Death Toll 3: End Game is OUT NOW!

DEATH TOLL 3: End Game’ is an uncompromising, page-turning crime thriller anthology that brings together crime writers based in eight different countries spanning five continents.
deathtoll
This is the best short thriller fiction from today’s best crime writers: Matt Hilton, Douglas Stewart, Alex Shaw, Charlie Flowers, Stephen Edger, Paul D Brazill, Dominic Adler, Paul Grzegorzek, Jamie Mason, JH Bográn, Liam Saville and Harlan Wolff.

Each of these authors are fan favourites at the top of their game, and together they represent the best of contemporary, international crime and thriller fiction.

DEATH TOLL 3: End Game includes

‘Death Sentence’ – DOUGLAS STEWART
‘Dead Soldiers’ – CHARLIE FLOWERS
‘Mostly dead’ – PAUL GRZEGORZEK
‘Paranoia’ – STEPHEN EDGER
‘A Dead Man In Greek Street’ – HARLAN WOLFF
‘Sealed Bid’ – DOMINIC ADLER
‘Back From The Dead’ – PAUL D. BRAZILL
‘Marius And The Prisoner of Conscience’ – JAMIE MASON
‘Mr Big’ – LIAM SAVILLE
‘Hell Is A Place On Earth’ – J.H. BOGRAN
‘The Due Season’ – MATT HILTON
‘Rum Slap’ – ALEX SHAW

A Bunch Of Stocking Fillers …

Stuff these Christmas crackers in your Christmas stocking, if you’re that way inclined …

13 SHOTS OF NOIR

13 shots2

GUNS OF BRIXTON

gob2

COLD LONDON BLUES

CLB---3d-stack_d400

KILL ME QUICK

Kill me quick new

TOO MANY CROOKS

too many crooks

A CASE OF NOIR

acon

BIG CITY BLUES

Big City Blues
Big City Blues

SMALL TIME CRIMES

SMC

SUPERNATURAL NOIR

Supernatural Noir

THE LAST LAUGH

the last laugh new

LAST YEAR’S MAN

cover-brazill-last-years-man-1800x2700px (1)

Punk Noir Magazine

 

Punk Noir Magazine – hovering in the shadows of the late lamented Pulp Metal Magazine – is a non-profit, non-paying, online arts and entrainment magazine that views the world at its most askew. We’ll be looking at films, music, television and more. There’ll be interviews, reviews, news, poetry, fiction, micro fiction, and flash fiction.  And some other stuff too, I’m sure. Submissions should open up at the end of 2018.

Brit Grit on the Laikonik Express

elblag

Brit Grit on the Laikonik Express – na Wielorzeczu po angielsku.

On Saturday 22 September, I’ll be taking part in the Festiwalu Literatury Wielorzecze  in the town of  Elbląg here in Poland. I’ll be chatting with Nick Sweeney and  Arco Van Ieperen.   Radek Obuchowski will translate.

Here’s some more information about the gig, in Polish:

Po raz pierwszy w historii Festiwalu Literatury Wielorzecze zapraszamy Państwa na spotkanie autorskie z pisarzami anglojęzycznymi. To prawdziwa gratka dla filologów oraz miłośników kryminałów.

Rozmowę z Paulem D. Brazzilem i Nickiem Sweeney’em poprowadzi Arco Van Ieperen. Brit Grit on the Laikonik Express 22 września o godz. 18 w Bibliotece Elbląskiej. Spotkanie tłumaczyć będzie Radek Obuchowski. Zapraszamy serdecznie. Wstęp wolny.

Nick Sweeney mieszka w Londynie, pracuje jako niezależny pisarz, redaktor oraz muzyk. Jego opowieści zostały opublikowane w wielu czasopismach takich jak Ambit, Eunoia Review, In-flight, Writing Raw. Powieść Laikonik Express opowiada o Polsce, śniegu, wódce oraz podróżowaniu pociągiem bez powodu. Została opublikowana przez Unthank Books w 2011 roku. Jego krótka opowieść ‘Traffic’ została nagrodzona drugim miejscem w konkursie V.S. Pritchett Memorial Award w 2015 roku. Twórczość jest głównie inspirowana Europą Wschodnią i jej obywatelami oraz historią.

Paul D. Brazill urodził się w Hartlepool (Anglia), lecz obecnie mieszka w Bydgoszczy. Jest autorem Cold London Blues, Guns Of Brixton, Kill Me Quick!, A Case of Noir, Last Year’s Man oraz Small Time Crimes. Jego teksty ukazały się w wielu czasopismach i antologiach, m.in. The Mammoth Books of Best British Crime (część 8, 10 i 11). Jest również redaktorem kilku antologii, w tym bestsellerowej True Brit Grit (której współredaktorem jest Luca Veste). Jego prace zostały przetłumaczone na język włoski, polski, fiński, słoweński oraz niemiecki. Prowadzi popularnego bloga pauldbrazill.com oraz jest nauczycielem języka angielskiego.

