Category Archives: Near To The Knuckle

Supernatural Noir is OUT NOW!

Supernatural Noir

Werewolves, vampires and other creatures of the night prowl the neon and blood soaked streets in this sharp short story collection that places the supernatural in a hardboiled noir world.

“If you like noir then you’ll love this. If you like supernatural fiction you’ll love this. If you like great descriptive prose you’ll love this.”

— Darren Sant, author of Tales From The Longcroft Estate

You can grab Supernatural Noir from Amazon.com, Amazon UK and loads of other joints.

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Recommended Read: Violent By Design by Paul Heatley

Heatley

Violent By Design takes place in the aftermath of the events in Paul Heatley’s brilliant Eye For An Eye.  Gangster Neil Doyle is hoping to go legit with his new nightclub and is unaware that one of hs drug houses has been ripped off. Things invariablt spiral violently out of control when his right-hand-man Jimmy Finlay decides to keep things under wrap and sort things out himself. Paul Heatley’s Violent By Design is a brtual and brilliant Brit Grit gangland thriller. With heart.

 

SMALL TIME CRIMES’ SOUNDTRACK

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Well, I’ve certainly lifted plenty of story and book titles from songs over the years. Small Time Crimes, my new collection, has more than a few yarns with titles nicked from songs I like.

Chelsea Girls

I suspect most people would think that the title Chelsea Girls was pilfered from the 1967 Andy Warhol film and perhaps, indirectly, that’s true. It is, in fact, named after art rockers Simple Minds’ second single. I liked their first single, ‘Life In A Day and ‘Chelsea Girls’ too.  I saw them live around the same time -1979 – at Middlesbrough Rock Garden and always associate the gig with beer and marmite.

In The Devil’s Name

The shadow of the shadow of The Sensational Alex Harvey Band hangs over this yarn. SAHB recorded a song about the Scottish witch Isobel Goudie and the pub in the story is called The Swampsnake. SAHB were one of my favourite bands in pre-punk times.

Life After Life

‘Lord Let us pray for life after life,’ sang Sniffin’ Glue founder Mark Perry in a cod reggae song.  It was actually one of my least favourite of their singles but I bought it at the time and still like it.

New Dawn Fades

In rain soaked Leeds in September 1979, I saw Joy Division as part of the Leeds Futurama Festival- along with The Fall, Public Image and many more top turns. And JD made an impression for sure. Their first album Unknown Pleasures certainly did. This was before synthesisers softened their sound. They were still hard edged as well as mournful. They still had punk energy.

Band On The Run

Wings were ‘the band The Beatle’s COULD have been’ according to Alan Partridge. I certainly liked them more than The Fab Four as a kid. The cover of Band On The Run was well talked about at school in 1973, spotting the celebrities, most of whom are probably dead now.

The Friend Catcher

Before Nick Cave turned into the Goth Billy Joel, he was in The Birthday Party, an essential band that mashed up The Stooges with Pere Ubu and more. The Friend Catcher is a spooky ditty that always reminded me of The Child Catcher in Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang.

Yesterday’s Wine

I suspect Willy Nelson sounded old and nostalgic even when he was a child and this is for sure a fitting title for a story about growing old.

Right Place, Wrong Time

This LP was always in the 50p section of the second-hand record shop where I worked but it was years later when I actually listened to it. See what I did then?

Sheila Take A Bow

Morrissey’s tribute to Shelagh Delaney, writer of A Taste Of Honey, Charlie Bubbles and more. Mozza pilfered many of her lines for his songs over the years of course, so it was the least he could do, really. From a time when The Smiths were more than just a soppy student band.

Small Town Creed

The Kane Gang, a bunch of working class lads from the north east of England in love with the sound of Detroit. Back in the ‘80s they had a couple of big hits in the UK but are mostly forgotten these days, sadly.

Pretty Green

One of The Jam’s best tunes with a typically great bass line.

Life On Mars

My older brother Eric gave me Bowie’s Hunky Dory in the early ‘70s and I remember not being able to make head nor tail of the lyrics but bloody well trying! It’s all about our insignificant little lives, isn’t it?

Train In Vain

I saw The Clash in 1978 when the front doors were literally pulled off Middlesboro Town Hall. This song is smooth sounding aim at the American charts but it still has its appeal. They were always a conventional rock band, after all.

Seven Minutes To Midnight

Melodrama from Pete Wylie, the only one of The Crucial Three that I could bare to have a pint with. All sound a fury signifying quite a lot.

Fiery Jack

Flash fiction is sharp and spikey, as were The Fall, and as is this song from my favourite Fall period.

