FIVE CRIME FICTION FAVOURITES FROM 2017.

Caimh McDonnell, Crime Fiction, Dave Zeltserman, films, Henry Brock, Nick Kolakowski, Paul D Brazill, Paul Heatley, Television, Top Telly

From my decidedly faulty memory, I’ve picked 5 crime fiction books, films and TV shows that I enjoyed in 2017. There were others, of course, and plenty of pleasures outside the genre too – The Love Witch, Guardians Of The Galaxy 2, and Damnation, for example.

Anyway, here you go:

small crimes

FILM

DOG EAT DOG

I DON’T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE

SMALL CRIMES

BABY DRIVER

WIND RIVER

better-call-saul

TV

BETTER CALL SAUL 

HAP AND LEONARD

TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN

FARGO

THE PUNISHER

eye for an eyeBOOKS

FATBOY – PAUL HEATLEY

EYE FOR AN EYE – PAUL HEATLEY

A MAN WITH ONE OF THOSE FACES – CAIMH MCDONNELL

VICIOUS DOGS – HENRY BROCK

A BRUTAL BUNCH OF HEARTBROKEN SAPS – NICK KOLAKOWSKI

A Film For Friday: Small Crimes

A Film For Friday, Crime Fiction, Dave Zeltserman, film noir, films, Humour, humour, Paul D Brazill, pulp, pulp fiction

small crimesSmall Crimes is a sharp, short slice of noir based on David Zeltserman’s classic cult novel.  A low-key, quirky crime film that is packed with great nuanced performances. Tightly directed with a gripping screenplay that smartly straddles the razors edge of noir and absurdity. Rich characters with a marvellously self-deluded and engaging protagonist. Small Crimes is brilliant, black comedy of errors that ticked all the boxes for me. I loved it.

Recommended Read: 21 TALES BY DAVE ZELTSERMAN

Crime Fiction, Dave Zeltserman, horror, pulp fiction, recommended reads, Short Story

21tales_200Can you imagine getting drunk with Jim Thompson, O Henry and Roald Dahl? Can you imagine the rush, the laughs and the chills?

Well, yes or no, sit yourself down, hell, lie down if you want to, and knock back a couple of shots of the dark stuff, the strong stuff, courtesy of Mr Dave Zeltserman.

21 Tales is a classy pulp collection which reads like a beaut of an anthology , although all twenty one stories were written by one man.

If you’re familiar with Dave Zeltserman brilliant crime novels- like Killer or Small Crimes- or his horror novels- like Blood Crimes– you’ll know that Zeltserman is a master noir story teller.

With 21 Tales he gives us a veritable cornucopia of stories that were written between 1992 and 2006. There is crime, suspense, sci-fi, horror and myriad cross pollinations of those genres.

21 Tales is a lethal –Molotov – cocktail that won’t give you a hangover but could give nightmares.

Short, Sharp Interview: Dave Zeltserman

Dave Zeltserman, Interviews, short sharp interviews

PDB: Can you pitch Monster in 25 words or less?

DZ: A retelling of Frankenstein where the creature tells the true story to put to rest the outrageous lies a dying Victor Frankenstein told Captain Walton.

PDB: Which books, films or television shows have floated your boat recently?

I’ve gotten hooked on Mad Men and have been catching up this summer with all the DVDs from past seasons. For new books, Vile Blood from Roger Smith is really quite something. For older books, I picked up Rex Stout’s The Rubber Band the other day for inspiration and was mesmerized by Stout’s wit, humor, and razor-sharp writing. I’ve also been working my way through the Richard Stark Parker books, just finishing The Black Ice Score. All have been great so far. I particularly loved The Seventh.

PDB: Is it possible for a writer to be an objective reader?

DZ: Definitely. As writers, we’ll quickly notice formulaic, stale writing, but also the more inventive and passionate writing. And when we come across something really special, we know it and tend to fall in love with it.

