Gravy Train has been a highly entertaining crime thriller, full of dodgy characters who don’t care who gets hurt as long as they get what they want.
Sandra is an instantly likeable character. A forty something hard-working pub landlady who dreams of a better life, in a posher pub, in a nicer area. I can’t say I blame her given the number of customers who refer to her as Grandma! I’m forty something and would not be impressed in the slightest.
One rowdy night in the pub, Sandra overhears customers discussing details of a betting scam and she suddenly sees that better life she dreams of becoming more of a reality. Having talked her initially reluctant husband, Mike, into placing a bet they collect their £80,000 winnings only to be mugged as they leave the betting shop. I mean, how gutted would you be! They might have gained the money in a less than honest way, but even so I would be crying, so I could totally feel Sandra’s pain.
From this point on the money generates a lot of interest amongst many people, who seem to think they have the right to help themselves to other people’s property, but none of them seem to be able to hold on to it.
Greed dominates this story. There’s absolutely no loyalty. It is quite violent in parts, but also quite amusing in others. I love how Mr Ball is ‘affectionately’ known as BollockFace!! LOL!
Most of the characters throughout this book are extremely unlikeable, but fascinating in their own ways. I did feel sorry for Sandra. Her desperation poured off the pages, bless her. I’d rather be poor than do what she does in the hope of seeing her money again though.
A brilliantly written, compelling read which I will happily recommend to all.
Crime pays. So barmaid Sandra thinks when she overhears details of a betting scam and wins herself and fat husband Mike eighty thousand pounds. But they’ve reckoned without mugger Lenny, lying in wait outside the betting shop door. And he’s reckoned without a top-notch car thief, his own devious boss, a fellow gang-member with a grudge, and Sandra’s unpleasant almost-Uncle George.
Chaos ensues as a whole bunch of disparate—and desperate—characters chase the bag of money around Birmingham’s back streets. Plenty of them help themselves to the cash, but none of them are good at hanging onto it. As they hurtle towards a frantic showdown on the banks of the local canal, will any of them see their ill-gotten gains again? Or will their precious gravy train come shuddering to a halt?
Praise for GRAVY TRAIN:
“Tess Makovesky’s Gravy Train is a terrifically entertaining, raucous and rough ’n’ tumble Brit Grit crime caper that will leave you breathless.” —Paul D. Brazill, author of Last Year’s Man, A Case of Noir, and Guns of Brixton
“Gravy Train is my kind of crime fiction. Real people, real stakes, real fun.” —Jay Stringer, author of Ways to Die in Glasgow and How to Kill Friends and Implicate People
“…a dash of Snatch, a pinch of The Italian Job, a little The Long Good Friday—but all Tess Makovesky.” —Jason Beech, author of Moorlands and City of Forts
“When lives collide, sometimes it’s kismet—and sometimes it’s crime. Makovesky weaves the threads of these lives to a tight slam-bang conclusion you won’t forget.” —Graham Wynd, author of Satan’s Sorority and Extricate
“Gravy Train is a witty and gritty crime caper with a clever plot and lowlife characters you will love to hate. Highly entertaining.” —Deborah Swift, author of The Lady’s Slipper and Past Encounters
“If you love a rollicking, gritty, humorous crime caper, with a cast of disparate but entertaining characters, then Tess Makovesky’s Gravy Train is a gem of Brit Grit crime fiction you won’t want to miss.” —Matt Hilton, author of Dead Men’s Dust and Marked For Death
“Makovesky writes with a distinct voice and has a verve for language.” —Graham Smith, author of Watching the Bodies and The Darling Dead
Tess writes a distinctive brand of British comédie noir and her short stories have darkened the pages of various anthologies and magazines, including Shotgun Honey, Pulp Metal Magazine, Out of the Gutter Online, Betty Fedora, ‘Exiles: An Outsider Anthology’ (Blackwitch Press), ‘Drag Noir’ (Fox Spirit), ‘Rogue’ (Near to the Knuckle), and ‘Locked and Loaded’ (One Eye Press). Her debut novella, a psychological noir called ‘Raise the Blade’ is available now from Caffeine Nights Publishing.
You can follow her ramblings (both literary and literal) at her blog: http://tessmakovesky.wordpress.com/