OUT NOW! Dead-End Jobs: A Hitman Anthology. Edited by Andy Rausch

DEAD-END JOBS: A HITMAN ANTHOLOGY edited by Andy Rausch

‘Contract killers have long been a point of interest for readers of crime fiction and action film fans. Dead-End Jobs: A Hitman Anthology offers up eighteen works of short fiction from some of the hottest writers in the business. While the stories all depict professional killers, they are wildly different in their tone and the styles in which they are written, as well as the way they are depicted and the point-of-view from which they’re told.

Some of these killers are seasoned professionals and others are new to the killing game. Some stories find their settings in urban locales such as New York City or Los Angeles and others in backwater rural locations. There are also contract killers of every stripe. Some stories depict the traditional organized crime gunmen while others feature corner boys doing the bidding of neighborhood drug dealers and the like. The stories in this collection are fast-paced and action-packed.

Just as there are contract killers of varying pedigrees here, Dead-End Jobs features the writing of veteran wordsmiths such as Joe R. Lansdale, Max Allan Collins, and Stephen Spignesi, as well as new but equally exciting writers. Each author in this collection is as skilled as the hitters depicted in the stories. But their weapons are words instead of rifles and pistols, and every one absolutely kills here.

Praise for DEAD-END JOBS:

“An incredible collection of powerful and haunting stories that exist in that shadowy realm between tragedy, nihilism and noir.” —S.A. Cosby, author of Blacktop Wasteland’

DEAD-END JOBS: A HITMAN ANTHOLOGY edited by Andy Rausch — Published by All Due Respect, an imprint of Down & Out Books (June 2021)

• Trade Paperback (ISBN-13: 978-1-64396-212-2) — $17.95 includes FREE digital formats!
• eBook Formats — $6.99

The link to download the ebook (as a .zip file with three popular digital formats) may be found on your customer receipt.

Also available from the following retailers …

• Amazon — Trade Paperback | eBook
• Amazon UK — Trade Paperback | eBook
• Barnes & Noble — Trade Paperback | eBook
• iTunes — eBook
• Kobo — eBook
• Play — eBook

Tommy Bennett – Hitman For Sale!

Dead-End Jobs: A Hitman Anthology – edited by Andy Rausch, was published by All Due Respect/ Down& Out Books on the 11th June. As well as stories from the likes of Joe R. Lansdale, Max Allan Collins, & Paul Heatley, the anthology also includes a yarn from me. ‘Solitary Man‘ has my ageing hit man protagonist getting up to no good in East London.

Praise for DEAD-END JOBS:

“An incredible collection of powerful and haunting stories that exist in that shadowy realm between tragedy, nihilism and noir.” —S.A. Cosby, author of Blacktop Wasteland

You can -order Dead-End Jobs: A Hitman Anthology here.

And to coincide with the publication of Dead-End Jobs, the electronic versions of my FIRST TWO Tommy Bennett books are now on sale for 99p/ 99c!

LAST YEAR’S MAN

A troubled, ageing hit man leaves London and returns to his hometown in the north east of England hoping for peace. But the ghosts of his past return to haunt him. Last Year’s Man is a violent and blackly comic slice of Brit Grit noir.

MAN OF THE WORLD

Ageing hit-man Tommy Bennett left London and returned to his hometown of Seatown, hoping for respite from the ghosts of the violent past that haunted him. However, things don’t go to plan and trouble and violence soon follow Tommy to Seatown. Tommy is soon embroiled in Seatown’s underworld and his hopes of a peaceful retirement are dashed. Tommy deliberates whether or not to leave Seatown and return to London. Or even leave Great Britain altogether. So, he heads back to London where violence and mayhem await him.

HAVE A GANDER, IF YOU’RE THAT WAY INCLINED!

Coming soon … Dead End Jobs: A Hitman Anthology. Edited by Andy Rausch

With stories from Joe R. Lansdale, Max Allan Collins, Chris Miller, Rob Pierce, Tom Pitts, Paul D. Brazill and more …

Published by All Due Respect.

