Gang warfare

Turf wars in Las Vegas: City in Ruins, by Don Winslow, reviewed

So you’d like to borrow half-a-billion dollars? It’s a tribute to the epic ambitions of this novel that the reader swallows questions like this without blinking. In a sense that’s fair enough because City in Ruins is the third book of a trilogy loosely modelled on the great poems of the classical world, particularly the Iliad and the Aeneid. Don Winslow is probably best known in this country as the author of the widely praised Cartel trilogy, about the US Drug Enforcement Agency’s ‘War of Drugs’. The Danny Ryan trilogy, by contrast, deals with the life and times of a Rhode Island longshoreman who evolves first into a gangster-with-a-heart and

Gang warfare in the west of Ireland: Wild Houses, by Colin Barrett, reviewed

Until now, Colin Barrett has made his name as an artist of the short story. Both his debut collection, Young Skins (2014) and Homesickness (2022) won him acclaim for their depiction of rural Ireland. But his tales stretch beyond the constraints of their size, and his dispossessed drinkers, small-time crooks and depressed teenagers seem too large and real to have their stories end in a matter of pages. Barrett’s first novel, Wild Houses, is, then, a delight, with a wider space for his talent to spread and for his acutely observed characters to linger. In the first few pages he gives us a man whose tattoos appear like ‘the pages