Each day for seven days I'll be looking back at one of the Blasted Heath books I've read and reviewed. The fourth in this series of blog posts is 'Dead Money' by Ray Banks.
I have fond memories of reading ‘Dead Money’ as it will forever be my first Blasted Heath title. Having read the Cal Innes series and notably, ‘Beast of Burden’ prior to picking up ‘Dead Money’ I knew I was in for a treat with the new book published through Blasted Heath. Pitch black humour, an endearing protagonist, and a toxic friend who is nothing but trouble kept me thoroughly entertained from start to finish. I read this in October 2011, my review is posted below:
Imagine a man who has it all; successful career, loving trophy wife, mates worth their weight in gold, and a healthy stress-free lifestyle. Now, perish the thought and be introduced to Alan, a double glaze salesman who’s the polar opposite of the ‘man who has it all’. On a rung slightly above telemarketer, the home salesman is depicted as little more than an unfaithful husband, yes-man, and borderline alcoholic whose only saving grace is that he’s not Les Beale – toxic friend extraordinaire. That being said, one can’t help but feel sympathy for the bloke as he meanders through life fielding drama from all directions.
In ‘Dead Money’, Ray Banks dons a persona bearing resemblance to a dirty Jason Starr as he crafts a white-collar noir at home with Starr’s corporate New York 9-to-5ers. Lead character Alan, for his faults, assumes the classic ‘wrong man’ role, thrown into a world of chaos courtesy of best mate Beale and his penchant for unprovoked violence. Intensely atmospheric, ‘Dead Money’ embodies the more traditional elements of a hard knock life with each scene adding perspective to the flawed yet endearing characters that populate the rain sodden streets of Banks’ latest foray into the accidental underworld.
Top notch story telling from start to finish, Ray Banks writes in a voice that will grip you by the throat and squeeze until you’ve read every last word – only then will you take a breath and appreciate the craftsmanship before wanting to do it all over again.
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