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Paying For It (Gus Dury 1) Paperback – 4 Jun 2009
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"A fine debut. Black is the new noir" (Allan Guthrie)
"Tony Black's first novel hits the ground running, combining a sympathetic ear for the surreal dialogue of the dispossessed with a portrait of the belly of a city painted in the blackest of humour" (Guardian)
"Paying For It might just be the most aptly titled novel of the year. Rarely has a title worked on so many levels... the narrative blasts off the page like a triple malt... This is one adrenalin-pumped novel, as moving and compassionate as it is stylishly written" (Ken Bruen, author of The Guards novels)
"Assuming (and hoping) that this is the first of many featuring the tortured Gus Dury, we've never seen a series character so richly and honestly drawn from the get-go. The emotional punches connect solidly in Paying For It, as the pains of being a father and the pains of being a son are laid bare. The debut of the year" (Thuglit.com)
"Of all the new writers emerging this year, he is the one to watch" (Martyn Waites, author of the Joe Donovan series)
Gus Dury once had a high-flying career as a journalist and a wife he adored. But now he is living on the edge, a drink away from Edinburgh's down-and-outs, drifting from bar to bar, trying not to sign divorce papers. But the road takes an unexpected turn when a friend asks him to investigate the brutal torture and killing of his son, and Gus becomes embroiled in a much bigger story of political corruption and illegal people-trafficking. Seedy doss-houses, bleak wastelands and sudden violence contrast with the cobbled streets and cool bistros of fashionable Edinburgh, as the puzzle unravels to a truly shocking ending.See all Product description
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When Col, the landlord of his local, asks him to investigate his boys' death, Gus is drawn in to the local gangland complete with people-smuggling and murder.
Gus is, despite his many faults - alcoholism, a short temper - a good man. He's still haunted by the treatment doled out by his brutish father but he wants to do the best he can.
Tony Black's writing gives the reader a real sense of Edinburgh. Not the tourist side you may have seen but the Edinburgh inhabited by the drinkers and criminals. The Edinburgh dialect runs throughout the book (indeed, through all Tony's books) and really adds to the realism.
As soon as I'd finished this I bought and started on the second Dury book. Highly recommended for those who like their books to be "gritty"!