Monday, February 18, 2013

Quick Review: Saturday's Child by Ray Banks

The first novel in the Cal Innes series opens with Innes out of jail and trying to stay out of trouble.

That, of course, is not about to happen.

He's playing at being a PI, or at least doing people favours for money. When local ganglord Morris Tiernan pressures him to repay an old 'favour', all he wants is Tiernan off his back for good, so he agrees to help track down a large sum of missing money and the croupier who took it. But with Tiernan's psychotic son as the oversized monkey on his back and more than just money at stake, Innes finds himself in the middle of family business that some people don't want out in the open.

Innes starts out pretty fucked up and things only get worse from there, especially when he finds himself in Newcastle. This short novel is packed with violence, stolen cash, more violence, bad decisions, family secrets and revenge by the shovel load. Mix in some drugs and thugs and it's a fast ride that just won't stop punching you in the face. Innes is a down and dirty modern PI that updates the classic mold, while keeping the hardboiled loser essence. And Ray Banks is one of the darkest, grittiest crime writers around. Trust me, nobody writes a fucked-up character like Banks.

Highly Recommended.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

In the deep midwinter...

Now then, where was I?

Well, winter has been long and hard and cold and busy. Tremendously busy and cold. And even though it's warmed a little in the last week, ice still hangs around like a persistant party guest when all the kindly host wants is a cup of tea and bed, and there may well be more snow before the end of the month.

I have however been busy in the background, beavering away and putting in the hard yards of writing. Nothing that you're likely to see very soon, but the kind of hard work which will hopefully put me in a better place tomorrow. Whenever she appears.

And of course, I've been reading. So in the interim to intermediate, look for some very short reviews of my favorites that I've been sipping my hot cocoa to on those long, dark, icy evenings. I meant to get started on this a long time ago, but I'm a right lazy bastard. So now I'm promising publicly: first one tomorrow.

AND, I've started an online course about film noir, which is very interesting and exciting. My noir viewing has always been patchy, so I'm using it as an excuse to fill in some gaps at the same time. This weekend I shall be watching Double Indemnity for perhaps the millionth time, and then The Lady from Shanghai, which I've bizarely never seen.

Ok. That's it.