Enter the dark underbelly of London for a story of one man's fight against steep odds
Garron is about as unorthodox a hero as you can get. An ex-boxer who could have gone pro, he was unfortunate enough to suffer a career-limiting injury to his wrist. A glittering career in the boxing ring over, Garron has resorted to the rent collecting business and part-time bodyguard for some of London’s more dubious tourists. He’s not exactly a good guy and you get the feeling that he’s on the edge waiting to fall into the murky underworld that seems to be his only future.
Mick is his handler and sets up all the deals on Garron’s behalf. Mick is one of Garron’s few long-term friends who still play a part in his life, such as it is anymore. That is until an old friend turns up and things start to get a little out of hand... First there’s a raid by a couple of Donald Duck’s plus shotguns; then a run in with local gangster, Hillier, who isn’t overly thrilled with Garron’s style... and then, then there is Jenny.
It was refreshing to read as Garron unfolded before my very eyes and he does unfold. We are privy to his thoughts, his nightmares, his fears and self-doubt – Garron is very much human, just as fallible, just as afraid, just as broken inside. There is a bittersweet aftertaste to this book that transcends most ‘action hero’ type novels – in fact, I wouldn’t really class this as ‘action hero’... it’s more like watching a small child who is lost and wandering around aimlessly, fighting just to survive and get through another day, slowly metamorphosis into a man willing to forge his own future instead of just accepting his current lot.
Don’t be deceived though – Garron is a killer and hard as nails. In fact, the juxtapose of him as a fighter and him being fragile at the start of his new relationship with Jenny is quite something.
Stein writes with real class and has created a devastatingly credible and hugely desirable character in Garron. Women will swoon and men will feel inadequate.
We interview C J Daugherty about Night School
- 10 January 2012