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.

Last Year’s Man/ Man Of The World NOW 99c!

MOTW x2

Both of my Tommy Bennet books are currently on sale for only 99c – or equivalent- from various platforms. Grab ’em if you fancy!

MAN OF THE WORLD

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

LAST YEAR’S MAN

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

last years man

News, reviews, and Small Town Blues

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Over at the All Due Respect blog, I talk about small town noir and Man Of The World.

SMALL TOWN BLUES is here.

At Bristol Noir, I have a new short story called IN THE COLD, COLD NIGHT.

Episode 2 of Darren Sant’s Tiny Tales podcast has my yarn THE TUT, and Episode 3 has Peter Ord‘s song GUMSHOE BLUES.

MAN OF THE WORLD is out now and has picked up a couple of very tasty reviews.

K A Laity:

5.0 out of 5 stars From laid-back humour to grievous bodily harm!

Reviewed in the United States on April 18, 2020

Verified Purchase
It’s always good news to hear that Mr B has a new book out. I even got my grubby mitts on an advanced copy so read ’em and weep, folks — I already have! Read it, that is. And ordered the paperback, too.

I missed Seatown! It’s great to be back there. Tommy Bennett is back: he was Last Year’s Man but now he’s even more lethal. He’d really rather retire. He’s almost making peace with the ghosts that haunt him. But the old life pulls him back in every time. And as we all know, the dead don’t always stay dead.

The story turns on a dime from laid-back humour to grievous bodily harm. One minute you’re chuckling as dim-witted low-lifes argue about pop music, then in Chandler-esque fashion a man walks through a door with a gun — and probably dressed as a nun to boot. Brazill makes it all look easy — John Le Mesurier easy. The pace seldom slackens for more than a few pages then we’re off and running again, or rather Tommy is, and he’s left a body or two behind him and a few lively ones chasing him.

True to its title, we start in Seatown but soon we’re off to the Big Smoke and then even further afield. Familiar names pop up: some from his other yarns and beware, crime writing friends of Brazill are likely to wind up dead. All the flourishes you expect from his stories are there: small time crooks improbably questioning the quality of Jane Austen novels, enough song references to fill a day-long radio show, lyrical twists, and you never know what’s lurking behind that closed door though it’s bound to be memorable (I’m still snorting at one of the truly bizarre reveals).

There is more pink than you’d expect in a noir novella.

And I’ll tell you a secret: when he thinks you’re not paying attention Brazill throws in a few lines of absolute poetry. It may seem like finding antique doubloons in busker’s hat full of pennies, but it’s just the thing for those of us lying in the gutter, gazing up at the stars.’

Sonia Kilvington:
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 20, 2020

Verified Purchase

E. Hobart:
Reviewed in the United States on April 17, 2020

Verified Purchase

New from All Due Respect: Man of the World by Paul D. Brazill

New from All Due Respect …

 

MAN OF THE WORLD by Paul D. Brazill
Publication Date: April 17, 2020

Buy the trade paperback from the Down & Out Bookstore and receive a FREE digital download of the book!

Also available from the following retailers …
Print: AmazonAmazon UKBarnes & NobleIndieBound
eBook: KindleKindle UKNookiTunesKoboPlay

Synopsis … 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.

Man of the World is a violent and darkly comic slice of Brit Grit noir.

Praise for the Books by Paul D. Brazill:

“If you took Ken Bruen’s candor, the best of Elmore Leonard’s dialogues, sprinkled in some Irvine Welsh, and dragged it all through the dirtiest ditch in South London, the result will be something akin to Brazill’s writing.” —Gabino Iglesias, author of Zero Saints and Gutmouth, for The Last Laugh

“A broad range of cultural strands come together in the melting pot and form a delicious stew of criminal adventure… The observations are sharp and the characters create small nuclear explosions as they collide with each other.” —Nigel Bird, author of Southsiders, for The Last Laugh

“Brazill offers a series of amusing episodes filled with breezy banter in this offbeat slice of British noir.” —Publishers Weekly, for Last Year’s Man

“It’s all here, everything you’ve come to expect from a Paul D. Brazill caper—the fast pace, the witty banter, the grim humour and the classic tunes—except this time he’s REALLY outdone himself. Unlike the lament in the song the title takes its name from, Paul’s best years are surely still ahead of him.” —Paul Heatley, author of Fatboy, for Last Year’s Man

“Paul D. Brazill is the Crown Prince of Noir. That’s my opinion, granted, but I stand by it. For those who require proof, just pick up his latest novel, Last Year’s Man, and it will be clear why I make that statement. All hail the crown prince!” —Les Edgerton, author of The Genuine, Imitation, Plastic Kidnapping, Just Like That and others

“Brazill is brilliant, a unique voice which stands out from the crowd.” —Keith Nixon, author of the Solomon Gray books, for Last Year’s Man

man of the world final

Pre- order Man Of The World NOW!

man of the world final

Grab the eBook of Man Of The World for a special pre-order discount price HERE.

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.

Man of the World is a violent and darkly comic slice of Brit Grit noir.

Out 17 April 2020: Man of the World by Paul D. Brazill

I’m very pleased to say that All Due Respect/ Down & Out Books will be publishing Man Of The World, the follow up to my novella Last Year’s Man, in April 2020.

I’ll give you a bit more info about Man Of The World at a later date. In the meantime, here’s the SP on 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.

