Saturday, 5 October 2013

One Man's Opinion: GUN by RAY BANKS

Just what I needed to get me out of a little reading trough. I picked up my kindle and found Gun to fill a few minutes and didn't put it down again until I'd reached the end. Cliché or what? Only it's not a cliché that usually applies to me beyond the short story.

Here we have a day in the life of Richie, fresh out of prison and looking for money in the only places he understands. He goes along to see Goose, a man with the reputation Mike Tyson would have in the North East if he were to wind up there. Only problem is it was by working for Goose that he was sent down in the first place.

Goose is really well written. He's not around for long, but the enormity of his menace is clear by the time he's said his piece. And his piece involves the collection of another piece - the gun of the title. It'll take him to another part of town where everyone's hard and down on their luck. He'll get to meet Florida Al, another nasty character. It'll push Richie to his limits and expose the natural cruelty and desperation that lies not too far beneath the surface which he seems unable fully understand.

The settings are bleak, the characters and bit-players superbly drawn, the tension's always present and grows as steadily as a prisoner being tortured on the rack and the dialogue is so sharp it makes a mark.

A thoroughly enjoyable read from a writer who always produces the goods.

Gun's available for Kindle (US) and also as a paperback from the excellent Crime Express.

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