Recommended Read: Awake Now, Sailor by Eddie Vega

awake now sailorCass Loyola is a Cuban merchant seaman turned New York poet who is struggling to make ends meet in the big apple. Jobless and on the verge of losing his home, he begins an affair the wife of a rich banker and his life spirals even more out of control.

Eddie Vega’s Awake Now, Sailor is rich in terms of writing, incident and character. Moving and frequently humorous, Awake Now, Sailor  is a marvelous read.


Uwaga ! Polski Noir

kasia krakowPolski Noir ma na celu zapoznanie polskich czytelników czarnych kryminałów z międzynarodowym gatunkiem literackim zwanym noir flash fiction.

Polski Noir is a new crime e zine that aims to introduce international noir flash fiction to Polish readers.

The editors are Marta Crickmar and I.

The first story is live. It’s one of mine.

The Tut / Cyk is by Paul D. Brazill and translated by Martyna Bohdanowicz

There are more stories to come from Patti Abbott, K A Laity, David Malcolm, Richard Godwin and more.

(Photo (c) Kasia Martell)

Short, Sharp Interview: Richard Godwin

cover-godwin-wrong-crowd-2015-200pxPDB: What’s going on now?

Wrong Crowd, my latest novel is out, here is the jacket Blurb

A sultry novel in which an art thief finds himself out of his depth in a criminal maelstrom when he meets a beautiful woman with no past.

When Claude meets Maxine in the Caribbean he falls for her. He does not expect he will start an affair with her back in London, then again he does not expect to have to call on the help of his old mate Spike, nor that will they become embroiled with Russian gangsters Vladimir and Grigory.

But then Claude will do anything to hold onto Maxine.

Peopled with thieves, hustlers, gangsters, gun runners and pimps, Wrong Crowd is a slick and action-packed ride into London’s low-life. East End villains and the Russian Mafia collide in a fast-paced novel of deceit and criminal obsession that sparkles as it speeds towards its astonishing conclusion.

PDB: How did you research your latest book/ short story?

I mingled, I observed.

PDB: Which of your publications has been the most successful?

Apostle Rising, largely because it is the first and has had more time to get rolling, great sales and foreign rights. Second, Noir City.

PDB: What’s your favourite film/ book/ song/ television programme of 2015?

I do not have one now that I think of it.

PDB: Is location important to your writing?


PDB: What’s next?

I have just signed for publication of my next novel, out next June. It is narrated in four different genres.

409b6-1111aaaagodwinBio: Richard Godwin is the critically acclaimed author of Apostle Rising, Mr. Glamour, One Lost Summer, Noir City, Meaningful Conversations, Confessions Of A Hit Man, Paranoia And The Destiny Programme and Wrong Crowd. His stories have been published in numerous paying magazines and over 34 anthologies, among them an anthology of his stories, Piquant: Tales Of The Mustard Man, and The Mammoth Book Of Best British Crime and The Mammoth Book Of Best British Mystery, alongside Lee Child. He was born in London and lectured in English and American literature at the University of London. You can find out more about him at his website , where you can read a full list of his works, and where you can also read his Chin Wags At The Slaughterhouse, his highly popular and unusual interviews with other authors.

Guest Blog: Kolkata as a location for crime fiction by Kalyan Lahiri

Darj14Kolkata, or erstwhile Calcutta, the capital city of West Bengal, once the centre of the British Empire, has a very rich tradition of Bengali crime fiction. It could perhaps be described as the centre of Indian crime fiction.

The tradition of Bengali crime fiction in Kolkata began as early as 1892 with the creation of the series ‘Darogar Daptar’ (The Police Inspector’s Office) by Priyonath Mukhopadhyay, a retired policeman. Soon after came Panchkori De’s foreign sleuths in a Kolkata setting and Dinendra Kumar Roy’s very popular English detective in Kolkata, Robert Blake.  Dr. Nihar Ranjan Gupta, a UK trained doctor, who had met Agatha Christie once, created another very popular detective, the stylish and rational Kiriti Roy.