Praise for LAST YEAR’S MAN:

“Brazill offers a series of amusing episodes filled with breezy banter in this offbeat slice of British noir.” – Publishers Weekly

“It’s all here, everything you’ve come to expect from a Paul D. Brazill caper – the fast pace, the witty banter, the grim humour and the classic tunes – except this time he’s REALLY outdone himself. Unlike the lament in the song the title takes its name from, Paul’s best years are surely still ahead of him.” – Paul Heatley, author of Fatboy

“Paul D. Brazill is the Crown Prince of Noir. That’s my opinion, granted, but I stand by it. For those who require proof, just pick up his latest novel, Last Year’s Man, and it will be clear why I make that statement. All hail the crown prince!” – Les Edgerton, author of The Rapist, The Bitch, Just Like That and others

“Brazill is brilliant, a unique voice which stands out from the crowd.” – Keith Nixon, author of the Solomon Gray books.

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I’m Interviewed by Jason Beech at The Flash Fiction Offensive

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Born in legendary England, but having sojourned in Poland for some time, Brit-Grit author Paul D. Brazill typically pens what he calls “screwball noir.” His writing has been translated into Italian, Finnish, Polish, German and Slovene. His work has also been published in various magazines and anthologies, including The Mammoth Books of Best British Crime.

Back in the day, Mr. Brazill graciously provided content for Out of the Gutter Online’s Brit Grit Alley—bringing diehard readers news about British crime fiction’s notorious booze and blood-soaked alleyways.
Mr. Messy Business Jason Beech—himself both born and forged in Sheffield, England (before audaciously making the move to Yank-filled-New Jersey-USA to teach a game that he calls “football—but which parts of the world call SOCCER) decided to corral Mr. Brazill for a little tête-à-tête.
We hoped to bring you video footage … but the content proved way too graphic. So we’re sharing this heavily-edited transcript instead. Of course we had to kill the stenographer afterwards …. But that’s Life in The Gutter, eh.
Hi Paul. I’ve just finished Close to the Bone’s excellent short story anthology, A Time for Violenceedited by edgy U.S. crime writers Andy Rausch and Chris Roy. What attracted you to the anthology?
 
PDB: Really, just because the editors kindly asked me. I also wanted to write another story featuring Tommy Bennett from my book Last Year’s Man and thought it might work to put him in a story with very little violence. The story title—”Baby’s Got A Gun”—is from an old Only Ones LP.

Last Year’s Man Rides Again!

 

a time for violence

For those of you that enjoyed my book LAST YEAR’S MAN, the protagonist Tommy Bennett is back. The Tommy Bennett yarn ‘Baby’s Got A Gun‘ – title filched from The Only Ones – is included in the anthology A TIME FOR VIOLENCE: STORIES WITH AN EDGE.

The anthology is published by CLOSE TO THE BONE and is edited by Andy Rausch and Chris Roy.

It includes stories from Richard Chizmar, Joe R. Lansdale, Max Allen Collins, John A Russo and many more!

You can grab A TIME FOR VIOLENCE from Amazon.com and loads of other joints, in paperback and as an eBook.

 

 

Some Top Reviews

 

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My books have had some very tasty reviews lately, which is nice.

Over at The Dark Time, ace crime writer Elgin Bleeker reviews Last Year’s Man and says:

‘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.

Last Year’s Man makes 10th Rule Books’ best 5 books from 2018

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They say:

‘In no particular order our favorite books from 2018:

Know Me From Smoke – Matt Phillips – Fahrenheit 13

This one is old school noir done right. The dialog cuts and so do the knives. Convicted killer Royal Atkins finds himself back on the streets and in a relationship with Stella Radney, a singer* whose husband was a victim of Royal’s. What could go wrong? Well, a lot, a whole hell of a lot.

Find some trouble here

Scapegoat – Adam Howe and James Newman – Honey Badger Press

A non-stop bit of wrong place and wrong time backwoods horror filled with dark humor, religious fanatics, violence, gore, bizarre rituals, and 80’s metal. Three old friends and former bandmates from their hair metal days* along with a girl who isn’t exactly what she seems, stumble into some wicked business after taking a wrong turn on the way to WrestleMania and all hell breaks loose (literally). Howe and Newman have crafted themselves one of the most brutal books a person can laugh at with this one.

Click here if you dare

Slug Bait – Tom Liens – Dirty Books

Straight forward and brutal crime fiction that puts you in a headlock and starts punching. Watching Rey, kind of a private eye but mostly just a bad-ass, pound his way through a collection of thugs, corrupt cops, and serial killers is damn good fun.

Find it here

Last Years Man – Paul D, Brazil – All Due Respect

When aging hitman Bennet runs into trouble in London he heads back to his hometown where everything goes great. Actually no, he runs into more trouble, a lot of it. Another hard hitting quick read filled with sharp dialog and a dash of dark humor (do you see a theme here?).

Get it here.

Deadlines – A tribute to Willian E. WallaceAll Due Respect and Down and Out Books

Normally for these lists, we leave out our own books and writers, we made a little bit of an exception here. Todd Morr is in this one but he only accounts for like four percent, which for the purpose of this we’ll pretend doesn’t exist. Bill Wallace was a great writer and though we didn’t know him as well as we would have liked he was a great dude as well. He was a huge supporter of the Indie crime scene so it makes sense the indie crime scene would step up for him. Chris Rhatigan and Ron Earl Phillips edited this collection of twenty-three top crime fiction writers and Todd Morr. Some took inspiration from Bill’s newspaper career and others just wrote the kind of dark pulp stories Bill tirelessly championed. Some stories are better than others but over 23 stories* every one manages to kick some serious ass, just like Bill would have wanted.
You know what to do

As always if the winners can find Todd Morr* he will buy them a beer or maybe even two*.

If you like our picks there’s a good chance you’ll like our books. You can find them all here