'Excellent story telling. Highly recommended.' Math Bird (The Whistling Sands)
'Southsiders is definitely a book that is going to travel by word of mouth and it deserves to. I say this because it isn't a crime thriller, and calling it a family drama does it no justice whatsoever. At one moment, the pages turn as if it were a taut, issue-driven novel, but when it ventures into the mind of its twelve year old lead, it behaves like a Roddy Doyle-style response to the issues at the heart of childhood. Here is some word of blog then: you should definitely read Southsiders by Nigel Bird. It is engrossing and entertaining and not in any way a run of the mill production. Something quite unique in many ways, and a fond portrayal of early adulthood.' Scottish Books
'This is a perfect introduction to Bird’s work for the uninitiated—and those who already know him will love it too.' Chris Rhatigan (Squeeze)
It doesn't take long for Ray Spalding to realise that prison is nothing like an Elvis Presley movie. The warden has no intention of throwing a party and the only bands Ray encounters are gangs of hard men. When an old adversary seeks him out, Ray decides his only chance for survival is escape.
Ray's son, Jesse, is discovering that being on the run in the middle of winter is no fun. With his stamina stretched to the limits, he's ready to surrender himself to social services. At least that way he can see his girlfriend again.
Danny Boy is the man in the middle. He thinks he can break Ray from prison and reunite father and son. All he needs is an ambulance, a funeral, the help of some old friends and a big slice of good fortune.
Southsiders: Jailhouse Rock takes you for an eventful ride on a Mystery Train where the destination is as likely to be the Heartbreak Hotel as the Promised Land.