But the genre really gained widespread popularity with the creation of Byomkesh Bakshi, by Sharadindu Bandyopadhyaya. Essentially a native of Kolkata, most of his exploits too were based in the city. Sharadindu’s Byomkesh stories, spanning as it did a turbulent period of Kolkata’s and India’s history, from 1932 to 1970, – the Second World War, the freedom movement, independence and partition – had an underlying, veiled commentary on Kolkata’s social and political milieu of the times, though never obtrusive. And though his themes were often very adult, his detective led a very ordinary middle-class life. Byomkesh stories have been made, and are still being made, into television serials and films in both Bengali and Hindi. The earliest was ‘Chiriakhana’ (The Zoo), directed by Satyajit Ray and starring Bengal’s then matinee idol, Uttam Kumar, as Byomkesh.

During the sixties there was a rash of penny dreadfuls, the most popular being Swapankumar’s creation of Dipak Roy and his sidekick Ratanlal. These were more in the style of noir crime thrillers, but based in Kolkata.

In 1965 Satyajit Ray created his fictional detective, Feluda. Though written as children’s stories, Feluda, or Prodosh Chandra Mitter, through the thirty five stories written between ’65 and ‘95, occupies a very large part of the Bengali psyche and is synonymous with detective fiction in Bengali. Feluda lived in Kolkata, as did Ray, and the city figured largely in most of the stories. Ray made two of the stories into films: ‘Sonar Kella’ (The Golden Fortress) and ‘Joy Baba Felunath’ (The Elephant God). He made short films of some of the other stories and now his son, Sandip Ray, has been making Feluda films.

kolkataconundrumBengal has a very rich tradition of literary fiction and it speaks volumes about the popularity of the detective fiction genre that most established authors also tried their hand at detective fiction.

Yet, at the Kolkata Literary Meet in 2014, panellists at a seminar on detective fiction rued that no new detective stories have been written in the last twenty years. Films were still being made based on Feluda or Byomkesh stories. But in today’s world of the internet and mobile phones these stories were stretching credulity too far. So, perhaps, ‘The Kolkata Conundrum’ is finally a step in the right direction and Orko Deb will join the pantheon of Kiriti Roy, Robert Blake, Byomkesh and Feluda.

I’m On The TV


“Noir is closer to Laurel and Hardy than it is to Agatha Christie”

At the recent Alibi noir festival in Slovenia. Here’s me on RTV 4′s arts programme, Glasnik, talking about noir to journalist Petra Skok. With Renato Bratkovič, Neven Skgratic, Eddie Vega, Andrej Predin and the impression of Richard Godwin.

More about the festival soooon …

Out Now! Crime Scenes: Modern Crime Fiction in an International Context

gdanskCrime Scenes: Modern Crime Fiction in an International Context examines the ways in which crime fiction has developed over several decades and in several national literary traditions. The volume covers a wide spectrum of current interests and topical concerns in the field of crime fiction studies. It introduces twenty-four original essays by an international group of scholars divided among three main sections: «Genres», «Authors and Texts» and «Topics». Issues discussed include genre syncretism, intertextuality, sexuality and gender, nationhood and globalization, postcolonial literature and ethical aspects of crime fiction.

(and my yarn THE TUT sneaked in there, too!)

About the Authors

Urszula Elias studied English Literature at the University of Gdańsk (Poland). Her research interests include British lesbian literature and Victorian women fiction (especially the issue of «New Womanhood»). Currently she is working on George Egerton’s collections of short stories.
Agnieszka Sienkiewicz-Charlish is a member of the Scottish Studies Research Group at the University of Gdańsk (Poland). Her research interests include Scottish literature, Gothic and crime fiction, especially «Tartan Noir» and Ian Rankin.

Alibi International Crime/ Noir Festival

alibiALIBI is the first Slovenian festival of Crime&Noir literature in idyllic Gora pod lipo. It’s organised by Gora, Artizan advertising agency and publishing house (concept and communication), Hotel Jakec (lodging for guest writers) and Tednik Panorama(media sponsor).

And I’ll be there at the end of September, along with Richard Godwin, Eddie VegaAndrej Predin, Neven Škrgatić.

Find out more about it at the website and like the Facebook page if you fancy.

Short, Sharp Interview: Marco Ferrarese

Nazi-GorengPDB: What’s going on now?