Getting Away With It

The Smiths meets New Order meets … The Pet Shop Boys? Much ridiculed at the time, I think, it was a top 20 hit in the UK and still stands up. And don’t we all like to think we’re getting away with it?

I made a You Tube playlist here 

(This post first appeared  at Toe Six Press)

Recommended Read: The Runner by Paul Heatley

Heatley

Jackson Stobbart is given the unenviable task of taking care of Newcastle gangster Danny Hoy’s cash-stash. When Jackson’s girlfriend does a runner with the money, he sets off to track her down and get it back – before the psychopathic Hoy finds out he’s been ripped off. The Runner is another short, sharp knockout from the talented Paul Heatley. Also includes the cracking short story The Straightener.

Short, Sharp Interview: Paul Heatley

Heatley

PDB: What’s going on?

 

Nothing much, I’m just coming off a chest infection so I’m taking my time with most things as I get breathless very easily. Other than that, it’s same old, same old. Plugging away, writing, reading – the usual.

 

PDB: Do you listen to music when you work?

 

Sometimes, but not always. If I’m editing then I need silence in order to concentrate, but if I’m writing I can get away with some music. Often I’ll just hit some random tracks on YouTube, lately I’ve listened to a lot of Childish Gambino, REM, Ministry, and, of course, Mark Lanegan.

 

PDB: What makes you laugh?

 

My son. He’s six, and he keeps calling me Paul. Cheeky bugger.

 

PDB: What’s the best cure for a hangover?

 

I don’t drink, so you’re asking the wrong person! Or maybe prevention truly is the best cure, I’ve never had a hangover.

 

PDB: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

 

I’m quite happy in Northumberland. It’s the right kind of secluded. As I get older it becomes more and more clear to me I like to be away from people. I’m not a city boy.

 

PDB: Do you have a bucket list? If so, what’s on it?

 

I don’t, actually. I’m pretty boring. All my plans revolve around writing.

 

PDB: What’s on the cards?

 

The third part of the Eye For An Eye series, Violent By Design, will be released on September 28th, and I’m very excited for that to get out in the world and to hear what people have to say about it. I think the three covers are amazing, Craig Douglas of Near To The Knuckle has really excelled himself.

 

PDB: Anything else?

 

Just recently found out the release date for my next book, Guillotine, from All Due Respect, and that will be dropping on February 22nd of 2019. Other than that, I’m editing a couple of other things and planning some new ones, so I’m keeping busy going forward.

 

Author photo 3

Bio: Paul Heatley is the author of The Motel Whore & Other Stories, the Eye For An Eye series, Guns, Drugs, And Dogs, and Fatboy. His short stories have appeared online and in print for a variety of publications including Thuglit, Mystery Tribune, Spelk, Horror Sleaze Trash, and Shotgun Honey. He lives in the north east of England.

Small Time Crimes’ Soundtrack at Toe Six Press

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Well, I’ve certainly lifted plenty of story and book titles from songs over the years. Small Time Crimes, my new collection, has more than a few yarns with titles nicked from songs I like.

Over at Toe Six Press, I talk about those songs.

Chelsea Girls

I suspect most people would think that the title Chelsea Girls was pilfered from the 1967 Andy Warhol film and perhaps, indirectly, that’s true. It is, in fact, named after art rockers Simple Minds’ second single. I liked their first single, ‘Life In A Day and ‘Chelsea Girls’ too.  I saw them live around the same time -1979 – at Middlesbrough Rock Garden and always associate the gig with beer and marmite.

In The Devil’s Name

The shadow of the shadow of The Sensational Alex Harvey Band hangs over this yarn. SAHB recorded a song about the Scottish witch Isobel Goudie and the pub in the story is called The Swampsnake. SAHB were one of my favourite bands in pre-punk times.’

If you fancy, you can read the rest here.

Graham Wynd Reviews Small Time Crimes

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And Graham says:

Raymond Chandler advised struggling writers, “When in doubt…have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand” and the story would work itself out. I’d say the Brazill corollary is, ‘When in doubt have a man head to a pub.’ While many of his characters try to reform their ways both bibulous and violent, these hard-bitten by life folk generally find they picked the wrong week to give up their vices.

Or is the WC Fields rule? Never give a sucker an even break — and even the most well-intentioned characters here find themselves driven to desperate acts of violence. Most of them don’t have good intentions though: they’ve got axes to grind and long-nursed resentments to avenge and it’s no surprised to find everything going pear-shaped like life had been formed in a pear-shaped mold.