Dominika Lewicka-Klucznik, Stowarzyszenie Alternatywni

I’m Interviewed at My Book Place

20180810_175041

Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I write as and when I can, in an ad hoc and slapdash manner. It’s a pretty good reflection of how I live my life, really.

What authors, or books have influenced you?
Damon Runyon because he created his own world. Allan Guthrie because he showed a darkly humorous view of the world that fit mine. Graham Green’s Brighton Rock and Gerald Kersh’s Night and The City. Jim Thompson and Elmore Leonard. Patricia Highsmith. Les Edgerton.’

You can read the rest HERE.

Here Comes Fahrenheit 13!

Fahrenheit Press

As of February 2018, Number Thirteen Press has joined with Fahrenheit Press to form a new imprint:

Fahrenheit 13

Fahrenheit Press’ Chris McVeigh dishes the dirt here:

‘We’re delighted to announce that Number Thirteen Press has officially become part of the Fahrenheit family.  We’re massively chuffed that as part of the deal, Number Thirteen head honcho Chris Black has agreed to join us as senior editor of our new imprint Fahrenheit 13. Over the coming months we’ll be republishing the Number Thirteen books and Chris will be out in the world actively commissioning new books for our new imprint. As a nod to Number Thirteen tradition, all the books published by Fahrenheit 13 will be published on the 13th of the month.’

And Number Thirteen Press’ Chris Black spills the beans here. 

‘So, here I am, the new head of a new imprint and it’s important to me that Fahrenheit 13has a distinctive feel. So if Fahrenheit are the punk publishers of crime fiction, where does that leave Fahrenheit 13?

Simple: Fahrenheit only break the rules. Fahrenheit 13 burns the rule book and buries it out in the desert.’

All of which is great news for me, as it means my seaside noir Kill Me Quick! will be rebooted and suited and should be republished around May or June.

Tidy!

Meet Last Year’s Man Next Year!

adrI’m more than somewhat chuffed that ALL DUE RESPECT will be publishing my novella LAST YEAR’S MAN in June 2018. I’ll tell you more about that anon but for now you can take a gander at ALL DUE RESPECT’s current publishing schedule.

Outlaws by Matt Phillips (Dec. 15 2017)
Street Whispers by Liam Sweeny (Feb. 2018)
Dead Guy in the Bathtub by Paul Greenberg (March 2018)
Sunk Costs by Preston Lang (May 2018)
Last Year’s Man by Paul D. Brazill (June 2018)
A Taste of Shotgun by Chris Orlet (July 2018)
Repetition Kills You by Tom Leins (September 2018)
Welcome to HolyHell by Math Bird (October 2018)
Gravy Train by Tess Makovesky (November 2018)

Shhh … You Know Who’s in The Secret Library …

cropped-gwb.jpgRichard Fernandez was kind enough to invite me over to his CAFE THINKING blog to talk about the contents of my SECRET LIBRARY.  Though I guess it’s not so secret anymore.

Wilson, Friedman and Higson aren’t sand dancers, by the way.

Find out who they are, here.

Examining the Hellboy Graphic Novel ‘Into the Silent Sea’ Ahead of the Upcoming Movie Release in 2018

hellboy-2

(Image via IndieWire)

Examining the Hellboy Graphic Novel ‘Into the Silent Sea’ Ahead of the Upcoming Movie Release in 2018

Hellboy is returning to the silver screen next year with Stranger Things actor David Harbour replacing Ron Perlman as the titular character. The film is looking to strike a new tone with the film’s screenwriter Andrew Cosby stating that the reboot will be a “darker, more gruesome” version than the previous releases.

The new film, titled: Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen, will lean much closer to the tone of the Hellboy comics. Cosby confirmed that the film’s director Neil Marshall (The Descent, Game of Thrones) wants the movie to “walk a razor’s edge between horror and comic book movie.” As the upcoming film will be closer to the comic book version of the character, we look at the Hellboy graphic novel Into the Silent Sea released earlier this year.

Into the Silent Sea is a Hellboy original comic co-written by Hellboy creator Mike Mignolia, co-written and illustrated by Gary Gianni, and coloured by Dave Steward. The graphic novel is a direct sequel to Mike Mignolia’s 2005 two issue mini series Hellboy: The Island. Into the Silent Sea follows Hellboy after he has set sail from the deserted island. After escaping the island Hellboy runs into a ghost ship, and is taken prisoner by a mysterious phantom crew.