I’m finishing work on my second book, a non-fiction memoire of my involvement in the Malaysian and Indonesian metal and punk scenes. Besides these projects, I’m working slowly on my second novel and writing freelance for a plethora of travel and culture magazines, besides keep pushing on to submit my PhD dissertation in anthromusicology – a new field of studies, ahaha – within 2015.

PDB: How did you research this book?

I learnt about the “Malay Power” during my forays as a guitarist in the local music scene. One night in Taiping I saw this guy with a strange skull and crossbones patch which remembered me too much of the black skulls you see on Neo-Nazis’ jackets, and there you go. The research went nowhere, however, because this fringe of the Malaysian punk scene is not really committed to expose itself, to the contrary of what was portrayed in Vice Magazine ( Anyhow, this helped me find the perfect characters to embody the idea of stupidity, as I believe the Brown Power is the most ludicrous thing I came across the past few years. It was the cherry on top of the social horror pie I had observed the previous 3 years as a resident of Malaysia. In fact, below a very superficially harmonic society, Malaysia to the contrary hides an authority-defined racist society, and is the theatre of some of the weirdest crimes ever. For example, here African con-men manage to convince local women to swallow capsules filled with drugs and fly internationally in the “name of love”. Being exposed to this crazy multi-ethnic society gave me two options: pen all of my dissent down into written form, or just explode and leave the country. I chose the former, to my Malaysian Chinese partner’s delight.

PDB: Which of your publications are you most proud of?

Well, being my debut novel, for certain Nazi Goreng. It became a local bestseller, and there are plans to translate it into the Malay language.

Ferrarese_portrait2 (2)PDB: What’s your favourite film/ book/ song/ television programme?

It’s hard to pick only one, but I’ll try to tell you what feels like the best as of today.

Film – “The House with the Laughing Windows”, 1976, by Pupi Avati

Book – “The Sound and the Fury” by William Faulkner

Song – “Before the Kiss, A Redcap” by Blue Oyster Cult

Television Programme- sorry, I don’t watch TV.

PDB: Is location important to your writing?

Yes, in the sense that I know one can’t write about places he never visited. I travel a lot, to the extent that some people call me a travel writer – that’s a part of my profession, in truth -, and I strongly believe that a writer cannot evoke a sense of place without getting it under his skin. In terms of location as a base for my writing, well, I produced most of my published work in Penang, Malaysia, and I guess the place keeps me under some magic artistic spell, indeed.

PDB: How often do you check your Amazon rankings?

To tell you the truth, never. I don’t even have an Amazon author page. If that’s important, I’m afraid I ride on a different kind of retro train. I used to check Nazi Goreng’s rankings, but being under the millionth, who cares, really? I prefer to write good pitches and make some money publishing magazine articles, rather than rely on Amazon to establish if my intravenous dripped royalties make any sense.

PDB: What’s next?

My new Insular Southeast Asia metal punk memoire, whose title I still keep confidential. It’s a first time recollection of how it was/is to be involved in a local Malaysian band as a sole white foreigner, travelling throughout Malaysia and Borneo to find the rock, and touring Indonesia. It will have a number of great pictures, and a CD compilation including more than 20 great Malaysian metal, punk, hardcore and skinhead bands. It’s a unique project that hopefully will bring some attention and shape to a music scene of the developing world which is very much alive, kicking, and not well documented as of yet.

Then, it will be time to complete my second novel, an apocalyptic backpacker psychotronic feminist story, which I aim to finish before the end of the year, other commitments permitting.

Bio: Marco Ferrarese has travelled extensively and lived in Italy, the United States, China, Australia and Malaysia. He started vagabonding as a punk rock guitarist with metal punk band The Nerds. Since 2009 he’s been based in Southeast Asia as a writer, hardcore punk musician and researcher.

He has written about travel, culture and extreme music in Asia for a variety of international publications such as Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia, CNN Travel, Roads & Kingdoms, Perceptive Travel, Time Out, Bangkok101, Vagabonding, and Penang Monthly. He blogs here.

Marco’s first pulp novel Nazi Goreng (Monsoon Books, 2013) explores the underbelly of Malaysian international drug trade and displaced youth and is a bestseller in Malaysia. Ferrarese’s short stories were featured in anthologies KL Noir 2 and Lost in Putrajaya, both published by FIXI in 2014.

