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Top Dog
Dougie Brimson
'Top Dog' might be fiction, but it is frighteningly plausible fiction.

For those who think that the writings of Brimson D are merely about hooliganism, then let me rehash old ground, for the debate about football violence is an old one. On the one hand, you have the Thatcherite school of thought that refuses to budge from the idea that the trouble on the terraces stems from a bunch of mindless thugs having a row for the sake of it. On the other, you have a group of people who earn a living out of empathising with the sociology of football and the troubled upbringings of the forgotten souls.

For anyone with even a vague idea about football, we know that somewhere in the middle, far away from anything that is allowed air time or given credence in academic circles, is the truth about the Saturday scene. A world that is not necessarily irrational and one that certainly can not be uncovered by a Nicky Campbell phone in.

But, fortunately, for those who are either sick or just bored of reading about lads stories, 'Top Dog' is not about any of this!

While a natural follow up to the highly acclaimed 'The Crew', the book is not a sequel in the true meaning of the word, as there is only a loose association with the forthcoming film. Many of the key characters remain, and the gritty world of underground business still provides the central plot to the story, but other than that, the similarity of the two books rests with the quality of story, and the unnerving final twist to the plot.

Billy Evans, like all top boys, believes he is infallible. Cocky, arrogant and successful. Everything he gets involved in seems to work out for his benefit. He has the uncompromised support of his mates in the CSS, a sense of loyalty that any true fan of the beautiful game will instantly recognise. But perhaps he has just too much confidence.

I am not going to give you any help with the storyline, and you will thank me for that. For 'Top Dog', like 'The Crew', is a scintillating journey. But this time it is not Europe, but the dark streets of the East End where on every corner there is a way for Billy Evans to improve his position. It is a must-read book as the current season gives way to summer, which will give way to the new season, and new opportunity for someone.

Have you ever wondered what really goes on behind the scenes?

Pete Fincham