Dangerous Score by Michael Bearcroft #BookReview #BlogTour

Football hero Jason Clooney is riding high....until a date with a beautiful woman lands him in trouble with the media, and into battle with the criminal underworld.
Now against a backdrop of an uncertain professional future, Jason has to confront disturbing revelations surrounding his new girlfriend’s family. From football action on the pitch to behind the scenes plotting. To battles with a criminal gang and constant media attention, all adding to the toughest challenges he has ever faced in life, love, as a player and as a man.

It's my pleasure to be hosting the blog tour for Dangerous Score today, many thanks to the author and Rachel Gilbey from Rachel's Random Resources for inviting me and for my copy of the book.
Years ago I read Shoot magazine every week and meticulously adjusted the League Ladder that was stuck to my bedroom door. On Saturdays I travelled home and away to watch my local town play non-league football, even if it meant being soaked to the skin or nearly developing frostbite. So I was intrigued by the idea of a football thriller - my favourite genre combined with the beautiful game was too good to resist.
The book opens with Kettering needing to win their match to be guaranteed promotion to the Football League for the first time in their history. Later that evening, their star striker, Jason Clooney meets Jess and is instantly smitten but a few days later he is stunned when the mention of her name earns him a slap around the face and he learns that her stepfather is a very dangerous man. The opening few chapters of Dangerous Score are fast paced with a plot that hints at even more danger to come. The action then slows however, and although the threat of trouble lurks in the background, the story concentrates more on Clooney's personal and professional relationships. Dangerous Score reminded me a bit of the old football television series, Dream Team and I think I would describe it as a football drama rather than a thriller although there are moments of danger peppered throughout the book.
The narrative is told in the third person from Jason's perspective and has a rather colloquial style to it that fits Clooney's personable character well. Michael Bearcroft has worked in entertainment and it shows, there is a definite televisual feel to the novel. Jason's life is described in detail and I feel the book would have benefited from a little more editing to improve the flow of the story; the writing is sometimes a bit too adjective heavy and I didn't always need to know every minutiae of Clooney's life. He is a mostly likeable character although I must admit to finding his attitude towards Jess' sister, Mandy a little irritating at times. He seemed to fluctuate between admiring her drive and taking offence at her efficiency and ability to control situations. It is very much his book, with the other characters given distinct enough roles  - although I did feel that Mandy was the more interesting of the sisters  - and I enjoyed the development of his character as his self-doubt is slowly replaced by a growing confidence.
I'm sure Dangerous Score will appeal to many football supporters; the action from behind the scenes of the football club is clearly written from a passionate and knowledgeable point of view and there is an authenticity to the plot that can only come from somebody who knows the game well. Admittedly there is a touch of the Roy of the Rovers to proceedings as Clooney's trajectory takes him from non-league part-timer to player manager and media darling in a very short time but it all makes for an enjoyable read so can be forgiven. His romance with Jess, family relationships, rather touching friendship with old soldier, Blister and the moments of action and danger mean that domestic drama fans will also find much to tempt them here.

In Dangerous Score, the chairman of Kettering is keen to build a more community minded football club and realises the relationship between football clubs and charities can be mutually beneficial. I applaud Michael Bearcroft's decision to feature the real life charity Hope for Justice in the novel. It led me to learn more about their work aiming to end human trafficking and modern day slavery. You can read more about them here.

Rachel's Random Resources are offering you the chance to win one of three signed copies of Dangerous Score. See the rafflecopter for the various ways to enter (open internationally)

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Dangerous Score can be purchased here. Don't miss the other stops on the blog tour, details are below.

About the Author

Mike Bearcroft was a junior footballer with Sheffield United. A life in sales, marketing and company management resulted in him selling his business in order to retire at the age of 50. He became an actor, appearing in series like ‘Peak Practice’, ‘Casualty’ and ‘Brum’.
He then trained as a director of musicals before creating his murder mystery company ‘Murderous Liaisons’, which he then sold to launch ‘Back to Broadway’, a musical theatre stage show currently touring major UK theatres.
As the Chairman of Corby Town F.C. and sponsor of both Rothwell Town F.C. and Kettering F.C. he was involved in Northamptonshire football for many years. Mike now lives in Cornwall with his wife Sue.


  1. Many thanks for your kind review, i really appreciated that. Many years ago, i did appear in an episode of Dream Team!
    At present a television production company is looking at the possibility of turning my book into a TV series, fingers crossed that happens.
    Very Best Wishes.
    Michael Bearcroft Dangerous Score

    1. You're very welcome. If Dream Team is ever repeated I'll look out for you! I'll keep my fingers crossed for a Dangerous Score TV series too.


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