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Regional accents and hard men

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Wolf Tickets by Ray Banks*

Everything I read by Ray just makes me want to throw my computer out the window and give up writing. Dammit, the man can write! And Wolf Tickets is no different.

Wolf Tickets by Ray BanksI only feel like that for a minute, as Ray’s work inspires me after that moment of doubt.

According to Ray, the phrase ‘wolf tickets’ comes from a Tom Waits interview from Playboy in the late 80’s and describes someone who’s bad news. In a sentence it’d be something like “Don’t f**k with me, I’m passing out wolf tickets.” And yes, the two main characters in this book definitely fit the bill.

Set mostly in the Newcastle area, this tale revolves from the viewpoints of Sean Farrell and Jimmy Cobb, mates from their time in the Army, now coasting in the strange after-service life they both inhabit. In Dublin, Sean’s girlfriend Nora has stolen £20,000 from him and done a bunk to her old boyfriend Frank O’Brien in Newcastle. To say this pisses Sean off is an understatement.

So he hops a flight to Newkie and meets up with his old mate Jimmy, acquires a gun and they set off to hunt Nora.

I won’t spoil the story for you, as it’s a right good read. There’s plenty of ups and downs and while they’re violent, foul-mouthed thugs, the pair do somehow engender sympathy. I think Banks’ depictions of Newcastle fit well with my memories, revolving as they do around a lot of pubs, but he manages to capture the flavour of the place along with the characters one finds there.

Okay, enough from me. I’m off to read something else he’s written. Talented sod.

*If you’re offended by bad language or graphic violence, this isn’t one for you. Go read something by that nice Jeffrey Archer.