"You know I wouldn't be calling if it wasn't life and death ..."
Jimmy Cobb is a changed man, working the door at a Newcastle gay bar, minding both his alcohol intake and his temper. He has friends. He's putting down roots. But when a routine restraint turns bloody, he has no choice but to get out of town.
Sean Farrell hasn't changed a bit. He's been playing go-between for a Galway drug lord and a botched deal has left him cokeless, cashless, and staring at a thirteen-year prison stretch. Farrell's a goner unless he can blag the Kensington Mafia, his psychotic employer, and a couple of London Met detectives who think they're working Miami Vice.
Farrell has a plan; all he needs is the Man from Newcastle. But Cobb insists his braying days are behind him. With reinforcements on their way from Ireland and the police closing in, Farrell might have pulled on trouble's braids for the last time.
After avoiding Ray Banks for about 10 years, this was my second outing with him in about a week and a bit. Fair to say, I shan’t be leaving it as long again.
Trouble’s Braids picks up a few years after Farrell and Cobb went their separate ways at the conclusion of Wolf Tickets.
Farrell’s in London trying to repay an Irish debt by concluding a drug deal. He’s most likely been set up. The posh moneybags he’s dealing with doesn’t play square anyway, plus he’s fallen into the clutches of a pair of bent coppers known as Tubbs and Crockett. Only one thing for it – call Jimmy Cobb. Fortunately Cobb needs to leave Newcastle sharpish. The busies are looking for him after a bit of bar room security went awry and a man ended up with his lips flapping down by his chest.
Our double act reluctantly re-unites to take on all-comers in the Smoke.
Drug deals, car chases, double-crosses, bent coppers, Irish villains, a midget pick-pocket and some pithy social observations….
There was a telly over the bar showing Boris Johnson wittering away to some posh bird in power suit. Just the sight of that cunt was enough to put slugs under my skin. Anyone ever asks you whatever happened to white dog shit, you tell them they made it foreign secretary.
A couple of line of prose worth the price of admission on their own.
Earthy, violent, fast-paced, funny and entertaining, populated by a couple of dodgy characters who despite their flaws - and there’s more than a few – you root for to come out on top. I don’t really want too much more from my reading.
4.5 from 5
Ray Banks has his website here.
Wolf Tickets thoughts here.
Read in February, 2018
Published – 2017
Page count – 210
Source – Kindle Unlimited
Format - Kindle