I’ll be starting this pretty sharpish!
Dead Money by Ray Banks
Publisher: Blasted Heath
Double-glazing salesman Alan Slater is in trouble. He hasn’t had a good sales lead in months. His wife rightly suspects him of playing around. His best mate Les Beale has turned into a bigoted, boozed-up headcase. And that’s the least of it.
When a rigged poker game has fatal consequences, Alan finds himself not only responsible for the clean-up, but also for Beale’s escalating debt to a man who won’t take “broke” for an answer.
As Beale’s life spirals out of control, he becomes ever more desperately reliant on Alan to save his skin. But Alan isn’t about to be dragged into the gutter by anyone, least of all his bad-beat, dead money former mate.
After all, there’s no such thing as a compassionate double-glazing salesman.
Praise for Ray Banks:
“Ray Banks writes with harshness, humour and elegance, and his punchy dialogue teems with vigorous authenticity.” – The Times
“Banks is one of the freshest voices in hard-boiled crime fiction today.” – Library Journal
“Banks has an ear for the vernacular as sharp as, but a shade or two bluer than, that of George V. Higgins. Let the squeamish stick with Tony Soprano; this is the real tough stuff.” – Kirkus
Ray Banks is the author of the Cal Innes Quartet (Saturday’s Child, Donkey Punch, No More Heroes, Beast Of Burden) and the novellas, Gun and California. A very different version of Dead Money was previously published under the title The Big Blind. He lives in Edinburgh.