In high school, Leo W. Banks worked loading delivery trucks with the Sunday edition of the Boston Globe. In those days the Sunday paper was really heavy, so he switched from lifting to writing. He graduated from Boston College and earned a masters degree from the University of Arizona, where he later taught writing. His articles have appeared in the USA Today, Newsday, Miami Herald, National Review, National Geographic Traveler, Sports Illustrated, Wall Street Journal and many others. He has been a correspondent for the Los Angeles Times and, yes, the Boston Globe.
He has written four books of Old West history for Arizona Highways publishing and co-wrote a book about the Grand Canyon. His book about the saguaro cactus won’t stop selling. He has won numerous journalism awards and today writes a column for True West magazine. Double Wide, his first novel, won the 2018 Spur Awards for Best First Novel and Best Contemporary Western…and was True West Magazine‘s Western Crime Novel of the Year.
Will Zachary leads an isolated existence running The Flying Z, a struggling, southern Arizona ranch on the Mexico border, with his aging, dementia-stricken Uncle and a ragtag crew of of fellow cowboys and town folk. His ordered life dramatically changes when Merry O'Hara, driving cross-country on her way to grad school at Stanford, takes a wrong turn into a ditch on his land...and right into the middle of a war he's fighting with a vicious cartel smuggling drugs across his ranch. Against all odds, Will and Merry are drawn to each other, at the same time they're desperately fighting, out-manned and out-gunned, to protect the ranch and their lives.
Arizona businessman Henry Belmont’s senate campaign is looking good. The cash contributions are rolling in and Mary Rose Cleary, his sexy, young campaign manager and mistress, is happy to handle the flow, as long as she can secretly pocket her cut. Complicating the picture is Henry’s conniving wife Barbara, a fading beauty with a secret criminal past and a deadly agenda. But Mary and Barbara share more than a bed with handsome Henry. They both love guns, money and sex...and know how to use them to get what they want. Now, in the brutal heat of a Phoenix summer, the lives of this scheming trio will collide in a violent explosion of betrayal, greed and murder.
Disgraced former baseball phenom Prospero Stark turns detective when someone leaves his former catcher's severed hand on the doorstep of his Airstream trailer. DOUBLE 2018 SPUR AWARD WINNER!!
He displays an excellent ear for bitter, cynical dialog and an unsparing eye for desperate characters running on empty
Banks is an award-winning local journalist and on top of his game in his debut novel
Banks’ descriptions of the Arizona desert so vivid that you’ll rush to turn up the air conditioner, his portrayals of his colorful characters so memorable that you’ll find yourself wondering what else those who survived the tale are up to once you finish the last page
Great writing line to line, wonderful evocation of place, each sentence edged with grit and humor..
Banks’s descriptions are wonderfully evocative, and frequently contrasted with the ugliness of the Arizona cities just outside of the desert.