Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Review: ANGELS OF THE NORTH by Ray Banks

Angels of The NorthFrom the back of the book:
Thatcher's Britain. A boom time for entrepreneurs, patriots ... and vigilantes.

Gateshead's notorious Derwent Hall estate. Crippled by unemployment, awash with drugs, and a no-go area for police and politicians alike.

Three men – a taxi driver with political aspirations, a soldier with black dreams, and the jobless victim of a brutal attack – come together to rid their estate of crime. But when conscience collides with ambition, it's not long before the streets turn bloody and their community burns.


My review:
ANGELS OF THE NORTH is more than a vigilante story; it's an in depth look at the lives of three middle aged men stuck in the lower rungs of the socioeconomic table. Each with family lives, that whilst different, bleed into one another by virtue of the their housing predicament. 

There's a feeling of community within the housing estate where the story takes place as the three men band together - albeit reluctantly - to rid the estate of drug addled squatters spilling poison on the street. It's a violent and bloody confrontation that spans multiple strikes as the men fight to take back the street. They succeed but at a terrible cost. 

Ray Banks has long been one of my favorite authors - his books are my go-to-reads when I need to indulge in something a little more colorful and edgier than every day crime reads.

ANGELS OF THE NORTH is a multifaceted noir that absorbs all that is dull, sullen and grey and turns everyday life on its head. Any step can be dangerous, any eye-to-eye a call to arms. Life isn't always sunshine and rainbows - this book, while fiction, could be a mere wee glimpse into any such housing estate - perhaps with a little more violence and destruction thrown in for good measure. 

Ray Banks makes this work on so many levels; the pacing is great, the plotting tight, the characters three dimensional, the action not without cause. We as readers get these characters and after all, isn't that what makes a good book? 

Check it out. 

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