cover image .45-Caliber Perfume

.45-Caliber Perfume

Leo W. Banks. Brash, $11.99 trade paper (226p) ISBN 978-1-954841-49-9

In this entertaining mix of sex, theft, and homicide from Banks (Double Wide), Phoenix businessman Henry Belmont is running to unseat an incumbent for a U.S. Senate seat. He’s having an affair with his campaign manager, Mary Rose Cleary, who’s already siphoned off more than $100,000 from fund-raising. Henry’s wife, Barbara, suspects both the affair and the skimming, but has decided she’s had enough of him in any case—she’s thinking he’d be better off to her dead. And she might as well jump into bed with Mary on her own. Banks starts slow, but the action picks up after Mary and Barbara begin sneaking on cat-and-mouse excursions into homes looking for stacks of cash. Perfume, fur coats, and handguns punctuate the plot, and snappy prose helps keep the pages turning (“The memory of the day’s brutal sun made the night sizzle”). When a couple of thugs imported from Boston show up to help with the killing, bullets fly, and the rat traps explode on neck after neck. Noir fans will find plenty to like. (Oct.)