#Blogtour There’s Only One Danny Garvey by David F. Ross @dfr10 @OrendaBooks @annecater #RandomThingsTours #TheresOnlyOneDannyGarvey

There’s Only One Danny Garvey by David F. Ross. Orenda January 21st 2021

The Blurb

Danny Garvey was a sixteen-year old footballing prodigy. Professional clubs clamoured to sign him, and a glittering future beckoned. And yet, his early promise remained unfulfilled, and Danny is back home in the tiny village of Barshaw to manage the struggling junior team he once played for. What’s more, he’s hiding a secret about a tragic night, thirteen years earlier, that changed the course of several lives. There’s only one Danny Garvey, they once chanted … and that’s the problem.
A story of irrational hopes and fevered dreams – of unstoppable passion and unflinching commitment in the face of defeat – There’s Only One Danny Garvey is, above all, an unforgettable tale about finding hope and redemption in the most unexpected of places.

My Review

There is definitely only one Danny Garvey and Ross’s portrayal was of a man who seemed to have the weight of the whole world on his shoulders. I was shocked to realise that he was approaching thirty, my assumption had been of a man so much older and I think this is what made Ross’s characterisation so brilliant.

Garvey, the footballer forced to retire in his prime, on his way back to his hometown of Barshaw to pull their football club out of the doldrums and maybe to confront and sleigh some demons. Ross certainly gave him some demons, an alcoholic mother, now dying, brother Raymond in jail and a missing girl.

It all conspired to unhinge an already vulnerable and fragile Garvey, Even though Ross used football as his outlet, his way to forget, it still wasn’t enough and like a man edging across an iced pond you knew at anytime the cracks would appear and Garvey would be in danger of being swallowed. And indeed that is exactly what started to happen as the quiet contemplative Garvey, suddenly became angry, confrontational, trapped between the past and the present.

His brother, Raymond’s release and his mother’s death led Ross to push Garvey further towards his limits, to finally stand up to his brother, and to confront his obsession with the missing girl. The pace of the narrative picked up pace and I felt like I was in a maelstrom of emotion, of action and it took me a while to digest and work out what had happened. I liked that Ross didn’t spell it out, make it clear but instead left the reader to make assumptions, to read between the lines, made us really think hard about what we were reading.

Now if you have the impression that the novel was largely dark, then yes you would be right, but Ross injected some lighter moments, moments that were full of hope. In particular I loved the relationship between Garvey and Raymond’s son Damo, his need to research his behaviour, his willingness to treat him with care and indeed love. Football was, of course an integral part, the joys of lower league part time clubs brilliantly portrayed, its importance to a small town never underestimated. The infighting, the on pitch disagreements were brilliantly done, and gave such a great sense of the passion felt by the player and managers.

There’s Only One Danny Garvey was, for me, Ross’s finest novel to date, Danny Garvey his finest creation. The mixture of football and human strife so brilliantly balanced and intertwined, the ending unexpected but somehow right.

Bravo Mr Ross

I would like to thank Orenda Books for a copy of There’s Only One Danny Garvey to read and review and to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

David F. Ross was born in Glasgow in 1964 and has lived in Kilmarnock for over 30 years. He is a graduate of the Mackintosh School of Architecture at Glasgow School of Art, an architect by day, and a hilarious social media commentator, author and enabler by night. His debut novel The Last Days of Discowas shortlisted for the Authors Club Best First Novel Award, and received exceptional critical acclaim, as did the other two books in the Disco Days Trilogy: The Rise & Fall of the Miraculous Vespas and The Man WhoLoved Islands. David lives in Ayrshire.

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