Speaking to Dark Horse before the graphic novel’s release, Gary Gianni described Into the Silent Sea as “Hellboy’s greatest adventure”. Gianni has illustrated work for George R. R. Martin, Harlan Ellison, Ray Bradbury, and Michael Chabon. He also created the Monstermen series, which was a back-up feature in Hellboy. He calls Into the Silent Sea “the biggest comic event of the year”.

Mike Mignolia debuted Hellboy in 1993 and the character has become a cult favourite due to its Lovecraftian horror and ironic humour. In an interview with Nerdist this year, Mignolia explained that part of Hellboy’s success was due to releasing the stories as a mini-series or graphic novel, rather than the tradition monthly comic book model. “One of the things I really think I did differently to other things out there was to tell short stories. Almost half of the Hellboy stuff – some of the better Hellboy stuff – are these eight or 12 page stories.”

52d703e88bead41536adb6019171f10a

The format has clearly worked, as Hellboy is one of the most successful comic book characters outside DC and Marvel. In preparation for the movie remake, Dark Horse formed a partnership with DC Comics in order for Hellboy to be included in the highly-acclaimed video game, Injustice 2, which includes some of the most popular superheroes of the DC Universe. Hellboy’s parent company also signed a deal with online entertainment firm Slingo to release the Hellboy slot game on its platform that uses the Hellboy from the comics rather than the screen. Hellboy is a casual game that uses themes and characters based on the iconic Dark Horse character. The two partnerships with entertainment companies is a clear sign of how popular both the comic book and screen version of the character is with audiences.

The Hellboy remake will star David Harbour as Hellboy, and Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil) as the film’s antagonist, The Blood Queen. The film is expected to be released at the end of 2018. Fans who are waiting for the film should make sure they keep up with the latest adventure of the character in Into the Silent Sea.

Out Now! Just Like That by Les Edgerton

New from Down & Out Books

Purchase links …
Buy from the Down & Out Bookstore or from the following retailers …
Print: Amazon — Barnes & Noble
eBook: Kindle — Nook — iTunes — Kobo

Synopsis … Jake and his pal Bud’s journey begins six months after he is released on parole and is occasioned when his girlfriend Donna dumps him and aborts their child. After a suicide attempt where the Norelco shaver cord he used to hang himself breaks, on an impulse—everything in Jake’s life happens “just like that”—he calls up Bud, who lives by the same credo, and the two take off with no particular destination in mind. They’re just going “south”—somewhere where it’s warm. An hour before they leave, Jake on another impulse, holds up a convenience store to get some traveling money. Ultimately, they end up in New Orleans and then Lake Charles, Louisiana and from there, back to Indiana.

Along the way are many “watercooler” moments and near the end Jake takes a fall when he is caught burglarizing a bar back in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, gets shot in the leg and is returned to Pendleton where he kills the inmate he had a nasty encounter with during his first stay in prison.

Just Like That is based on an actual trip the author took with an ex-prison cellmate under similar circumstances as protagonist Jake Mayes does in the narrative. The scenes in Pendleton are also based on true experiences he had while incarcerated. Approximately 85% of the novel is taken from real life. Portions of the book have previously appeared as short stories in the literary magazines Murdaland, Flatmancrooked, and High Plains Literary Review, the latter of which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and was selected for inclusion in Houghton Mifflin’s Best American Mystery Stories, 2001.

Praise for JUST LIKE THAT …

“Edgerton’s got a story to tell you so get ready; it’s coming at you fast. Get ready…” —Linwood Barclay, international bestseller

“Edgerton draws memorable portraits of these dangerous and unpredictable characters.” —Library Journal

Just Like That is yet another Les Edgerton winner. In his prison memoir, Edgerton conjures up in honest, Bukowski-esque prose a mad dog life lived behind and beyond the bars of institutional correctional facilities. Literature’s version of Johnny Cash, America has yet another gifted bard to sing the blues of time served. I have long believed Edgerton to be an American original, who has for too long remained one of our best kept literary secrets.” —Cortright McMeel, author of Short

Just Like That has it all. Great dialogue, whipcrack scenes and meaty characters haul logo-dob-ws-400x200pxyou along on a hardboiled crime road-trip worthy of the Elmore Leonard and Joe R Lansdale. A shot to the heart as well as the head, Just Like That is highly recommended.” —Paul D. Brazill, author of A Case of Noir