PDB: Do you have any interest in writing for films, theatre or television?

DZ: Right now I have two film deals in development. I’ve tried my hand at screenwriting, and think I’ve done a pretty good job at it, but what I’ve found is to get deals moved forward, producers need to attach a named screenwriter, otherwise the deal can stall out. So as much as I’d like to do the screenplays for my books, it’s best to just bow
out.

PDB: How much research goes into each book?

DZ: Most of my books, very little research. In some cases, like Small Crimes, it’s reading a couple of newspaper articles. Pariah is a bit different in that it was a distillation of a lifetime of reading and listening about Whitey Bulger. Monster is also different in that I spent 9 months researching it, reading Marquis de Sade’s works, E. T. A. Hoffmann’s tales, biographies on de Sade, on Samuel Hahnemann, on the London Hells Fire Sex Clubs, London street gangs, witchcraft, 18th century European history, and other related subjects.

PDB: How useful or important are social media for you as a writer?

DZ: I look at social media as a way to stay in touch with my readers, but I don’t think it’s very useful to attract new readers.

PDB: What’s on the cards in 2012/13?

DZ: Well, Monster came out this August, the trade paperback of A Killer’s Essence came out in September, my ‘man out of prison’ noir trilogy came out in Italy this summer, and Monster will also be out next year in the UK. Ellery Queen will also be publishing my 4th Julius Katz story, ‘Archie Solves the Case’. At this time, I’m not sure what else will be coming out, although I’m finishing up my 3rd Hunted novella.

Small Town Creed by Paul D. Brazill

Dave Zeltserman, David Lynch, film noir, films, Frank Capra, Jim Thompson, Life, Music, noir, Paul D Brazill, Scott Phillips, Travel

When You’re Growing Up In A Small Town/ You Hate It And You Want To Get Out.’ Lou Reed.

The lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside.’Sherlock Holmes

And small town America seems to be even worse. If we go by films, books and television – Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet, The Killer Inside Me, Lolita, Red Rock West – then small towns are dark and sinister places. Claustrophobic and repressive, they are much more suited to noir than the bright lights of the big city with its limitless possibilities. Noir is for losers, after all…

Maggie Greenwald’s cracking film version of Jim Thompson’s small town noir novel ‘The Kill –Off’, for example, starts with a shot of dozens of intersecting telephone lines buzzing with gossip and small town prattle, criss crossing and trapping you. Thompson’s novel is just as smothering with its multiple POVs and every character having a finger in someone else’s dirty pie.

Dave Zeltserman’sSmall Crimes’ shows a man trying to escape the past but his home town keeps dragging him back like an umbilical cord tied tight around his neck!

And as for getting out …

In Scott Phillips’ dark comedy of errors ‘The Ice Harvest’, the hero Charlie Arglist has big plans to get away from his small town blues but those old faces, places and habits keep hauling him back.

And look at Frank Capra’s terrifying noir classic ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’.  Poor George Bailey has plans the see the world and have adventures. But will those resentful hicks of Bedford Falls let him go? No! So, he tops himself. But even in death he can’t escape. A supernatural creature appears and drags him back ‘home’! It’s like that Sartre play where hell is other people, it really is.

And scariest of all, Bill Murray starts Groundhog Day as a funny and intelligent man but after being tortured by repeating the humdrum routine of a uber-bland town he loses his spark and his wit so much that he even fancies Ali Macdowal, or whatever she’s called. Now that is chilling!

(This post first appeared at CrimeFactory’s Day Labour blog.)

Recommended Read: Dave Zeltserman’s Dying Memories

Dave Zeltserman, noir, Paul D Brazill, recommended reads

Dave Zeltserman’s Dying Memories is a gripping 21st century thriller which mixes up Hitchcock and The X Files. 


It’s the fast paced story of the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time. Twists and turns abound as you rush toward a satisfying climax.

I don’t know what the eBook term for a page turner is but Dying Memories certainly is it.