Thursday, January 03, 2008

Pg. 99: Ray Banks' Saturday's Child

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Saturday's Child by Ray Banks.

About the novel, from the publisher:
Cal Innes is fresh out of prison and ducking a past muddied with ties to local gang lord "Uncle" Morris Tiernan. But when Tiernan finds out Innes is working as an unlicensed PI and calls in a favor Innes doesn’t owe, Innes is thrust into a cat-and-mouse game with Tiernan’s psychotic son, Mo. Ordered to track down a rogue casino dealer who’s absconded with a hefty chunk of cash, Innes finds that the case points north to Newcastle. With Tiernan’s son on his tail and a Manchester cop determined to put Innes back in jail, Saturday’s child has to work hard to keep living.
Among the praise for Saturday's Child:

“This is a two-fisted read, full of blood, beatings, and hangovers. But Banks shows a deft touch with humor — Mo’s attempts to prove himself a hard man provoke wincing laughter — and Cal’s ongoing fight with fear makes him our new favorite tour guide through Britain’s track-suited ‘chav’ or ’scally’ culture.”
Booklist (starred review)

“Banks (The Big Blind, 2004) 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 real tough stuff.”

“Tough and assured ... Banks is updating the noir novel with an utterly original sensibility.”
Publishers Weekly

“Bleakly, desperately funny, Ray Banks offers us a glimpse of what Samuel Beckett might have read like had he turned his hand to crime fiction.”
Crime Always Pays (Declan Burke)

“Ray Banks’s writing is a dark delight, and Saturday’s Child is like blunt surgery from a cricket bat. Fast, hard, packed with madcap violence and twisted humor, it’s a bone-jarring ride through England’s bleak underbelly.”
Patrick Quinlan, author of Smoked

“Ray Banks mixes sharp humor with crackling dialogue in a wild ride across the pond. Saturday’s Child is a page turner, start to finish.”
Charlie Stella, author of Mafiya and Cheapskates

Fast, funny, and hard as nails, Saturday’s Child proves to America what the UK already knows: There’s a heart in the darkness of today’s finest crime fiction, and Ray Banks will take you there. Buckle up.”
Sean Doolittle, Barry award snatcher for The Cleanup

Saturday’s Child has to be one of the finest PI novels of the year. With crisp, seamless prose and laugh-out-loud observations, Banks gives us a whole new spin on the classic detective novel. Ray Banks and his hard-edged, cynical PI Cal Innes are true originals. Read Saturday’s Child and you’ll realize that the future of U.K. detective fiction is Ray Banks.”
Jason Starr, author of The Follower

“A savage hardboiled spanking, Saturday’s Child will leave you begging for more. Banks is a talented storyteller and a gifted wordsmith. He’s also demented in the best possible way. Keep sending the creamy goodness across the pond, Mr Banks. We want more!”
Victor Gischler, author of Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse

Saturday’s Child is a knock-out, written with the kind of energy and passion that far too few writers can muster. Fresh and fierce, it raises the bar for hardboiled fiction on both sides of the Atlantic.”
New York Times bestseller Laura Lippman, author of What The Dead Know

Saturday’s Child is fascinating, fresh and darkly funny. It will be an exotic entertainment for American readers of hard-boiled detective fiction.”
Thomas Perry, author of Nightlife

“Banks wields language with a knifefighter’s precision, with much the same result. From the first words to the last, this book flashes brilliantly.”
Don Winslow, The Power Of The Dog and The Winter of Frankie Machine

Saturday’s Child has the feel of a writer grabbing the material with both hands and keeping a tight grip on it from first page to last… For me, it was like three parts Mike Leigh, one part Sin City, with maybe a dash of Dead Man’s Shoes thrown in too.”
Steve Mosby, 50/50 Killer

Ray Banks is also the author of The Big Blind (his debut) and Donkey Punch.

Banks at his website and at Crimespace and MySpace.

The Page 69 Test: The Big Blind.

My Book, The Movie: The Big Blind.

The Page 99 Test: Saturday's Child.

--Marshal Zeringue