“Edgerton establishes the kind convincing, and wrenching, interiority with his characters achieved by only the most adept fiction writers.” —Peter Donahue, Sam Houston State University

“Edgerton’s best stories are uncompromising in their casual amorality. They stare you down over the barrel of a gun, rip you up whether or not the trigger gets squeezed.” —Diane Lefer, UCLA and Vermont College, author of The Circles I Move In

“Les Edgerton creates a vivid and compelling world. We feel the rhythm of his language and live in the skins of his characters. Altogether, a memorable experience.” —Gladys Swan, Missouri University and Vermont College, author of A Visit to Stranger

“Les Edgerton writes like a poet with a mean streak, and his prose goes down easy and smooth like good liquor as it carves up your insides.” —Henry Perez, bestselling author of Mourn the Living

“The characters in Edgerton’s world bite down hard and grind up one another with their back teeth. Their authenticity is palpable as soft-shelled clams; these are sad, mean, fully human characters who long for connection almost as fiercely as they fear it.” —Melody Henion Stevenson, author of The Life Stone of Singing Bird

Coming Soon: Manchester Vice by Jack Strange

man-v-ebook_300cBio: The mysterious Jack Strange hails from the town of Huddersfield, in West Yorkshire , England. He’s a man with a checkered past, having worked in a morgue, been a labourer, and a salesman. He’s dug holes… professionally (to what end, he refuses to say – sales? corpses? possibly both?),  even more terrifying – he’s a former Lawyer.
He enjoys parties and keeps himself fit (the kind of fit that makes you think he may engage in fisticuffs with Vinnie Jones on a semi-regular basis, or possibly drink stout with both hands while also throwing  a perfect game of darts.) He is allegedly married with two adult daughters. They have yet to be located for comment.

Follow Jack on Twitter: @jackstrange11
Or visit www.jackstrangewriter.blogspot.co.uk man-v-promo_300c

I’m Going Underground at Crime Fiction Lover

cfloverOver at the splendid CRIME FICTION LOVER website, I contribute to their NEW TALENT NOVEMBER  celebration with a little column about underground crime fiction writers.

Of course, there are so many top writers around at the moment that I couldn’t mention all of them.

But you can check out those I did mention here.

Failing Better: Brit Grit Comedy

ladykillers1“Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot. To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it!” – Charlie Chaplin

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.’” – Samuel Becket.

As Chaplin showed, there has always been a dark aspect to British comedy and, indeed, there is also usally a sharp, shot of humour in British dark fiction. Tragicomedy that errs on the side of the tragic, perhaps.

A perfect home for life’s perpetual failures, then.

Think of Alexander Mackendrick’s classic 1955 film The Ladykillers where a group of gangsters hole-up in a cute little old ladies house and take turns trying to kill her. They fail, of course.

Or try the eponymous character created by comedian Tony Hancock in the 1950s who, on radio, on television and in film, tried his hand at so many different activities and 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. As Hancock said: ‘Stone me, what a life!’

And more: Sixties sit-com The Worker had the perpetually unemployed Charlie Drake regularly annoying Mr Pugh at the employment centre, trying lots of jobs and failing at all of them. One of the United Kingdom’s longest running television series, Only Fools and Horses, featured wheeling and dealing market stall traders whose scams always failed but who genuinely believed that ‘This time next year, we’ll be millionaires.’

Indeed, if the shiny happy American comedy series Friends had been made in the UK it would probably have ended up more like Sartre’s No Exit since hell truly is THOSE people.

So, if crime fiction is about bringing order to chaos and noir is about bringing chaos to order, then perhaps British comedy is pure noir.

Or maybe, it’s just the weather.

(This post first appeared at Sue Coletta’s blog)

#FRIDAY FLASH: Thicker Than Blood

TODAY

‘The thing is, Bren,’ says Craig, kissing his bloody knuckles, ‘you’ve just got to face facts sometime. You might be a nicer bloke than your Tony. Well, in fact, you are nicer. Much nicer. But your kid is more likeable. It’s just one of those things. And that’s why he always ends up getting what he wants. Getting his own way. If he fell in the sea, he’d come out with a pocket full of fish. That’s him, eh? Teflon Tony.’

Craig walks over to the window and closes the blinds. The room turns black. Specks of dust float in a shard of sunlight that slices through a broken slat and spotlights a pool of blood at Bren Murdoch’s feet. Bren’s head pounds. Blood trickles down his nose and is soaked up by the socks stuffed in his mouth .He twists but the fishing wire cuts further into his wrists and ankles.

‘And that’s also why you’re here now instead of him.’

Craig’s heavy feet echo off the concrete floor as he walks over to the corner of the room and switches on the strip lighting.