Short, Sharp Interview: R P Lester

RP Lester

PDB: What’s going on now?

Making progress on a second novel and wrapping up a story for an anthology due out after New Year’s. It’ll include stories from Craig T. McNeely, Greg Barth, Warren Moore, Bill Baber, and myself. Execution of the project will take place under the sobriquet Snake-Face Hitler and the British Schoolgirls. Yeah, it’s all rooted in the teachings of the Lord.

PDB: How did you research this book?

Life. Innis E. Coxman is my beloved alter-ego. While I bill the book as a work of fiction, some of the stories are rooted in an event somewhere in my history or that of a past associate. Others happened exactly as written. Research was an amalgam of creativity, memories, and grain alcohol.

PDB: Which of your publications are you most proud of?

The one that’s published.

PDB: What’s your favourite film/ book/ song/ television programme?

Can’t nail one down. Impossible to do. I’ll just say that I’ve always loved books, films, and music that lean toward the darker side of our world; art that caters to the masses has never held an attraction for me. Per television? That has become an abysmal medium. I don’t watch it. I couldn’t offer a fair assessment except to say it fuckin’ blows.

rp lester 2PDB: Is location important to your writing?

At the risk of sounding like a pretentious douche, yes, I do feel that location has a profound effect on the end result. Save for some preferred music in the background, a quiet environment is crucial to one’s creativity, at least to mine.

PDB: How often do you check your Amazon rankings?

Precious damn little. I don’t, actually. I quit when I discovered that How to Talk to Your Cat About Gun Safety is an actual book on this planet and that its sales are probably higher than mine. (Don’t believe me? Look it up. I swear to God it exists.)

PDB: What’s next?

Reading, writing, repeat. I’m trying to build a brand here. My someday-move to The Netherlands isn’t going to pay for itself …

Bio: Born in Louisiana. Raised in Louisiana. Proud to say I’ve left Louisiana. Went through a lot of strife and cocaine and now I’m better. They say. It doesn’t matter. Please buy my shit. Namaste.

Short, Sharp Interview: Richard Godwin

HitmanCover-01 (1)PDB: What’s going on now?

My Noir satire Meaningful Conversations is out with Noir Nation, here is the Blurb:

Meaningful Conversations is a hybrid Noir novel that tackles the modern world and its most tabooed addictions and mythologies. Its protagonist, cellist Bertrand Mavers, is the best adjusted serial killer you will ever meet. His therapist, Otto Wall, calls him the sanest man he knows. What he actually is will surprise and astonish you.

You can buy it in the US here

You can buy it in the UK here

The major Canadian poet Stephen Bett writes of it:

‘If Richard Godwin never wrote another line, this Noir novel alone ought to put his name in really large & lasting literary lights—indeed, sharply pointed ‘headlights’ shining on the nasty little corners of our hyped up times. It’s a disturbingly brilliant (& hilariously misanthropic), complex work, expertly conceived & executed, lampooning & skewering so many of the instant icons popping up in our ever-insistently in-your-face & always ‘vapid monoculture’ (as I call it)—all the way from the seemingly shameless body politic to the (now surely post-Orwellian) police state, to the overstimulated & slavering media that infiltrates our daily senses without apology, to our increasing slavery to the all too vacuous fashionistas who torment us, to the ever-present ‘cartoon-world’ realities we keep tripping over, & all the way through to pop-psychotherapy & pop-sexology gone rankly wild.’

And my suspense thriller Confessions Of A Hit Man is out with MeMe. It is a high octane thriller with a plot that adds velocity like a well-oiled chicane. When ex-Royal Marine Jack becomes a paid assassin, work comes easily, especially when working for the Sicilian Mafia, until he gets drawn into a government plot selling enriched plutonium to a rogue Nation. Highly Topical.

You can buy it in the US here

You can buy it in the UK here

cover of meaningful conversations finalPDB: How did you research these books?

Meaningful Conversations emerged through the idea of a well-adjusted killer.

