With Double Wide Leo Banks has ventured into a new profession,
thriller author. His writing style will remind readers of
Robert Crais, specifically his Elvis Cole series. The colorful
characters have great banter between them, often showing their
cynicism of the world.
Thirty years ago Banks traveled with the Mexican Baseball
League, joining his friend who was a pitcher on the team.
“I used that experience as a springboard for my book
Tequila Sunday. Now, thirty years later, I rewrote the plot
using the characters I have had in my head for quite awhile.”
The main character, “Whip” Stark is a former professional
baseball pitcher who squanders his talent and money on drugs.
After doing time in a Mexican jail he buys an abandoned trailer
park west of the Tucson Mountains. He is leading a recluse’s
life until someone leaves him a box with a severed hand. Thinking
it is former catcher, Rolando Molina, Stark vows to find the
body and bring it home. He joins forces with reporter Roxanne
Santa Cruz to find his baseball buddy.
Using his vast experiences of an Arizona reporter Banks is
able to give a vivid picture of the Arizona desert and citizenry.
A quote in the book shows how Tucson is a way station for
drug smugglers with its rugged terrain and decoy loads. “The
drug trade has burned a hole through Tucson’s innocent
Banks noted, “Tucson and Phoenix are drug smuggling
hubs. Having lived in Tucson for almost forty years I know
that drug shootings are pretty frequent. Although illegal
immigration has lessened, drug smuggling has not diminished
and has actually become better and more efficient. They are
still poisoning people with their junk.”
It is hard to believe that this is Banks’ debut novel.
Blending together the drug cartel, baseball, and an abandoned
gold mine allows for a fun crime plot.