Bren clamps his eyes shut.

‘That’s why you’re the one who has to take the consequences of the shit-storm your kid brother brewed up.’

The dining chair wobbles as Craig sits. He’s sweating like a pig. Dark semi-circles under his arms. He knocks back a can of Red Bull and kisses his bruised knuckles again.

‘It’s just one of those things. Something I have to do. I have to, I have no choice , really. Have to make an example of someone. You understand, don’t you?’

Bren understands all right. He understands that in less than a week his life has turned from shinola to shit. And he knows who to blame.

YESTERDAY

‘It’s bollocks. I can’t believe you operate like this,’ said Bren.

He looked pissed off as he dragged the wads of paper from the bread bin and spread them over the shop counter. ‘It’s all in here?’

Tony Murdoch smirked and sipped a can of Carling. ‘Aye.’

‘You keep all your paperwork, all your receipts, invoices, tax bills in a bread bin and you expect me to do your accounts for you?’

‘You’re the accountant,’ said Tony. ‘I’m the … entrepreneur.’

He leaned against a stack of ‘80s 12-inch singles that were marked down to 10p. Star-shaped, day-glow signs hung everywhere in the cluttered shop. It was always cluttered these days. Not with customers, though. The second-hand record business wasn’t what it used to be. Anyway, Tony made more money from organising coach trips to stadium rock gigs. And then there was the other little business with Craig. The import/export business.

‘Well, I’m not your accountant, am I? Thank fuck. What happened to that bloke you used to use? Stewie Shorthands?’ said Bren.

He got up from the counter and walked to the fridge in the corner of the room.

‘He went AWOL, didn’t he? Supposed to have drowned out near Seal Sands. He’s been missing without a trace for a couple of days now,’ said Tony.

Bren opened a can of Carling. As he clicked the ring pull, it frothed up, soaking his expensive suit.

‘Shit, are you still buying beer from News N Booze? The stuff that’s past its sell-by-date?’ he said.

‘It’s half price, man. Yer, canna wack it.’

Tony, the great business man, thought Bren. He’d always wondered how the shop, Tony’s Tunes, had kept in business for so long.

‘Listen Bren,’ said Tony. ‘I’ve got a little proposition for you.’

‘Oh, yes?’ said Bren. ‘And what might that be?’

‘Well,’ said Tony, handing his brother a small bar towel. ‘I’m in need of a little bit of creative accountancy.’

THE DAY BEFORE YESTERDAY

‘He’s worm meat,’ said Veronica Fleece.

‘Are you sure?’ said Tony, switching off the Tupac CD.

‘Well, I’m no Doctor House,’ said Veronica. ‘But look.’

Tony was trying not to gag as he looked down at Shorthands’ naked, flabby body, spread-eagled across the hotel bed. He had to agree with Veronica. The accountant had croaked. ‘What are we gonna do?’ said Veronica, pulling on a kimono.

‘We can’t exactly call an ambulance, can we? Not with all the happy-talc he’s got in him,’ said Tony. ‘Shit. Shit. Shit.’.

‘I told the daft, fat twat to take it easy with that stuff,’ said Veronica. ‘Eyes bigger than his gut.’

She collapsed onto the squeaky leather sofa.

Veronica and Tony both glanced at Shorthands’ stomach and burst out laughing.

‘Getting rid of him won’t be too hard. I’ll phone my dad. He’ll sneak him up to Jed Bramble’s pig farm,’ said Veronica, wiping the white powder from her nose.

Shit, thought Tony. He needed someone to prepare a set of accounts for him to give Craig, so that he didn’t know that Tony had been skimming off the top of the delivery payments. There was no other way, he realised. He’d have to contact Bren.

TODAY

‘I’ve mellowed, Bren. I really have,’ says Craig. ‘I’m a granddad now. I play golf. I go to car-boot sales. I recycle. But if there’s one thing guaranteed to get my goat, to wind me fucking up, it’s someone pissing down my back and trying to tell me it’s raining.’

Craig stands and stretches, yawns. ‘And that’s pretty much what you and your brother did. Eh?’

He walks over to a cupboard in the corner of the room. Unlocks it.

‘But, it’s not so much that. Everyone has their fingers in the till here and there. It’s standard practice. But getting found out. Getting caught so the whole world knows you’ve been taking the piss. Well…’

He pulls a golf bag from the cupboard. It clatters over, spilling clubs over the floor.

‘Fuck,’ says Craig. ‘Give us hand, eh?’

‘Maybe a nine iron,’ says Tony Murdoch, putting out a cigarette and walking over. ‘That should do the trick.’

(c) Paul D. Brazill