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Sucker Punch by Ray Banks

After reading Ray Banks’ “Saturday’s Child”, I was thrilled when his “Sucker Punch” was released. What a fantastic mystery writer! Dark and violent, this book features private investigator Callum Innes and his newest gig: babysitting Liam Wooley, an amateur boxer who is traveling to California from the U.K. for a boxing competition. The boxing world is generally not a place for nice guys but when you factor in corruption, fixed fights, and hard cases like Callum Innes, it becomes even more sinister. Next toss in an American rich kid who thinks he can go all the way and his dad who is willing to do whatever it takes to get him there. Although most of the story takes place in L.A., it might as well be taking place in gritty Manchester where Liam and Cal normally reside. Callum is a great main character and would be offended if I described him as British (“Britain is not a country!”) or said that his name is unusual (“used to be until …people became ashamed of being English…they had to start stealing Irish and Scottish names…”), so I’ll just say Callum is intense. If you enjoy authors such as Ian Rankin, Ken Bruen, or Charlie Stella, if you like your detectives and P.I.s to have a lot of bad habits, a major chip on their shoulders, and be prone to violence, then this book is for you!

Stacy W.

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