Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bank of the Black Sheep-Robert Lewis

Bank of the Black Sheep
Robert Lewis
Serpent's Tail, Mar 1 2011, $14.95
ISBN: 9781846687457

Alcoholic private investigator Robin Llywelyn wakes up chained to a hospital bed. He has no idea how he there or why he is chained though he suffers from a massive hangover. When Dfyed-Polis Police Constable Matt Roberts and Avon-CID Detective Inspector David Knight show him his business card, Robin does not recognize his own name. The morphine dripping into his arm has sedated his pain but turns his brain into mashed potatoes. The two cops leave with the salutation of “give my regards to the cancer”. Later the Crown decides to not prosecute Robin who has no more than two months to live.

Taking himself off the morphine so he can think straight, Robin needs a drink so he decides to leave the hospice and go on a date with another patient; as ironically his lungs failed him while his stewed liver did not. Llywelyn receives a package containing a letter, a gun and money, which gives him a second motive to leave the hospice as he realizes there is a fortune buried in Wales that people would die for to possesses; since he is dying he might as well possess it.

The third Llywelyn incompetent investigative thriller (see The Last Llanelli Train and Swansea terminal) is a terrific satirical tale is over the top of Mount Snowdon, but fans who enjoy something different in their crime capers will not care. Fast-paced and filled with zingers, cops and robbers chase after the antihero, Bank of the Black Sheep is an intelligent jocular lampooning of the incompetent sleuth who allegedly makes a living by turning miraculously their chicken sh*t into a chicken dinner; Robin on the other hand succeeds at being a derelict.

Harriet Klausner

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