Recommended Read: Rubicon by Ian Patrick

 

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Wild card Sam Batford  is an undercover cop who has infiltrated crime kingpin Vincent Guardino’s organisation. DCI Klara Winter  is also hell-bent on bringing down Guardino but in a much more by-the-book way. The two investigations inevitably collide and clash in Ian Patrick‘s marvellously gripping debut novel Rubicon. Cracking stuff!

Top Telly: Out

OUTIn the 1978 TV series OUT, poker-faced Tom Bell plays Frank Ross, a gangster who is sent to prison for robbery after someone grasses him up. Eight years later, Ross leaves the slammer and is confronted with a London that has changed and people that have changed.

Instead of stitching back together his relationships, however, Frank is focused on tracking down whoever stitched him up.  OUT – written by the late Trevor Preston – is great, gritty stuff and it’s a real period piece too- no mobile phones!

There are some great performances, particularly from Bell and Brian Cox as the psychopathic gangster McGrath, but there are loads of top turns from the likes of John Junkin, Victoria Fairbrother, and Peter Blake.

There’s also a very cool credit sequence with a cracking George Fenton theme tune.

And you can watch OUT for nowt on You Tube, if you’re that way inclined.

Stone Me, What A Life! – Tony Hancock

hancock460.jpgThey say that all small boys are influenced by their big brother’s music collection, and while that may well be true of me, I was also influenced by my family’s taste in other forms of entertainment.  Luckily I grew up in a time when television and radio weren’t as youth focused as they are now and I could enjoy the same shows as my parents and siblings, such as Will Hay, Ealing Comedies and Tony Hancock. During the miners’ strikes in the ‘70s there were power cuts. Which meant no telly. Reading comics by candle light and listening to an old transistor radio. Radio 2, usually, since my parents were of that age group. The Navy Lark, Round The Horne and, of course, Hancock.

Tony Hancock – the easiest comedian for charades – and I share the same birthday, May 12th. Whether or not we share the same death day remains to be seen, of course, and let’s just hope we can put that little fact-finding mission on hold for a while, eh?

One of the UK’s major television and radio stars throughout the 1950s and early ‘60s, British actor and comedian Tony Hancock killed himself on 25 June 1968. He overdosed on booze and pills and left a suicide note that said:

‘Things just seemed to go too wrong too many times’

Indeed, Hancock’s eponymous character on radio, on television, and in film, regularly tried his hand at countless activities and endeavours that invariably failed.

One episode – The Bedsitter – teeters dangerously on the precipice of bleak existentialism. The Bedsitter is a one-room set, one-man-show, where Hancock endlessly flips through a Bertrand Russell tome trying to find meaning in life, but fails, of course.

Tony Hancock - The RebelIn the most famous episode of his television show The Blood Donor,  ‘the lad himself’  proudly donates a pint of his particularly rare blood only to end the episode by cutting himself so badly on a breadknife that he needs a transfusion of his own blood. The recording of the television version of The Blood Donor proved to be problematic as Hancock had recently been involved in a car accident and suffered from concussion so that he had to read his lines from autocue.

After the American failure of his film debut The Rebel, Hancock broke with his long time writing team of Galton and Simpson, who were responsible for most of the great writing in Hancock’s shows, as well as ditching his long-term agent, the splendidly named Beryl Vertue. This pretty much led to his career decline.

Disappointment was always breathing at the back of Hancock’s neck, it seemed.

Hancock, and other character actors, are regularly in my mind when I’m creating characters. Quigley, the hit man in my yarn The Bucket List, was partly inspired by the image of Tony Hancock stalking the streets with a gun.

Hancock could be said to be the perfect noir comedian, in fact. I’ve said before that crime fiction is about bringing order to chaos and noir is about bringing chaos to order, and Tony Hancock’s comedy is pure noir. A natural loser. When I started writing I wanted to write small, odd stories about small, odd people – like Hancock.

Like his fictional incarnation, Hancock was prone to introspection, a concoction of egotism and self-doubt which he bared when he was interviewed in the BBCs Face To Face programme in the early 1960s.

