Forrest goes deep on this one, from the Middle East to Singapore, SA to Europe to Australia, to get a story that is less about soccer and about the realities of the trillion dollar business of sports betting He gets right in the crux of the Triads sitting atop Asian based gambling, who operate or less freely between the cracks of national jurisdictions This is the story that will, sooner or later, be the driver that either changes FIFA or brings it down Very impressed by Forrest s ability not only to get the story and get out , but to create such a readable book based on a sport that I could care less about researching. Timed To Coincide With The World Cup In Brazil And Told In The Style Of A Page Turning Thriller, This Is The Book That Will Blow The Lid Off International Match Fixing In Football A Pandemic That Has Struck At The Heart Of The Beautiful Game It Began As A Series Of Disparate Reports Coming In From The Corners Of The Football World Referees, Players And Managers Were Deliberately Fixing Results At The Behest Of Illegal Bettors But As The Reports Kept Coming, Bit By Bit The Scale Of The Problem Began To Emerge These Weren T Just Footballing Minnows But Major Teams And Players, Playing On The Biggest Possible Stages The Money At Stake Ran Into The Billions And The People Pulling The Strings Were Operating For Some Of The Largest, Most Heinous Criminal Syndicates In The World In The Big Fix, Brett Forrest Uncovers The Scarcely Believable Scale Of A Threat To The Beautiful Game That Is Only Just Now Coming To Light Told In The Style Of A Thriller, Forrest Tracks Down The Criminals Who Occupy This Murky World Of Billion Dollar Transactions, As Well As The People Tasked With Hunting Them And Saving Football S Lifeblood Published On The Eve Of The World Cup, This Shocking Expose Reveals A Criminal Enterprise That Threatens To Rot Football To Its Core This excellent piece of investigatory journalism from ESPN The Magazine s Senior Writer Brett Forrest takes us inside the shocking world of international football i.e., soccer match fixing There are two main threads of the story that of the main chaser, Chris Eaton, one time Melbourne cop turned Interpol sleuth and that of the most notorious of the fixers, Wilson Raj Perumal, Singapore s Kelong King Though Forrest came to the story by way of Eaton who, post Interpol, did a stint with FIFA as its chief security officer and now sets up office at the Qatar based International Centre for Sport Security , what s notable about the book is his access to Perumal, whom Forrest tracks down in Hungary In his Acknowledgements, Forrest notes that Perumal earns my gratefulness for his courteous recollections.Beyond the cat and mouse aspects of the book, Forrest s work is notable for its descriptions of how the spectre of match fixing permeated the game s highest levels It s a perfect storm of the ascendancy of Chinese wealth a country of serious gamblers , the rise of Internet bookmaking sites creating market making and transborder cash flow and strapped international federations hungry for cash.My favorite passages of the book weren t directly related to either Eaton or Perumal They involved Carsten Koerl, founder of Bet to Win, later renamed to Bwin, one of the foremost Internet bookers and coincidentally a prominent sponsor of many top flight clubs Koerl went on to found Sportradar and later Betradar , whose speciality is in spotting games whose betting action as compared to expectations made them outliers and possible fraud cases. A breezy read that is in turns illuminating and perhaps not wholly surprising, the Big Fix is nothing if not a fun, engaging page turner Perumel and Eaton the story s protagonists are well developed and nuanced than they could have been portrayed in the hands of a lesser writer Brett Forrest seems cut from the same cloth as Michael Lewis in making the opaque machinations of a massive financial con accessible to the casual reader, all the while telling an engaging, entertaining story about real people doing crazy stuff on an enormous stage. I originally bought this book for my husband who is a huge soccer fan, but picked it up when I was home sick and couldn t put it down I literally read the whole thing in a day and I know nothing about soccer or gambling The story is mind blowing anyone who has watched or will watch the World Cup should definitely read this. Excellent stuff Last few chapters especially.Must read for any Football fan. I found myself at Square Two after wading through the book s 280 pages There should probably be at least another two squares, maybe a half dozen to reach the end of the journey if, in fact, there is one One of the book s characters, the real good guy, alludes to what may be the author s conclusion that the problem will always be with us, that there is no end to match fixing If the whole idea may be to write a sequel which wraps up the criminal activity associated with the world s most popular sport, I will await other reviewers commentary before I buy it I was expecting a lot from this book.If you don t already have a good handle on betting, odds making and gambling terminology in general, this book is likely to leave you wondering what you just read and whether it was worth the time it took to read it Unfortunately, I fit both categories since I ve never been a gambler or associated with any If you already know a lot about basket weaving, I suggest you spend the hours you might have spent with this book reading about basket weaving.