Pre-order Coming Through in Waves: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Pink Floyd

Perhaps no other major band or artist has equaled the lyrical and musical poignancy that Pink Floyd has achieved in landmark records such as The Dark Side of the Moon, Animals, Wish You Were Here, and The Wall.In this, the fourth installment in Gutter Books’ Rock Anthology Series, we pay tribute to, and hopefully in some small way enhance the legend of, a band that has spoken so compellingly to— and for—millions of people searching for meaning in the modern world.Featuring some of today’s most exciting authors, and edited by horror author and cancer survivor T. Fox Dunham, Coming Through in Waves weaves together a plethora of dark, strange, and intriguing images that only Pink Floyd could inspire.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

COME IN NUMBER 51, YOUR TIME IS UP – DBSCHLOSSER. A SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS PAUL D. BRAZILL MOTHER – KIMBERLY GODWIN HAVE A CIGAR – FRASER MASSEY FEARLESS – LINDA SLATER HEY YOU – PHIL THOMAS ARNOLD LAYNE – BILL BABER BRAIN DAMAGE – TOM LEINS CAREFUL WITH THAT AXE, EUGENE – MARK SLADE HEART BEAT, PIG MEAT – KENNETH W. CAIN ONE OF THESE DAYS – JIM SHAFFER JUGBAND BLUES – C. W. BLACKWELL JULIA DREAM – MORGAN SYLVIA KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF MY STACK – RENEE ASHER PICKUP LUCIFER SAM – K. A. LAITY NOBODY HOME – JOSEPH S. WALKER ON THE RUN – S. W. LAUDEN REMEMBER A DAY – KURT REICHENBAUGH OBSCURED BY CLOUDS – ALLAN ROZINSKITHE SCARECROW – KAREN KEELEY WISH YOU WERE HERE – ANDY RAUSCH CHILDHOOD’S END – A. B PATTERSON WAITING FOR THE WORMS – PAUL WILLIAMS

PRE ORDER COMING THROUGH IN WAVES HERE

Pre-Order Nightside : Tales of Outre Noir

Edited by Mark Slade and includes my Roman Dalton yarn Drunk On The Moon.

Nightside: Tales of Outre Noir is a collection of stories that hash together the Bizzare and the Noir. With authors who are on top of their game, this book is filled with tense prose and horrifying scenes that lovers of dark fiction will appreciate.

There are screenplays mixing Lovecraftian horror and Biblical tales, and stories of detectives solving gruesome murders. It’s a sub-genre cocktail, shaken and shared with murderous crazies that could very well be your friends or family members.’

A Few More Top Reviews For Gumshoe Blues

Well, GUMSHOE BLUES: THE PETER ORD YARNS continues to garner some well tasty reviews.

At THE HAUNTED PEN, David Burnham says:

‘Brazill’s descriptive work shines as he paints a written image of the colorful, memorable characters and places Ord encounters – pubs, bars, strip joints, cemeteries, and caravan sites to list just a few. I believe that in noir the location is just as much a character as the people who live there, and the author knocks it out of the park with his descriptions and dialog.’

You can read the rest of the review here.

At THE NEW THRILLING DETECTIVE WEBSITE, Kevin Burton Smith says:

Liberally laced with black humour, with a spritz of Don Quixote laid on top for good measure, Gumshoe Blues (2019) is some kinda read. Some kinda rough, cheeky, up-yours kinda read, I should add.

Read the rest of the review here.

At CRIME FICTION LOVER, Michael Parker says:

‘The result is a very kind of British noir, as if Jim Thompson had written his stories of doomed losers on the back of bawdy seaside postcards.’

You can read the rest of the review here.

GRAHAM WYND says:

‘The northern setting of Gumshoe Blues offers a laconic pace which suits the humour and makes the stark failures of the impromptu gumshoe Peter Ord a little (dare I say it?) poignant.’

You can read the rest of the review here.

ANDY RAUSCH says:

Brazill is a master at work here, and I for one cannot wait to see what he does next. FIVE STARS. If I could give it more, I would. It’s that good.’

You can read the rest of the review here.

And, if it takes your fancy, you can pick up GUMSHOE BLUES here.

gumshoe blues

Recommended Read: Layla’s Score by Andy Rausch

Lefty is a hitman, like his father before him. After killing a man and his wife, Lefty decides to raise their infant daughter Layla as his own. When he picks-up a two million dollar hit on a psychotic gangster, Lefty enlists the help of two of his father’s former cronies and heads off to Detroit with Layla in tow.

Layla’s Score by Andy Rausch is a violent, fast-moving, fast-talking crime novel. An urban western with a great soundtrack , a great deal of humour and a lot of warmth.

Layla's Score

Pre- Order A Time For Violence: Stories with an Edge

A Time For Violence: Stories with an Edge by Max Collins (Author), Joe Lansdale (Author), Richard Chizmar (Author), John Russo (Author), Richard Matheson (Author), Bev Vincent (Author), Stewart O’Nan (Author), Craig Douglas (Illustrator), Andy Rausch (Editor), Chris Roy (Editor) and many more, including me!

a time for violence

 

Recommended Read: Riding Shotgun: And Other American Cruelties by Andy Rausch

ridingshotgun

Andy Rausch’s  Riding Shotgun: And Other American Cruelties  is a marvellous collection that consists of three violent and blackly comic novellas. Prohibition era gangsters meet wild west outlaws in the first story, ‘Easy-Peezy‘, ‘Riding Shotgun’ is the tale of a crime fiction author who is forced to commit murder, and in ‘$crilla‘ – my personal favourite –  a failed hip-hop group kidnap an obnoxious record mogul. Each story is packed with more great characters and sharp dialogue than many novels and all would make cracking films. Riding Shotgun: And Other American Cruelties is a hell of an enjoyable ride.