Spike Milligan said of Hancock that he was a ‘Very difficult man to get on with. He used to drink excessively. You felt sorry for him. He ended up on his own. I thought, he’s got rid of everybody else, he’s going to get rid of himself and he did.’

As Tony Hancock said: ‘Stone me, what a life!’

(This first appeared at Tom Leins’ blog as part of his Under The Influence series)

Top Telly: Brit Grit On The Box

The Public EyeIt was announced a while ago that Acorn Media, who are the main distributor of British TV programming to North American consumers, had acquired a 64% stake in Agatha Christie Limited. This means that those delicate folk across the pond will have hours of Miss Marple and Poirot to nibble on while they wait for BBC’s latest incarnation of Sherlock or the Inspector Morse prequel, Endeavour.

In comparison to these, it looks like America is the true home of cutting edge, hard-boiled crime television, with series like Breaking Bad, Southland, The Shield, True Detective, Sons Of Anarchy and The Wire, while the United Kingdom, just knocks out frigid cozies with stuck-up, Latin quoting police detectives.

However, for over forty years British television has also looked at the country’s grubby underbelly and produced plenty of gritty crime writing.

While we may think of sixties and seventies British TV cops as sophisticated post James Bonds, Frank Marker-who  was played so brilliantly by Alfred Burke in the sixties television series Public Eyewas no Simon Templar, Jason King or John Steed, I can tell you.

Public Eye ran for 10 years – from 1965 to 1975- with almost 100 episodes and although I haven’t seen it since then I remember it quite well and very fondly. Public Eye, was true Brit Grit as Marker moved from a dingy office in London to another flea pit in Birminghamand eventually to Brighton, and I can still picture him walking along a wind and rain swept sea-front, looking like something from a Morrissey song.

Marker looked like a soggy mongrel, with a face so lived in that squatters wouldn’t stay there.  He was a walking hard luck story too, getting knocked about by the police as well as criminals and even being framed and sent to prison.

Not a lot of peace and love there, then.

The seventies was a time when music and film were doing some pretty ground breaking and experimental stuff and, in the UK at least, so was TV. The BBC’s Play For Today, for example, is looked back upon with dewy eyed reverence these days. And so it should be. There were plays by Dennis Potter (Blue Remembered Hills), Mike Leigh (Abigail’s Party), Alan Bleasdale, John Osborne.  Some of them were terrifying to the young mind- I still cringe when I remember the harrowing and brilliant Edna The Inebriated Woman. Others were hilarious –Rumpole Of The Baily, which spawned the television series.

And some were rock hard.

I was 13 in 1975, when Philip Martin’s controversial Gangsters aired, and it was great. Gangsters was true Brit Grit television. Set in Birmingham, it was a multicultural crime story about illegal immigrants and corrupt politicians. And I loved it. There was a violence, swearing, nudity! What more could you want?

The next day at school everyone was talking about it. The subsequent media furore only added to the buzz.

Gangsters was such a success it was made into a series with theme music from the prog rock band Greenslade. It told the story of Kline, played by super-craggy Maurice Colborn, ex SAS, fresh out of prison and trying to go straight. And failing. By season two, the series really took a turn for the mental, though. The title sequence now had blues singer Chris Farlow belting out the theme song and looked like something from a low budget Kung Fu film.

Indeed, it went down such a weird path that it even had writer Philip Martin regularly appearing as himself and dictating scenes to a typist. And later he appeared as The White Devil, a hit man dressed as W C Fields (a role originally intended for the comedian  Les Dawson!) who eventually killed Kline.

Gangsters, which had started off as a hard hitting social realist crime drama , ended fantastically with the characters walking off the set, shots of the writers literally tossing away the script and a ‘That’s All Folks’ caption appearing on screen.

‘Daft!’ said my sister in law, who watched it with me. And she was right, I suppose, but then ‘daft’ isn’t always a bad thing, is it?

In one play and the two seasons of Gangsters there were drug addicts, hit men, sleazy night clubs, triads, murders, racist comedians, the CIA, strippers and all manner of urban rough and tumble. And W C Fields.

