to continue reading Ridler's Spar Battersea novels, if there is another on the horizon. I hope so, because Ridler had me sold on the entire world of this novel.
I would recommend Death Match for anyone that likes a good mystery with some very unexpected events. There were times when I thought I knew where this story was going, only to find out that I was completely wrong. The ending of this book was worth the time that I spent with these characters. Ridler has a good grasp of story structure which made this novel a particularly great read for me.
This novel wasn't perfect. There were times that felt that it was a little over the top, particularly when Spar meets The Bullet for the first time and is forced into a confrontation with his ex-band mates. But in the end it was all in good fun and I really enjoyed this book! Excellent job, Mr. Ridler! When is the next one coming out? :)
**** This one gets four-stars from me and I would fully recommend it.