Murder and football go together like pickles and ice cream – it’s a combination that leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.
For journalist Matt Riley, the protagonist of local author Graham Morse’s latest book, ‘Fatal Fix’, that is certainly the case.
An ex-Premier League football player, with connections throughout the sport, Riley is shocked to hear the news that his old friend Tony Barker has committed suicide. Before long, he smells a rat, and despite finding his efforts thwarted at almost every turn, he will stop at nothing to get to the truth… even it means putting his own life in danger.
Fans of the beautiful game will no doubt really appreciate this tale of intrigue and corruption (which covers subjects that probably get a little close to the bone when you consider the news on FIFA from 2015), but I am happy to confirm that you do not have to be a football aficionado to thoroughly enjoy being taken along for the ride.
Indeed, as I made my way through some of the chapters, I was reminded of the only time I ever attended a match – West Ham v s. Queens Park Rangers – when I was in university in London and lived near the latter’s stadium on Loftus Road. To read Morse’s descriptions of the crowds in the stadium and the resulting atmosphere, I felt transported back to that day.
The characters in ‘Fatal Fix’ are well fleshed out, with rich descriptions of people and places that put you in the story.
I confess I wasn’t sure this was going to be my kind of novel, but I got hooked pretty early on. It moves at quite a clip and is not of a burdensome length. When Riley becomes frustrated, you are right there with him, willing him to continue his investigation, the cost be damned.
In this time of COVID, when few of us are travelling, it was also entertaining to read about the many cities that Riley visits in his quest. From the indulgences of Las Vegas to the back streets of Singapore, ‘Fatal Fix’ will no doubt strengthen that feeling of wanderlust we’re all experiencing right now.
The story is compelling, with the action building at a good pace and not letting up until the very end.
Definitely a recommended read.
“A compulsively readable thriller that probes the sometimes dark relationship between sport and crime.” – Matt Lawton, chief sports reporter, Daily Mail
“Graham Morse’s Fatal Fix takes you inside the murky world of football match fixing. This may be a work of fiction, but it lands uncomfortably close to brutal, unblinking reality. So pull up a chair, hunker down, and let this novel take you on its revealing and perilous ride.” – Douglas Schofield, author of ‘Time of Departure’ and ‘Killing Pace’
‘In Matt Riley – an investigative sports journalist – Graham Morse has convincingly created a character who will risk his life to find the killer of his friend and file the story of a lifetime.” – Brian Scovell, author of the biographies of Sir Trevor Brooking and Sir Bobby Robson
“In ‘Fatal Fix’, Graham Morse has delivered the goods: a first-rate crime thriller that is enriched by its understanding of the human heart and enlivened by an authoritative look at the influence of gambling on big-time sport.” – Les Standiford, author of ‘Done Deal’ and ‘Last Train to Paradise’.
“Graham Morse’s stylish and compelling thriller will introduce many Americans to the seamy side of British football (read soccer). British readers and the rest of the football-obsessed world will experience again with vivid intensity what they hate about the sport they love. Full of keen observation and humanity, familiar yet fresh characters, scenes that snap, and cleverly turned twists, this fast-paced first novel will delight all lovers of crime fiction.” – Sterling Watson, author of ‘Suitcase City’ and ‘The Committee’.
“‘Fatal Fix’ held me to the very end… quick-paced and exciting and very reminiscent of Le Carré. A terrific read.” – Gay Courter, author of ‘Code Ezra’ and ‘Flowers in the Blood’.
‘Fatal Fix’ is available to buy online and direct download, or get the paperback for $15 at
Pure Art on South Church Street.