While it’s a hugely exaggerated fictionalisation of the real British wrestling world, this novella is unexpectedly timely.
At first glance this seems purely in the world of outlandish fiction, with the central storyline being a Muslim wrestler beaten to death as he attempts to detonate a suicide vest in the ring.
However, while the plot may be far-fetched, the setting is very true to life. The descriptions of a small-time independent wrestling show and its cast of characters are very much on the nose. A wrestling promotion may not be made up entirely of the people described in this book, but they could all very plausibly exist.
Released in early-June, it’s a particularly notably timed book as a subplot involves a wrestler with a predatory interest in an underaged fan. The description of his machinations and the varying responses of his peers borders on eerily believable in the wake of the #speakingout movement.
The story itself doesn’t quite live up to the characterisation. It’s brief enough to read in a single setting and is largely based around description. The plot consists of two detectives investigating the events that led up to the fateful night and the final twist feels too neatly tied up.
That said, with the cheap Kindle price (and free loan via Kindle Unlimited) it’s certainly worth your time, particularly if you are familiar with the less glamorous end of the British scene.