Royston Blake, head doorman at local dive Hoppers lives a simple life with simple needs, his slight embellishment of the truth throughout the narration of FAGS AND LAGER exemplifies this and provides the reader a jaded if not jagged source of what’s true and proper – the trials and tribulations, if you will, of being a top doorman and all that.
Murder, violence, booze, drugs, and fags dominate the theme of Charlie Williams’ second novel set in the town of Mangel, and much like DEADFOLK before it FAGS AND LAGER is just as colourful and entertaining - if not more-so.
Readers easily offended by cuss words and sewer dialogue need give FAGS AND LAGER a miss as our Royston Blake uses it in spades. The profanity does stand to reason and adds a little bit of uniqueness to the narrative. It added, rather than distracted.
As far as the plot goes it’s very much along the lines of a detective novel, one where payment is booze and lager rather than coin, notoriety, or reward for a just deed. A local shop owner wants Blake to return his 14yr old daughter to him and run-off her older (much older) boyfriend (the suspected bad influence). Blake soon discovers that the quarry is well known for being a tad promiscuous and loose with her morals and doesn’t mind a bit of illegal stimulus, hardly a damsel in distress.
Digging deep into the Mangel underworld and the rotten drug trade spreading its poison to the local youth, Blake uncovers far more than what he’d bargained for. His hurt – our enjoyment.
FAGS AND LAGER is a diverse and uniquely placed noir that tickles the senses and smacks the funny bone.
*title also known as BOOZE AND BURN