And it’s all hilarious, brutally so. These are not genteel stories. They’re laugh out loud, bitter wincing fun. If you have a black heart and even blacker humour. Some quotes because Mr B is eminently quotable with a boatload of absurdities, musical swipes and clever allusions:

Yeah, and I used to like Benny Liens. He used to be my best mate. My mucker. My partner in crime. Until he screwed my missus, that is. I sharp went off him then, I can tell you. Which is why I killed the fucker.

They used to say he had more tarts than Mr Kipling. He looked as rough as toast now, though. Hair like straw, face like a blackcurrant crumble, wearing a shabby grey shell–suit. The booze and the divorces had certainly taken their toll on George.

“I met him on a Monday and although my heart didn’t stand still, per say, it certainly skipped a beat or two, I can tell you,” said Martyna.

In the beginning was the sound. The light came later. The sound was a horrifying wail that skewered its way deep into my unconscious brain, until I awoke, drowning in sweat, my heart smashing through my ribcage, my head about to burst.

Truth be told, my most vivid and powerful memories of childhood were always in black and white. The monochrome serials that were shown at the Saturday morning Kidz Klub at the local Odeon cinema, and the Hollywood films on afternoon television, when I was throwing a sickie from school. It all seemed so much more vibrant than anything that real life could come up with. As you would expect of someone who grew up living more fully in his imagination than in the day–to–day, adulthood proved to be a series of disappointments and non–events.

“Hope is the real opium of the masses, Peter.”

I could go on and quote the whole damn book, but just buy it for yourself already. Five stars, shining accolades, Ladybird cover, the Kingsley Amis hungover prose award etc etc. Do yourself a favour.’

A Great Review For Small Time Crimes

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Over at Amazon.co.uk, Mark Hammonds says:

‘Mr Brazill has honed his craft in this collection of tales, some old, some new, to that of the short, sharp, smart uppercut. Rapid reversals of fortune have always been his stock in trade, but here they’ll give you whiplash. The trademark roguery is there and the one-liners come rattling at you as always, but mixed in is some real concentrated dark stuff.

His characters inhabit a morally polluted world and they know it. Life is one long, strange trip to a dodgy pub, slathered in rancid glamour and vomit, where it’s alway close to last orders. From the conniving to the exhausted, from the straight-up malevolent to the merely lost and bemused, they may whine and grizzle about their fates, but can only sigh and shrug it off, expecting no better. All that separates the one from the other are the temporary, flickering dispensations of luck.

Occasionally, you might see one or two attempt to live a better life. Their resolutions, count on it, are stillborn. And you smile. Not in this world, kid. Failure is all, and everyone falls sooner or later (spoiler alert: sooner), though some are falling and laughing. Without exception it all goes tilt, game over, and Charon’s yer man. And to forget this, they drink. And drink until it kills them, which is usually slowly.

Yet Brazill stitches these tales together with verve and glee, with so many tickles and bitchslaps that you go from story to story like a kid with Smarties, woofing them down til they’re gone and all you wish is that there were more. As the old punchline goes, it’s a treat, its a treat. And it is. Buy it, read it, tell your friends.’

Small Time Crimes is OUT NOW!

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Hit-men, con men, jewel thieves, career criminals, killers, crooks and cannibals. They all congregate between the pages of Paul D. Brazill’s Small Time Crimes – a brutal and blackly comic collection of short stories and flash fiction that views the world at its most askew.

Paul D. Brazill’s “Small Time Crimes” boils from the same rough vein that produced such classics as “Sexy Beast” and “Get Carter,” but it’s a nasty splash of British noir all its own’

‘a hard-hitting, fast paced, and darkly comic collection of short tales that go down as easy as your favorite ale!’

‘the prose is smooth and sweet as that top-shelf liquor you swiped on your way out the door. Make this your next book.’ 
You can grab the Small Time Crimes eBook or the paperback from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and the like.

Small Time Crimes Gets Its First Review.

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Over at Ciarfella’s Fiction Corner, Lisa  Ciarfella says:

Hey all,

Coming at ya on a rare Saturday with a crime fiction review that just can’t wait. This week, I’m serving up Paul D. Brazill’s “Small Time Crimes,”a hard-hitting, fast paced, and darkly comic collection of short tales that go down easy as your favorite ale!

Brazill’s pace and quick to the draw style are an entertaining way to spend an evening. Outlandish yarns spun like nobody’s business! A real one-two knock-down drag em’ out tone, his characters are like cowboys in the wild-wild west…rebels, without anyone’s cause but their own. 

TAKE ” 7 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT.”