Confessions Of A Hit Man emerged through a tethering  of incidents and ideas, much like the juxtapositions of newspapers, we inhabit a narrative structure. I rented a villa in the interior of Sicily from a Mafia lawyer one blazing summer near where Bernardo Provencano, Cappo di tutti was hiding, and had been hiding for 42 years shortly before his arrest as Berlusconi was ousted, and I was simultaneously interested in the machinations of the secret services and Syria, so I have a hit man working for the Cosa Nostra becoming implicated in a UK government plot selling plutonium to Syria.

PDB: Which of your publications are you most proud of?

If I had to pick one I’d say, One Lost Summer. Here’s the Blurb:

Rex Allen loves star quality in women. He moves into a new house in a heat wave with few possessions apart from two photographs of his dead daughter. His next door neighbour, beautiful Evangeline Glass invites him over to one of her many summer parties, where he meets her friends and possessive husband Harry. Rex feels he knows Evangeline intimately. He starts to spy on her and becomes convinced she is someone other than who she pretends to be. When he discovers she has a lover, he blackmails her into playing a game of identity that ends in disaster.

PDB: What’s your favourite film/ book/ song/ television programme?

No Country For Old Men,

Crime And Punishment or Great Expectations,

David Bowie Moonage Daydream, or Tom Waits, Raindogs


So hard to pick.

PDB: Is location important to your writing?


PDB: How often do you check your Amazon rankings?

When I can do so.

PDB: What’s next?

I have four more novels with my agent waiting to be released. There is there is the sequel Apostle Rising and a sci fi novella coming.


409b6-1111aaaagodwinRichard Godwin is the author of critically acclaimed novels Apostle Rising, Mr. Glamour, One Lost Summer, Noir City, Meaningful Conversations and Confessions Of A Hit Man.

He is also a published poet and a produced playwright. His stories have been published in numerous paying magazines and over 34 anthologies, among them The Mammoth Book Of Best British Crime and The Mammoth Book Of Best British Mystery, alongside Lee Child, published by Constable & Robinson, as well as the anthology of his stories, Piquant: Tales Of The Mustard Man, published by Pulp Metal Fiction in February 2012.

Apostle Rising, published by Black Jackal Books in June 2011, is a dark work of fiction exploring the blurred line between law and lawlessness and the motivations that lead men to kill. It digs into the scarred soul of a cop in the hunt for a killer who has stepped straight from a nightmare into the waking world. It is available here. It has sold foreign rights in Hungary, to Alexandra, translated as A Romlas Labirintusa; in Italy, to Lite Editions, translated as L’Apostolo; and in Slovenia, to be published in late 2014 by Artizan Press.

Mr. Glamour, published by Black Jackal Books in Aril 2012, is about a world of wealthy, beautiful people who can buy anything, except safety from the killer in their midst. It is about two scarred cops who are driven to acts of darkness by the investigation. As DCI Jackson Flare and DI Mandy Steele try to catch the killer they find themselves up against a wall of secrecy. And the killer is watching everyone. It is available here. It has sold foreign rights to Italy and France, to be translated early 2015 by MeMe.

One Lost Summer, published by Black Jackal Books in June 2013, is a Noir story of fractured identity and ruined nostalgia. It is a psychological portrait of a man who blackmails his beautiful next door neighbour into playing a deadly game of identity. It is available here.

Noir City, published by Atlantis in June 2014, is about dangerous gigolo Paris Tongue, who seduces the wife of a Mafia boss and is hunted across Europe by hit men. It is available here .

It will be translated into Italian in 2015.

Meaningful Conversations, published by Noir Nation in 2014, is a Noir novel about a well-adjusted psychopath. Bertrand Mavers is a professional cellist who is resisting a control programme through the use of artistic paradigms, he is also abducting people and building a body at The Farm. It is available here.

Confessions Of A Hit Man, published by MeMe in July 2014, is a high octane thriller with a plot that adds velocity like a well-oiled chicane. When ex-Royal Marine Jack becomes a paid assassin, work comes easily, especially when working for the Sicilian Mafia, until he gets drawn into a government plot selling enriched plutonium to a rogue Nation. It is available here. It is being simultaneously published in English and Italian October 2015.

Richard Godwin was born in London and obtained a BA and MA in English and American Literature from King’s College London, where he also lectured.

You can find out more about him at his website , where you can also read his Chin Wags At The Slaughterhouse, his highly popular and unusual interviews with other authors.