Beast of Burden
By Ray Banks
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780151014538, 304pp.)
Publication Date: March 1, 2010
List Price: $25.00*
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In his short career as Manchester’s most indestructible private eye, Callum Innes has been run over by a car, beaten within an inch of his life, shot in the ear, left for dead on a desert roadside, and halfway blown up by a car bomb.
Now, mourning the death of his addict brother, walking with a cane, and barely able to speak following a massive drug-related stroke, Cal is a wreck. Enter Manchester ganglord Morris Tiernan to make his life even worse. Tiernan’s ne’er-do-well son Mo has gone missing, and Cal Innes is the only person the distraught gangster trusts enough to conduct the search. There’s nobody Cal would like to find less, but you don’t say no to Uncle Morris. And it turns out that Innes is not the only one working the case — the corrupt and parasitic Detective Sergeant “Donkey” Donkin has a vested interest in the fate of the Tiernans, as well as a long-standing grudge against the intrepid private eye.
In this fourth and final installment of the Cal Innes series, our hero gives up acting as a pawn in Manchester’s underworld disputes. He has his own burdens to bear and scores to settle — with the Tiernan family, with Sergeant Donkin, and with the darkness in his own past.
Ray Banks has been a double-glazing salesman, a croupier, a dole monkey, and a disgruntled temp. The author of The Big Blind, Saturday’s Child, Sucker Punch, and No More Heroes, he was born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, and now lives in Edinburgh.