Dead Money is about Alan Slater, a failing door-to-door salesman whose screwing around behind his wife's back. The novel opens with Slater at a casino with his "friend," hot-headed, high-stakes gambler and all-around asshole Les Beale. Beale is in the habit of convincing Slater to hang around with him as a sort of moral support/check on his explosive temper.
The one night Slater bows out from these festivities he gets a frantic, 2 a.m. call from Beale. Out of some sense of loyalty (or not?), Slater gets out of bed and helps Beale dispose of a dead body. Poorly.
From here, he enters a world of shit.
This book has everything I want. It's fast-paced, sweary, overflowing with black humor, and fatalistic to the core. At the start, Slater appears to be a regular guy, but the more desperate he gets, the more awful he acts.
And as things get more fucked, Slater becomes more like the guy he hates -- he becomes more like Beale. Banks handles this with remarkable care and it feels genuine.
If this is the kind of stuff Blasted Heath is putting out, sign me up.