And on to the nineties.

Cracker was a Granada TV series that was created by the writer Jimmy McGovern which ran from 1993- 1995. A mere two years, yet it made a great impact  in that short time.(Okay, there was also a  fine Hong Kong set special in 1996 -and another in 2006,which I didn’t see.)

The star of the show was Scottish comedy actor Robbie Coltrane, who was previously best known for a cracking- see what I did then? – performance in the BBC’s version of John Byrne’s Tuttie Fruttie and for throwing a chair through a pub window.

Coltrane played Fitz,a brilliant, hard-drinking, heavy – smoking, bad- tempered criminal psychologist who worked as an assistant to the Manchester Police Force. “I drink too much, I smoke too much, I gamble too much. I am too much.” Top man.

CRACKER! AT PULP METAL MAGAZINE!Coltrane was mesmerizing. The stories were gritty and twisty and moving -even when they pushed the boundaries of melodrama. The rest of the actors involved were spot on too; in particular Christopher Ecclestone as the young detective learning more about life’s underbelly than he wanted. And Robert Carlyle was super impressive as the bitter, disillusioned Albie in the amazingly intense story ‘To Be A Somebody.’

Later, there was a watered-down U.S. version with Robert Pastorelli as Fitz. Pastorelli is a good enough actor but it really was a decaffeinated version of the original.

One of British television’s great creations, George Bulman first appeared on the small screen in 1976, in Granada Television’s hard edged crime series, The XYY Man, based on the books by Kenneth Royce. The XYY Man in question was a cat burglar called Spider Scott who was trying to go straight but regularly ended up getting caught in the MI5’s grubby web.

Doggedly on Scott’s trail was the real star of the show, Detective Sergeant George Bulman, brilliantly played by Don Henderson. Bulman was gruff and eccentric: He always wore gloves. usually had a menthol inhaler stuffed up his nose, carried his things in a plastic supermarket carrier bag and endlessly quoted Shakespeare.

It was a good series, too, but Bulman owned the show and when it ended, after two series, it was logical that Bulman and his sidekick Willis (no, not THAT Willis ) were given their own spin off show, Strangers.

Strangers –with a brilliant jazzy theme tune – started off as a pretty good, straight ahead, cop show spiced up by Bulman’s oddball character. But as the series progressed it became quirkier and quirkier, finding its form in season three when the brilliant Mark ‘Taggart’ McManus became Bulman’s boss.

The last episode had Bulman going undercover in a jazz band and featured music by Tangerine Dream and Pigbag. And the title quoted Jean Cocteau ,‘With these gloves you can pass through mirrors’- and saw Bulman trying to ditch his OCD by taking off his gloves and buggering off with McManus’ wife.

And when Strangers ended, after five series, there was still no stopping Bulman, who returned to star in his own show, Bulman. He was now an unofficial private detective working out of an antique clock repair shop with a spiky Scottish sidekick, occasionally working for a dodgy government agency or Mark MacManus. Bulman’s eccentricity was even more to the forefront in this series and the stories were comfortably off the wall.

I’ve heard from doctors that they can’t watch hospital series like ER and Casualty because of the medical inauthenticity of some scenes. Policeman surely say the same thing about the CSI franchise (okay EVERYONE says the same thing about CSI Miami). Dinner-ladies probably thought the same thing about Victoria Wood’s classic comedy series dinnerladies, for all I know.

But these glitches don’t bother me of, course. I find it easy to immerse myself in a story. Most of the time. Except, there was one scene in this cracking British television series,  that jarred.

But first of all, the SP on Whitechapel.

Whitechapel was a British crime series about a rough and ready bunch of veteran East End coppers, headed by D S Ray Miles (the ever brilliant Phil Davis) and played some familiar and tasty character actors.

Well, all goes pear shaped (see how I’m getting into the lingo?) when they get a new boss, D I Joseph Chandler (played by Rupert Penry- Jones). Chandler is a fast-tracker who they think has walked into the job through having the right connections. And is he also very, very posh – a full-on blue blooded toff, even. Invariably, he doesn’t fit in with the rest of the team and clashes with Miles more than somewhat.

