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Chris High books reviewed

No More Heroes

Ray Banks

Publisher: Polygon
ISBN: 978 – 1 – 84697 – 013 – 9

March 6th, 2008

Image: Front cover of the book 'No More Heroes' by Ray Banks.


 


A book to be read in one go, No More Heroes is another Ray Banks paired-to-the-bone classic that should rank high on anybody’s must read list and in Callum Innes, he has created a masterpiece in character study.

As flawed as Liverpool FC’s title aspirations and as soft at heart as a cream egg, Innes is everything you’d want your heroes to be and he doesn’t even have the audacity to be a copper. Okay, he’s a PI … sort of, when he’s not out reluctantly serving summonses on asylum seekers and students for a lowlife boss … but this shouldn’t take anything away from the fact that Innes is an ordinary guy dealing with the everyday stresses of a life that deserves a break or two on the good side.

Blimey, the man can’t even smoke in his own car any more for goodness sake!
Set during Manchester’s hottest summer on record and amidst a backdrop of racial and nationalist tension, Ray Banks has conjured up another world filled with hard-bitten, magical, economical prose that quite simply refuses to pull its punches.

Paulo, Daft Frank and Donald Plummer, Banks’s peripheral but nonetheless important characters here, are all so beautifully drawn and with such immediacy its impossible not to relate to them because what the author does so well is tell their story from all sides. Plummer, for example, may be a scumbag Slum Lord but when he starts to get hassled beyond his just deserts it is impossible not to feel for the man whereas in Paulo there is something in him that everyone wants on their side.

Mad, bad or just plain dangerous to know, each player is so human – each scene so vivid and well crafted – you want to meet them or be there for real and in possessing this skill, if for no other reason, Ray Banks should rank amongst the very best of writing talent in Britain today.

www.thesaturdayboy.com


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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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