Beast of Burden by Ray Banks
(Cal Innes Novels)

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In his short career as Manchester’s most indestructible private eye, Callum Innes has been run over by a car, beaten within an inch of his life, shot in the ear, left for dead on a desert roadside, and halfway blown up by a car bomb. 

Now, mourning the death of his addict brother, walking with a cane, and barely able to speak following a massive drug-related stroke, Cal is a wreck. Enter Manchester ganglord Morris Tiernan to make his life even worse. Tiernan’s ne’er-do-well son Mo has gone missing, and Cal Innes is the only person the distraught gangster trusts enough to conduct the search. There’s nobody Cal would like to find less, but you don’t say no to Uncle Morris. And it turns out that Innes is not the only one working the case — the corrupt and parasitic Detective Sergeant “Donkey” Donkin has a vested interest in the fate of the Tiernans, as well as a long-standing grudge against the intrepid private eye. 

In this fourth and final installment of the Cal Innes series, our hero gives up acting as a pawn in Manchester’s underworld disputes. He has his own burdens to bear and scores to settle — with the Tiernan family, with Sergeant Donkin, and with the darkness in his own past.


About Ray Banks

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Ray Banks has been a double-glazing salesman, a croupier, a dole monkey, and a disgruntled temp. The author of The Big Blind, Saturday's Child, Sucker Punch, and No More Heroes, he was born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, and now lives in Edinburgh.
Published March 31, 2009 by Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited. 304 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Stroke deprivations aside, the family Innes has had a problematical history with the family Tiernan, and it’s no secret that Cal blames the Tiernans for much that’s gone wrong with his life.

Aug 11 2011 | Read Full Review of Beast of Burden (Cal Innes No...

Publishers Weekly

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British author Banks's fourth and most definitely last Cal Innes novel (after No More Heroes) finds the self-destructive Manchester PI recovering from a drug-induced stroke that's left him barely able to speak.

Jun 13 2011 | Read Full Review of Beast of Burden (Cal Innes No...

Book Reporter

BEAST OF BURDEN is the fourth novel in the chronicles of Cal Innes, an unlicensed and unlucky private investigator in Manchester, England.

Sep 08 2011 | Read Full Review of Beast of Burden (Cal Innes No...

Spinetingler Magazine

Beast begins with a scene that parallels the intro of Saturday’s Child – Cal is summoned by Morris Tiernan, a brutal Manchester crime lord, whose estranged son (a pill-popping psychopath we’ve met before) is missing.

Mar 11 2011 | Read Full Review of Beast of Burden (Cal Innes No...


Because of course we love Cal, even more so now that he’s so pitiful and broken (and not able to lash out and be a dick since his speech has been so fucked by the stroke), but feeling sorry for fucking Donkin?

Mar 22 2009 | Read Full Review of Beast of Burden (Cal Innes No...

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