And things get worse when Chandler calls in a batty Ripperologist, Edward Buchan ( a top turn from the League Of Gentlemen’s Steve Pemberton) to help in his first high-profile case – a Jack The Ripper copycat.

This Whitechapel first two-parter was great fun- full of Gothic atmosphere, blood and gore, quirkiness, black humour and genuine chills.

The series was a great success and it was deservedly recommissioned. But how do you follow the Ripper story if you want to use the same copycat killer idea again?

That’s right- you bring back The Kray Twins.

1 1 1 1 a a a a aWhitechapel-tvseriesWhitechapel’s second most famous killers come back as ghosts seeking REVENGE and go on the rampage. Or do they?

Not a bad set up, but this story didn’t seem to have the same bite as the Ripper story. And Buchan is not only a Ripperologist but an expert on the Krays? Mmmm …

They also used some weird CGI to make one actor look like both twins. And they got the location of a famous East End boozer wrong! Everyone knows that The Grave Maurice was in Whitechapel Road but they said it was Commercial Road. And the pub that they used as a stand in for the presumably defunct Grave Maurice, looked nothing like it. Still it was enjoyable enough tale, had its tense moments and some nice East End locations and atmosphere.

But where do you go in season three if you want to follow the same formula?

Well, you don’t have any other Whitechapel killers as famous as Jack The Ripper and The Kray Twins, so they did a sensible thing and focused on murders that echoed obscure and less well-known East End killings. And some chillers there were too, including a locked-room-mystery and fun reference to Lon Chaney. Also, this and later seasons were split into three separate two-part stories which worked really well.

So, a cracking fun series with nice chemistry between the cast, funny, quirky moments, suspense and gore, and some smashing, ripping yarns.

And since then? Well we’ve had Luther, Top Boy, Happy Valley and the splendid Scott & Bailey. Also, Howard Linskey’s cracking Geordie gangster novel The Drop is being adapted for television by none other than J J Connolly of Layer Cake fame. And let’s hope we can find a new generation of crime writers to put some more Brit Grit back on the box.

(Bits of this have previously appeared in the Noircon 2014 program, at Sabotage Times and Pulp Metal Magazine)

Top Telly: Bad Girl Rachel Bailey

BaileyMy current favourite Bad Girl is a cop. Of course, crime fiction – whether it’s in books, films or on television – is over-populated with strong-willed, impulsive, foul mouthed, chain smoking, heavy drinking, bed-hopping cops. But with Detective Constable Rachel Bailey, in the gritty British TV series Scott & Bailey, that cliché is given a kick up the jacksy because the cop in question is a woman.

Rachel Bailey – a firecracker of a performance from actress and series co-creator Suranne Jones – is a wild card, indeed. From the offset we see she’s trouble. She’s having a fling with a barrister and risks losing her job when she uses the Police National Computer to check up on him. Discovering that he’s married, and that she’s pregnant, she blackmails him into letting her live in his swanky apartment. She later commits perjury and jeopardies a murder inquiry.

When the barrister is beaten to death, Bailey doesn’t even know if she killed him as she was blind drunk on the night of the murder. She eventually finds out that the killer was her brother- who thinks that she actually wanted him to beat up the barrister – and she lets him escape.

In a misguided attempt to stabilise her life, Bailey gets married to a boring but nice childhood sweetheart. Any stability is short lived, however, as she quickly rushes into a drunken one night stand and pretty much moves into the home of her partner DC Janet Scott, creating friction within Scott’s family. Friction which ignites when she drunkenly shags one of her colleagues in Scott’s home.

Rachel Bailey is 100% trouble and one of the strongest characters on British television at the moment.

(This first appeared over at Crimeculture)

Short, Sharp Interview: Howard Linskey

PDB: Congratulations on the deal with Penguin. How did that come about?

HL: Thanks. I’d been working on a new book with some different characters and my agent, Phil Patterson at Marjacq, sent it out to publishers.

