My books have had some very tasty reviews lately, which is nice.
‘Picking up a novel by Paul D. Brazill, a reader can expect fast paced action, humorous observations, funny dialogue, and a seedy, noir quality. His book, Last Year’s Man, delivers all that and something else: a touch of melancholy, a bit of sadness.
Tommy Bennett, an aging gun for hire, reluctantly comes to the conclusion that he is too old for his chosen profession. That profession is killing people and doing it efficiently with no trace of his involvement.
The story opens with Tommy on a job. A moment’s negligence on his part screws up a nice clean hit. It leaves him wondering if it is time to get out of the business. His next job goes wrong, too, but in a much bigger way, and Tommy is no longer wondering. He has to quit and run.
With little money and no passport, there are few places Tommy can go. He chooses to return to his hometown, a small city by the sea that has seen better days. Brazill highlights the city’s decay as Tommy takes in the town for the first time in many years. He gets off the train and notes the shops that are gone and the once proud statute in of “an old civic dignitary,” with a road cone on its head, and “the remnants of a Chinese take-away in its outstretched hand.”
He isn’t in town five minutes when he stumbles into a killing in a crummy bar. Soon, he is back in the company of violent crooks and con men he knew in his youth. But Tommy has to make a living and the local criminals remember him as a guy who can make things happen.
The slangy speech of Brazill’s characters not only gave me a laugh, but also provided an instant picture of the speaker. In a few words, Brazill describes characters. Of an underworld dame, Tommy says, “Bev smiled but there was the familiar razor-sharp look in her eyes.” Placing razor and eyes in the same sentence made me cringe and I knew just what Bev looked like. Later, Tommy calls a local heavy, “an ex-copper who was so bent you could use him to unblock your toilet.”
Last Year’s Man is a raw story seen through the eyes of Tommy Bennett, and is another fine job from Paul D. Brazill. I rarely say this about a book, but I wish this one was longer so I could spend more time with Tommy. ‘
At Amazon.com, Dr Nicola Parry gave Kill Me Quick FIVE STARS and said:
‘Wow, I loved this noirvella!
You definitely don’t have to be British to love this book, but I think being British will make you love it even more—especially if you were born and raised in a decent-sized city. And the cover art is classic “British seaside” — great choice!
As I began reading it, I had so many flashbacks to my youth and the locals and cultures of my northern hometown: the seedy pubs; the music; the weekend club scene; musicians who never seemed to take off, figuratively or literally; and the neighbourhood criminals whom everyone knew about, but avoided. Of course, the parallels will exist in every city in every country, but I definitely think this story will light an extra-special spark for fellow Brits!
And, for most of us, this book takes that hometown memory a few steps further—right into the heart of the local criminal underworld. Really dark humour, amazing character names that will make you laugh out loud, and a hilarious linking of plots as the story draws to its conclusion.‘
Crime writer Aidan Thorn also reviewed Kill Me Quick and said:
‘When it comes to the novella Paul Brazill is one of the best and Kill Me Quick doesn’t disappoint. Following Mark around Seatown, he’s not sure what’s going on the story unfolds for the reader as it does for Mark. There’s a great cast of people that Mark does and doesn’t want to see from his past. The book uses music to set an atmosphere of a time when things were much better for Mark, he used to be someone, sort of. Now he’s just a face in a town he used to know and there’s crime following him about as he just wants to have a beer and a chat. All the usual Brazill wit and twists are here. Well worth your time.
And D. S. Atkinson said of Supernatural Noir:
‘This mix concept comes off really well. I wasn’t sure how the stories would function, but they were fun and interesting. Just enough blood to keep things lively too. Good stuff.‘