 

Guest Blog: Riding Shotgun and Other American Cruelties by Andy Rausch

IMG_0620I’ve been asked to write a guest piece about my new crime novella collection Riding Shotgun and Other American Cruelties. So here goes… The anthology contains three very different kinds of crime tales written with three very different writing styles.

The genesis of the first story, Easy-Peezy, came from my considering penning a Western story. Once I realized that many of the bank robbing outlaws from the Old West were still alive, albeit quite elderly, at the time guys like John Dillinger and Machine Gun Kelly were robbing banks in the 1930s, the idea for the story became instantly apparent to me. I thought, what if a band of aged Western outlaws got together and started robbing banks during this same time period? That could be fun. And away I went…

There isn’t much beyond that to share about Easy-Peezy. It’s the most straightforward story in this collection. I had fun writing it and imagining these scenarios in which decrepit old men wielded pistols and robbed banks. It was also fun writing in iconic figures like Dillinger and Melvin Purvis. Hopefully readers will enjoy reading it as much I enjoyed writing it.

The second story, Riding Shotgun, was a riff on John Cassavetes’ 1976 film The Killing of a Chinese Bookie. Like that film (and later Nick of Time, 1995), the idea was that criminal figures would coerce a common man to commit an assassination for them. But I sought to improve upon that old chestnut by upping the ante and also taking the tale to what I had always seen as its inevitable conclusion, thus making it a tale of revenge. In this way it’s sort of like two stories rolled into one. It’s sort of a mash-up (in terms of attitude and theme) of Chinese Bookie and the 1977 AIP film Rolling Thunder, which I consider the greatest revenge film ever made. So imagine my shock and awe when Rolling Thunder co-writer Heywood Gould ultimately praised the novella as being “relentless… Addictive… The kind of nightmare you don’t want to wake up from.” Pretty cool, huh? I’ve still got goosebumps from that.

Another bit of trivia readers might find interesting about Riding Shotgun is that it was written as a bit of an experiment; I sought to write something truly pulpy that basically pared everything down and cuts out anything that absolutely did not need to be present to make the story work. It’s a gritty, bare-bones story that gets right to the heart of things with as little exposition as possible. In the end, I think the experiment worked. Riding Shotgun is one of the things I am the most proud of at this point in my career.

The third story, $crilla, was an absolute blast to write. It was another experiment of sorts. I wondered what you might get if you combined the sharp dialogue of Elmore Leonard, the racial objectivity and inclusiveness of Quentin Tarantino, and the world of hip-hop music. I don’t claim to be as talented as those two writers, but they are my biggest influences (and in its way, the same can be said of hip-hop music). They are quite simply the reasons I write the kinds of stories I write.

I toyed with the idea of this story for a long time before actually putting pen to paper. The idea was that a fledgling rap group would lose their recording deal and end up turning to crime in order to finance their extravagant lifestyle. I suppose the idea occurred to me after the hip-hop act C.E.B. got arrested for bank robbery and murder in 1996. But I tweaked that idea a bit, thinking it might be interesting if the rap group kidnapped a record company mogul and held him for ransom instead.

I was pleasantly surprised when Elmore Leonard’s son, novelist Peter Leonard, praised the novella and actually compared my work to that of his father. Of course that was by design—the writing style I utilized here was a direct homage to Leonard. (And for the record, I do not write anywhere near as well as Leonard did. Nobody does.) $crilla was most directly influenced by Leonard’s Road Dogs, which opened my eyes to just how much emphasis can be placed on dialogue. Although most Leonard novels feature very little exposition in contrast to most other authors this side of George V. Higgins, Road Dogs seemed to have the least. And it was still very effective. This is how Road Dogs ultimately became the spiritual father of $crillariding shotgun

Each of these novellas was written at a different time in my life, and each represents something completely different to me. I was overjoyed when Crime Wave Press decided to publish this collection. I was going through a rough patch during this period, having just gone through a painful divorce and then spending a month in a coma. The publication of this anthology was one of the first (of hopefully many) steps towards rediscovering my place in both my life and writing career.

So that, my friends, is the story behind Riding Shotgun and Other American Cruelties.