One of the first to read it was Emad Akhtar at Penguin Random House and, luckily for me, he really liked it. They completed the deal during the London Book Fair,which was very exciting, as Phil kept calling me from the stand there to update me and I could hear the buzz of the fair in the background. It took a little while to sink in though.
Like every author, I’d dreamed of a big publisher buying my books one day. I am obviously absolutely thrilled to be moving to Penguin. They are the most iconic name in publishing so I feel really honoured to be working with them.

PDB: How do you think it will be different working with Penguin than with No Exit Press who published your previous books? 

HL: No Exit are a great publisher with a very cool list but obviously they are not as big as Penguin, so there should hopefully be more resources available for promotion and marketing, which is vital when it comes to raising awareness of a book or author. I think all authors are battling to get their books noticed and I’m no exception. Having a story launched by Penguin will hopefully give me a bit of a head start in that respect. I’ve been really impressed by my editor’s enthusiasm to make the story as strong as it can be then get the book noticed by as many people as possible.

PDB: You’ve published three very well received crime novels so far; The Drop, The Damage and The Dead. Could you tell us something about them? 

HL: David Blake is a white collar, somewhat reluctant criminal who starts out believing he can enjoy the trappings of the criminal world without any of the downsides; like violence, imprisonment or death. The wheels come off his life one day however when a large sum of money he is responsible for goes missing and he is given 72 hours to get it back or he’ll be killed. That’s how ‘The Drop’ begins. Blake is the anti-hero of three books that are all set in the Newcastle and, in each one, he is drawn deeper and deeper into the criminal underworld.

PDB: How will the books you’ll have published by Penguin differ from your previous books? 

HL: Once I’d finished the David Blake trilogy I really wanted to write something different. I was reluctant to churn out twenty very similar novels all featuring the same character. I’d been sitting on what I thought was an intriguing idea for a long while but this one was more of a mystery.

It’s set in a village in County Durham in the north east of England and involves a journalist in disgrace who returns home to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a fifteen year old girl. Then a body is found in the village but it’s not the girl. Instead it’s a sixty year old corpse and nobody knows who the victim is or why he was murdered. The journalist, Tom Carney, teams up with local reporter, Helen Norton, and out of favour Detective Constable, Ian Bradshaw, to try and uncover the truth in both cases.PDB: There was talk that The Drop being made into a television series. What’s happening there?

HL: Hopefully it will happen but it is a very slow process. The film rights to the David Blake books have been optioned by Harry Potter producer, David Barron, and are being adapted by ‘Layer Cake’ writer, J.J Connolly, so they couldn’t be in better hands. Watch this space.

PDB: You have a short story included in the next Mammoth Book Of Best British Crime, edited by the legendary Maxim Jakubowski. How does that connect with the characters in your novels? 

HL: I was really honoured to be included in the ‘Mammoth Book of Best British Crime’ by Maxim. The short story features some of the supporting characters from the David Blake books but it’s set twenty years earlier than ‘The Drop’. David Blake is not in this one but the firm’s enforcers and its leader, Bobby Mahoney, the man who runs Newcastle’s criminal world, all feature. A gang of young lads tries to rip off Bobby only to belatedly realise they are well out of their league. Mahoney lines them all up on the edge of an abandoned high rise to make them talk. Hopefully it is an enjoyable read if you like crime fiction but maybe not so much if you suffer from vertigo.

PDB: Do you plan to publish more short stories? Is it very different to writing a novel? 

HL: I know that most authors write short stories but I’m the exception as I had honestly never written one before. As you know, I agreed to write it for the charity anthology, ‘True Brit Grit’, masterminded by Luca Veste and yourself then I got slightly panicky, as I didn’t know if I could even write a short story. It was very different to tackling a full length novel and I was pleased with the result in the end but I don’t know if I’ll write any more. They do take up quite a bit of time and I was really struggling to finish ‘The Damage’ around then. I edit my books a lot along the way, so I am always short of time. I also look after my young daughter outside of school hours, so I only have a limited window each day for writing.


