Patriotic Games is Malcolm Hamer's seventh novel. His other novels include the five Chris Ludlow golf mysteries, and ‘Predator’, the story of a ruthless agent at large in the world of international sport.
With his wife, Jill Foster, he published 23 editions of ‘The Family Welcome Guide’, about family-friendly pubs, hotels and restaurants in the UK. Malcolm also wrote a history of the Ryder Cup, and a guide to European golf courses.
He has been an agent for sportsmen for several decades and his clients, past and present, include squash champion Jonah Barrington, Muhammad Ali, the golfer Johnny Miller, football stars Denis Law and Trevor Brooking, and rugby greats Gareth Edwards and Phil Bennett.
Political intrigue, spies, football, blackmail and a good dollop of violence all combine very well indeed in this engrossing, enjoyable and fast moving historical thriller set just before the outbreak of WW1. A 'Piece of Passion' from the author... 'In the early years of the 20th century the famous amateur club, the Corinthians, travelled the world to share their vision of football and how it should be played. A photograph of the players who toured Canada and the USA in 1906 hangs on a wall in my house (and is incorporated into the front cover of my novel). I was aware that the British Government in 1914 used sport and especially football to recruit fit young men for the army, and I began to wonder how many of those Corinthians perished in World War 1. This provided a framework for ‘Patriotic Games’. Then I added the other constituents: a German spy ring which is being penetrated by a Corinthian footballer; two matches between the Corinthians and Blackburn Rovers, the League Champions; the machinations of the politicians; a betting scam orchestrated by the fraudster, Horatio Bottomley; finally a good dollop of blackmail, and plenty of violence including a few murders. Now I had a plot – and all I had to do was the writing.'
';Goes at a gallop from fairway to green' - Irish Independent';Packed with interest and golfing knowledge. Hamer is a real master. . . you just have to keep on reading' - South Wales Evening Post Chris Ludlow has found his perfect job as an assistant to the celebrated golf architect, Calvin Blair. But the Green Disciples, one Europe's most intimidating pressure groups, oppose Blair's plans for a new golf course on environmental grounds. Although Chris is sensitive to their views, especially when expounded by the beautiful Jodie Hesse, he draws the line at vandalism, arson and murder. With the help of his brother, Max, and his erratic journalist friend, Toby Greenslade, Chris fights back in an attempt to salvage his new career.
The latest in the consistently riveting Chris Ludlow golfing thriller series' - Golf MonthlyA series of burglaries strips several celebrated golf clubs of their valuable paintings, and memorabilia such as antique golf clubs and balls. One of the targets is the Royal Dorset Golf Club, where Chris Ludlow is helping to re-design the course.The police even suspect Chis's friend, the journalist Toby Greenslade, of being implicated; and things get worse when they find the dead body of a Japanese dealer. Then the wife of another dealer is kidnapped. . .As well as trying to recover a debt for a neighbour from a shady and violent lawyer, Chris must also do battle in the treacherous world of golfing antiques, where nothing is as it seems.
';Compelling. . .Hamer's prose is an unexpected pleasure, the story is ingeniously devised, the characters swiftly and effectively drawn. A better class of blockbuster' - Daily Telegraph';Takes the lid off the sports business to reveal a nest of rattlesnakes beneath' - Golf Monthly Fate has dealt a winning hand to Steven Shaw. A gifted sportsman, he is also blessed with good looks, an incisive mind, and an overwhelming will to succeed.His father-in-law's money sets him up as a sports agent in New York and he swiftly gains control of the superstars who dominate the international sports.His story unfolds against the backdrop of the major sporting events of our time: Formula One motor racing, tennis at Wimbledon, the Open Golf Championship and the Masters at Augusta, and the Olympic Games.In his headlong pursuit of success he uses any means to achieve his aims: drugs, bribery, blackmail, and even murder.Shaw proves to be a winner, the biggest predator in the sporting jungle but at what price?