During the research for the novels about post-Holocaust Europe, I met a number of neo-Nazis in different German cities. After long conversations with them, especially in Munich, it also began to emerge that they had been participants - or so they claimed - in soccer violence across Europe. In Holland and Belgium, I met policemen who had tracked such troublemakers and who confirmed the - carefully orchestrated - link. A major point of these books has been the argument that once such evil as the Holocaust has been unleashed in the world, its ripples and eddies continue long after. Thus, the involvement of Hitler's 'children' in staining the 'Beautiful Game' seemed a natural source of enquiry.
"It is lunchtime for the powerful. Architect Nicholas Newman, affluent, successful, but emotionally unresolved, waits for his friend Antony - who never arrives. Instead a courier brings a package containing a knife. An hour later Newman meets his new client, the brilliant Black Pearl, Dutch international footballer and Premiership star. In the interlacing connections that emerge and mystify, nothing will ever be again as it seems.
Pearl is a stunning story of the past rising to dictate the present and control the future. The horrors of a violent death drag Newman back to a Nazi atrocity in France. Soon the links into football hooliganism and neo-Nazi thuggery rip his life open.
The huge moral pressure that underpinned Newman's first appearance in The Amethysts coerces him again - and will until he confronts his own weaknesses. When he acknowledges his selfishness he becomes a saviour. Thus, horrendous evil is addressed and defeated and at last Newman begins to feel the emotions that have eluded him - love and affection.
'The build-up of menace is deft and convincing... Delaney's fusillade of shocks, eroticism and sustained terror assails the reader from every direction. The elements of his novel are straightforward enough, but lifted by emotional power into something exceptional and utterly gripping'
'Stylish Delaney has produced a wonderfully appealing book that deals with the devastation the loss of a loved one can wreak... Perfectly judged, the inexorable rolling out of psychological discovery has a precision and power that echoes Delaney's beloved James Joyce. But Delaney's language is never opaque and this is storytelling of a rare order'
Good Book Guide
'A gripping story that links a terrible atrocity during the last war with organised football hooliganism and neo-Nazis today. The pace gathers to high-speed express... satisflyingly complex, Delaney scores with the reader to win a definite result'
"Great read, excellent plot, wise ending... from the moment a parcel containing a knife is delivered to Nicholas Newman you enter into a story of real intrigue. Pearl is a well-written book that graphically takes the reader on a journey around Europe as Newman finds himself an unwitting hero fighting neo-nazism. The book informs the reader of the evil atrocity carried out in the second world war to the village of Oradour-sur-Glane, this is very movingly written... The ending of the book could easily have gone in any direction, the one chosen was wise."
"An excellent book written with a beautiful use of the English language. Touching on the issues of post world war crime, and football hooliganism, the book manages to keep you turning the pages, wanting more. There are sufficient twists and turns to keep you reading this, without putting it down."
This book is currently out of print but can usually be found at amazon.com or amazon.co.uk the links of which are provided above.
The newspaper The Columbia Missourian" covered the "Story of Your Life" twitter challenge, featuring Steven Wise, winner of the twallenge, as Frank calls it. Wise shares some interesting insights on taking part in the challenge, saying that even though it appeared impossible to him to sum up a life of experiences in a couple sentences or even a book, "it was an exercise and it grabbed me, and I wanted to give it a go." Read more and see the winning tweet here..
Starred Review from Publisher's Weekly
"The riveting final installment of Delaney's Ben McCarthy trilogy. Long-time fans will relish its conclusion, while new readers will quickly warm to Delaney's vividly described Ireland of the 1950s, its fully-realized inhabitants, and the dynamic political and personal relationships that make for a remarkable story. (Feb.)"
One of Frank Delaney's most endearing new projects, a series of short stories produced as e-books called, "Storytellers," began as a means of introducing his novel "The Last Storyteller," in which the character of an itinerant Irish Seanchai is central to the plot.