Compelling, chilling prose puts the reader in the story right away. I just knew something bad was gonna happen soon, and Brazill’s narrative cuts right to the chase:

“It’s seven minutes to midnight and the brothers will be here at the witching hour, for sure. Same as last night and the previous night. The motel room is dark except for the faint light from an old transistor radio that is tuned to a classical music station. Hinkson sits in an old rocking chair, eyes closed. A sawn– off shotgun across his lap. A half– empty bottle of whisky on the table beside him….” 

And you got to luv the protag’s final way down:

Hinkson lights fire to a toilet roll and grabs his shotgun, shouting “bring it on.” What a way to go out, guns blazing!

 

“A man of sophisticated tastes” has its own charms, and could have you up late nights, worrying about the last burger you downed:

“ He ran a butcher’s shop and me ma worked at the old people’s home. Times were ‘ard after that Thatcher snatched the mines. And the oldies were droppin’ like flies. So, it just seemed like … well … an opportunity. It was just recycling, really. Very ecological.”

“A Big Payoff” is wicked funny.A dude hacks up people he doesn’t like, then cuts em up and sells em for dog food on the street! Then, for good measure, spikes their heads:

“It’s all about revenge. Impure and simple. Same as it ever was. The turban idea came to me after I saw a documentary on The History Channel about Vlad The Impaler. You know him? He’s the bloke that they say Dracula was based on? Anyway, he was a right nasty cunt and that was one his ways of showing everyone who was boss. And I was inspired,”

And “Gareth and Fiona” remind me of the young couple in “Pulp Fiction” who try to rob the diner before the two hit men intervene. These guys are a little more successful, and actually rob a postmaster, but not before Fiona takes out a blindsided teenager in the process who happens to wander in at the wrong moment! They’re violent, guilt-less, and all about the cash grab! ‘

A Short Interview and A Few Tasty Reviews

cropped-gazeta-wb-43.jpgOver at Unlawful Acts, Indie Crime Mastermind David Nemeth takes a look at Last Year’s Man and says:

‘“Last Year’s Man” is a one-sitting book, so grab a pint or two or maybe some whiskey, sit back and enjoy.’

Read the rest here.

Over at Amazon.com, Kevin McNamara also reviews Last Year’s Man and says:

‘Mr. Brazill is a master in this genre. A story about an aging hitman set both in London and Seatown. With a broad cast of characters, this book has action, wit and suspense. Highly recommended.’

Jack Strange reviews A Case Of Noir over at Goodreads and says:

‘The whole is greater than the sum of the parts – although the parts are so good you’ll savour them individually, as you work your way through them.’

Meanwhile, over at Near To The Knuckle, I say a few words about my forthcoming short story collection, Small Time Crimes.

NTTK: Thieves, killers and cannibals – the stories in your latest collection, Small Time Crimes, are brutal and dark. But they are also, at times, comic, and that fun factor really grips. What’s the trick to getting readers to laugh about crime and murder?’

Check it out!

Pre-Order Small Time Crimes

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Hit-men, con men, jewel thieves, career criminals, killers, crooks and cannibals. They all congregate between the pages of Paul D. Brazill’s Small Time Crimes – a brutal and blackly comic collection of short stories and flash fiction that views the world at its most askew.’

Small Time Crimes is now available for pre-order from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and all the other Amazons, if you fancy.

Recommended Read: The Glass House by Richard Godwin

The Glass HouseTroubled rich kids Michael and Abby are kidnapped and their parents are sent bizarre films of them trapped in glass cages.

Michael’s horrified parents contact a private detective, Earl Blake, to help them get their children back but things soon spiral out of control.

Richard Godwin’s The Glass House is a violent and gripping London set crime thriller full of sharp twists and turns.

I’m Interviewed at We Are Cult

CULTBANNER200DPIOver at We Are Cult, James Gent interviews me about Brit Grit and more:

‘Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I was born in Hartlepool in 1962, which was the same year the first Beatles single and the first Bond film were released. It’s no coincidence, I’m sure.

My first job was on a government scheme updating ordinance survey maps. It wasn’t as glamourous as it sounds.

I’ve worked in a second-hand record shop, a toy shop and as a welfare rights worker. I’ve been TEFL teaching in Poland for more than a decade and have yet to be deported.

What is your creative background?

I don’t think I have one. I played bass in a couple of bands in the early ‘80s but then, didn’t everyone? I did a screenwriting course in the ‘90s and wrote a screenplay. I sent it to ‘a well-known film production company’ but they never got back to me. It was the only copy I had of the bloody thing but I never bothered to ask for it back.’

Read the rest HERE.