PDB: How does your training and work as a journalist help with your writing? 

HL: I think it makes me a better and more ruthless self-editor and I am very deadline focused. As a journalist you could write the best story in the world but it will be useless if you miss the deadline and it doesn’t even make it into the paper. That old Douglas Adams’ quote, “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by,” is very funny but I could never be like that. I’ve never missed one. I’m always very aware that someone is sitting there waiting for me to submit work so they can get on with their job and I hate to mess people about. Working as a journalist also helped me a lot with my new book as I was writing about a journalist in an era that I worked in, so I knew how it was to be a reporter in a pre-internet age, where mobile phones were either non-existent or rudimentary and newspapers still wielded enormous power as one of the main providers of news, along with TV and radio.

PDB: What’s up next? 

HL: I’ll be working on the second draft of my new book prior to publication by Penguinin 2015. Then I’ll be turning some of the ideas I’ve got, involving the three main characters, into books two and three. In short, the hard work starts here.

Thanks Howard!

Bio: Howard Linskey’s first novel, The Drop, was voted one of the Top Five Thrillers of 2011 by The Times Newspaper. His second, The Damage, was a Top 12 Best Summer Read in the same newspaper. Both books reached the top five in the Amazon Kindle charts and the David Blake trilogy has been optioned for film by Harry Potter producer, David Barron. Originally from the north east, Howard lives in Welwyn, Herts, with his wife Alison and daughter Erin.

This interview first appeared at Out Of The Gutter Online’s Brit Grit Alley.

Brit Grit Alley Guest Columnists

Over the next few weeks I’ll be hosting a handful of  carefully selected guest columnists over at Out Of The Gutter Online’s Brit Grit Alley.

Last week, Nigel Bird had a gander at the BBC’s new series, Ripper Streer.

This week,  Richard Godwin is down Brit Grit Alley talking about Finance and Criminal Profit.

And coming up are guest columns from Tony Black, Charlie Williams, Darren Sant and more …

So, go on,  have a wander down BRIT GRIT ALLEY.

Top Telly: Bullman The Bulldog

bullmanOne of British television’s great creations, George Bulman first appeared on the small screen in 1976, in Granada Television’s hard edged crime series, The XYY Man, based on the books by Kenneth Royce. The XYY Man in question was a cat burglar called Spider Scott who was trying to go straight but regularly ended up getting caught in the MI5’s grubby web.

Doggedly on Scott’s trail was the real star of the show, Detective Sergeant George Bulman, brilliantly played by Don Henderson. Bulman was gruff and eccentric: He always wore gloves. usually had a menthol inhaler stuffed up his nose, carried his things in a plastic supermarket carrier bag and endlessly quoted Shakespeare.

It was a good series, too, but Bulman owned the show and when it ended, after two series, it was logical that Bulman and his sidekick Willis (no, not THAT Willis ) were given their own spin off show, Strangers.

Strangers –with a brilliant jazzy theme tune – started off as a pretty good, straight ahead, cop show spiced up by Bulman’s oddball character. But as the series progressed it became quirkier and quirkier, finding its form in season three when the brilliant Mark ‘Taggart’ McManus became Bulman’s boss.

The last episode had Bulman going undercover in a jazz band and featured music by Tangerine Dream and Pigbag. And the title quoted Jean Cocteau ,‘With these gloves you can pass through mirrors’– and saw Bulman trying to ditch his OCD by taking off his gloves and buggering off with McManus’ wife.

And when Strangers ended, after five series, there was still no stopping Bulman, who returned to star in his own show, Bulman. He was now an unofficial private detective working out of an antique clock repair shop with a spiky Scottish sidekick, occasionally working for a dodgy government agency or Mark MacManus. Bulman’s eccentricity was even more to the forefront in this series and the stories were comfortably off the wall.

Here’s Bulman’s first appearance in The XYY Man.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjKdl8wli7E&feature=related

This post first appeared at Pulp Metal Magazine.

