Category Archives: Reviews

Supernatural Noir is reviewed at Words on Words

Over at You Tube, this weeks Words on Words 60 second spotlight is on Supernatural Noir by Paul Brazill and illustrated by Craig Douglas.

Check it out!

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Supernatural Noir A Go Go!

Supernatural NoirWell, Supernatural Noir was published a couple of days ago on Halloween and it’s all happening!

Graham Wynd kicks off #Noirvember with a look at Supernatural Noir and says:

‘I didn’t even know how much I missed Roman Dalton, his werewolf detective, until I started reading through the stories again. Netflix ought to swoop in and bag those stories for a new series.’

Meanwhile, over at Unlawful Acts, David Nemeth says:

‘If you like reading Brazill–and who doesn’t–, you should give this short story collection a twirl because it’s Brazill and there are zombies. Oh yeah, get it because it’s going for a little over a buck.’

Dee Arr at Amazon.com says:

‘This is crime noir with a bite (my apologies to all vampire and werewolf fans), and the combination of Mr. Brazill’s talents hooked me. Riveted, I finished the rest of the book in one sitting, never noticing the day arrive while my coffee grew colder.’

And I’m over at Toe Six Press sharing the Supernatural Noir playlist:

Supernatural Noir is collection of my short stories that I consider to be both supernatural and, er, noir. And of course, there’s music all over the place!

Drunk On The Moon by Tom Waits

It started with a song. Tom Waits’ Drunk On The Moon, to be precise. A neon soaked torch song with more than a twist of noir. A song of the city at night, sung by a man who sounded like a wolf- and not just Howlin’ Wolf. And once upon a time, there was a magazine named Dark Valentine who were looking for cross genre short stories. So, I wrote a yarn about a werewolf private eye. And I called it Drunk On The Moon.’

Read the rest here.

 

Tom Leins Reviews Last Year’s Man

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Over at his Dirty Books blog, Tom Leins, the grittiest of all Brit Grit writers, says:

‘The rumpled, world-weary triggerman – with a long memory, and an even longer list of health complaints – is a perfect conduit for Brazill’s quirky storytelling style, and the story itself (think Get Carter played for laughs) allows him to play to his strengths. For an expatriate writer, Brazill’s knack for writing about small town English grotesques is pretty damned impressive, and unlike the hapless Bennett, this book is slim and spritely!’

Read the rest of the review HERE!

Mark Hewitt Reviews Last Year’s Man

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

The best from Paul so far in my humble opinion and the rest set a high standard. Highly recommended.
Thank goodness the book is fiction as I would hate to live anywhere like the places written about. The fast paced writing combined with my morbid curiosity made this a real page turner.
A short story master is much more entertaining than the waffler that produces hundreds of pages of filler.
Bravo, encore.’

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.’

A Couple More Tasty Reviews For Last Year’s Man

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Over at Goodreads top pulp writer  Todd Morr says:

‘Brazil keeps the pace moving providing Plenty of action, dark humor and sharp dialog in this stark tale of an aging hitman forced to go back to his hometown after he runs into trouble. Of course, his old stomping ground are not exactly trouble free. Perfect quick read for an afternoon.

And Georg in Austria says:

While reading books by Paul Brazill, I want to listen to a soundtrack of all the songs that are mentioned. Also I would like to drink along with the main characters, but sadly I would pass out around page 7… ‘

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!

Another Top Review for Last Year’s Man

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Over at Goodreads, Dave Wilde says:

‘Last Year’s Man is British Noir the Queen herself would be proud of. The flavor, the atmosphere, the sense of it all feels like it came from that side of the Pond. It’s a fairly short novel like old pulps used to be. But, the writing is so tightly strung that Brazill manages to convey a lot more in a few words or sentences than others might in chapters. Sardonic humor certainly lightens a story about an aging hitman returning to his roots, but the magic here is in the banter, the dialogue, the phrases.’

Jack D McLean Reviews Last Year’s Man

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Crime thriller writer Jack D McClean (aka Jack Strange) reviews LAST YEAR’S MAN over at his blog and says:

‘I’m a big fan of Paul Brazill’s use of prose. His books have other virtues, of course, beyond his writing style, but the fact that he’s a prose stylist deserves special mention. On almost every page of Last Year’s Man, and sometimes, it seems, in almost every paragraph, there’s a line you want to read out loud to a friend.’

Read the rest here. 

An Interview And A Few Tidy Reviews For Last Year’s Man.

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There’s a lot of it about …

Over at TOE SIX PRESS,  Sandra Ruttan asks me about Last Year’s Man and she reviews it too!

She says: ‘I love an author who can engage me and surprise me and give me a complicated protagonist to root for. If you do too, you’ll find Last Year’s Man to be a highly engaging read.’

Over at Amazon.com, E. Hobart says Last Year’s Man is ‘Another beautifully written noir gem from Mr. Brazill’ and Dee Arr says ‘This is noir at its best.’

Down BRIT GRIT ALLEY, Paul Heatley says: ‘I think this may well be Mr Brazill’s best book yet, and that’s saying a lot.’

At BOOKS FROM DUSK TLL DAWN, Susan Hampson says: ‘The whole darn book is brilliance. ‘

At CRIME FICTION LOVER, Purity Brown says: ‘All in all it’s a good, fun read from a master of flash fiction.’

And at GOODREADS, Warren Stalley says: ‘Littered with Mr Brazill’s typical rapier sharp one liners this short Brit Grit novel is a joy to read for any crime fan wanting some light literary refreshment. ‘

Turned out nice again!

 

Graham Wynd Reviews Last Year’s Man

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And says:

‘From blood-soaked shenanigans to effortlessly clever banter, there’s everything you’d expect and more. The motif of the hitman haunted by his past gets a fresh angle as disgraced Tommy Bennett returns to Seatown, the northern coastal city where his past awaits him. A wild mix of musical and pop culture references come at you thick and fast. I was chortling by the end of the first page.’

Read the rest of the review here.