2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Not the Bane of my life,
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This review is from: The Doll Princess (Bane 1) (Hardcover)
An occasionally atmospheric crime drama set in Manchester just after the IRA bomb. The anti-hero, Bane - a legman for local crime lords investigates the death of an old sweetheart and gets drawn into people trafficking; drug deals and the murky underworld of Manchester low life. For me Tom Benn neither achieved the Mancunian milieu or the nineties setting and his main character Bane was neither interesting enough or complex enough to be a hook for the reader. Some readers have described the writing as poetic but for me it was workaday and very much the prose you might see in a first novel. Clearly, if Benn intends this to be a series (book 2 is already out) then Bane has to be developed as a character and not everything can be developed in novel one. But he struck me as a somewhat flimsy character and at times the narrative was less than crystal clear. Ken Bruen, the Irish writer of the Jack Taylor novels (and more readily the Brant novels) can do this stuff much much better and Benn has produced a book that shows some promise but doesn't set the pulse racing or make me cheer on the hero. I might pick up novel two but only in the hope that there is more meat on the Bane.