True Brit Grit At The Cinema And On TV

True Brit Grit

A bit back, I wrote an article for The Sabotage Times about Brit Grit television. I took a gander at three shows in particular, Public Eye, Gangsters and Cracker. All were in-your-face, hard-hitting crime dramas from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s respectively.

And now, it looks like a bunch of the writers that have contributed to the True Brit Grit charity anthology that I co-edited (with Luca Veste) are going to be putting the grit back on the box.

Tony Black, for example, is due to have his intense crime novel Long Time Dead made into a film, directed by Richard ‘Jobbo The Yobbo’ Jobson. And Black’s debut, Paying For It, is due to have the television treatment.

And there’s more.

Howard Linskey’s critically acclaimed The Drop is being adapted for the small screen by JJ ‘Layer Cake’ Connolly, no less!

Sheila Quigley’s Seahills Estate debut, Run For Home, has been scheduled to be made into a telly series, too.

Adrian Magson’s first Harry Tate novel, Red Station, is due to blast out on to big screen as the start of a franchise to equal that of Jason Bourne!

So, who’s next?

Certainly, Matt Hilton’s Joe Hunter thrillers would make great high-octane action cinema and wouldn’t someone like to be able to get a handle on Charlie Williams’ blackly-comic Mangel books or Ray Banks’ poignant Cal Innes Quartet?

So, if you want to get a taste of these stars in the making, you could do worse than pick up True Brit Grit- A Charity Anthology. Here’s the blurb:

“The BRIT GRIT mob is coming to kick down your door with hobnailed boots. Kitchen-sink noir; petty-thief-louts; lives of quiet desperation; sharp, blood-stained slices of life; booze-sodden brawls from the bottom of the barrel and comedy that’s as black as it’s bitter—this is BRIT GRIT!”

45 British writers, 45 short stories. All coming together to produce an anthology, benefiting two charities…
Children 1st – http://www.children1st.org.uk/
and
Francesca Bimpson Foundation – http://www.francescabimpsonfoundation.org

The line up…

Introduction by Maxim Jakubowski

1. Two Fingers of Noir by Alan Griffiths 2. Eat Shit by Tony Black 3. Baby Face And Irn Bru by Allan Guthrie 4. Pretty Hot T’Ing by Adrian Magson 5. Black Betty by Sheila Quigley 6. Payback: With Interest by Matt Hilton 7. Looking for Jamie by Iain Rowan 8. Stones in Me Pocket by Nigel Bird 9. The Catch and The Fall by Luke Block 10. A Long Time Coming by Paul Grzegorzek 11. Loose Ends by Gary Dobbs 12. Graduation Day by Malcolm Holt 13. Cry Baby by Victoria Watson 14. The Savage World of Men by Richard Godwin 15. Hard Boiled Poem (a mystery) by Alan Savage 16. A Dirty Job by Sue Harding 17. Stay Free by Nick Quantrill 18. The Best Days of My Life by Steven Porter 19. Hanging Stanley by Jason Michel 20. The Wrong Place to Die by Nick Triplow 21. Coffin Boy by Nick Mott 22. Meat Is Murder by Colin Graham 23. Adult Education by Graham Smith 24. A Public Service by Col Bury 25. Hero by Pete Sortwell 26. Snapshots by Paul D Brazill 27. Smoked by Luca Veste 28. Geraldine by Andy Rivers 29. A Minimum of Reason by Nick Boldock 30. Dope on a Rope by Darren Sant 31. A Speck of Dust by David Barber 32. Hard Times by Ian Ayris 33. Never Ending by McDroll 34. Imagining by Ben Cheetham 35. Escalator by Jim Hilton 36. Faces by Frank Duffy 37. A Day In The Death Of Stafford Plank by Stuart Ayris 38. The Plebitarian by Danny Hogan 39. King Edward by Gerard Brennan 40. This Is Glasgow by Steven Miscandlon 41. Brit Grit by Charlie Wade 42. Five Bags Of Billy by Charlie Williams 43. It Could Be You by Julie Morrigan 44. No Shortcuts by Howard Linskey 45. The Great Pretender by Ray Banks

Get stuck in there!