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Messy Business – Jason Beech Author

Books and books and books …

“I loved this fucking book.” – David Nemeth, Unlawful Acts

“Psychologically complex.”

“This book has some serious grip.” – David S. Atkinson

“They’re barely in their teens, but already they’re streetwise, courageous and honourable, qualities that are tested to the nerve-wracking limit in this gritty coming-of-age tale from a master of description. Compelling reading.” – Brendan Gisby, author of The Bookie’s Runner

“A special book.” – Aidan Thorn, author of Rival Sons

“An excellent slow burn novel.” – Keith Nixon, author of the Solomon Kane and Konstantin series.

“Jason Beech’s City of Forts masterfully blends urban noir with coming of age drama. Tense, atmospheric, and haunting.” – Paul D. Brazill, author of Too Many Cooks and A Case of Noir

“Beech writes in attention-grabbing, visceral prose…” – J. Salem

“This was a fast-paced action adventure. It kept me on my toes and turning the pages to see what was going to happen next. Very good read!” – Latisha Austin

Never Go Back is worth your time. Especially if you like watching people suffer …” – Aurelia Pitchstone

“Beech has an almost preternatural insight into his characters’ psychology, personalities, and motivations, and combined with his quirky, addictive style, Never Go Back keeps the reader not only turning pages, but sweating bullets along with Barlow.” – Joanne M. Reinbold, author of Missing

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Image: Disc Shot Assassination Attempt by Mysticsartdesign

Featured post

Arcs Available for My New Book – Keep the Motor Running

I’m dead happy I have a new book coming out on 22 January 2022. Keep the Motor Running is a crime … escapade? Caper? Noir? I’m not sure. There’s a few deaths. There’s humour. There are flawed heroes and a bad guy who believes in a quick death.

The New Jersey tale is told from three perspectives, whose heads I’ve tried to get into, each of them first person closed. I started with Karl Lankester. Married, unemployed, a father of two kids. Guilt-ridden because his wife has three jobs, each of which is not well paid. He’s out of prison and in love with his Dodge Charger. He wants money so he can relieve his wife and get off the damn jug handle they live on. I like him, he was going to be the only character the story spoke through.

But then Tempest Stanley, an English ex-pat, arrived in my head, and she demanded I also tell the story through her eyes. In the States to escape a can’t-do family back home, her ideals of a can-do, glamorous American existence has calcified into an abusive relationship with her boyfriend. He’s an ass, with a penchant for using his fists and the red end of a cigarette. Screw him. She’ll take his product and run with it. Straight into the neighbour’s car.

So begins Tempest’s and Karl’s adventure, both of them desperate for a slice of the American dream pie. This being noir, it goes to shit. Czech Downes, now Tempest’s ex, won’t take this lying down. He dreams of climbing the blood-soaked pole of his organization. He keeps his superiors informed of everything, including what’s going wrong with his responsibilities. But one thing too many has gone down the drain with Czech and he suspects there’s a hit on him. If he can get the bag Tempest stole from him, he can make it up. Or so he thinks until a hitman with the mythology of Thor just happens to be eating in the same diner as him.

This, along with Never Go Back, is the easiest book I’ve written. Flew out of my fingertips. I think you’ll like it, and if so, there are ARCs available to read right HERE.

If you get stuck in, thank you, and I hope you enjoy.

The Holly Bush

It’s Christmas time and that means you’ll be off out picking holly and hanging it on your door, unless you buy it from the supermarket like a right little cheater.

I have a new short story out via my newsletter involving a holly bush in the deep dark woods, a winter sky, blood red berries, the value of the past, and two men up to no good.

There’s a taster below.

Keep the Motor Running

My new book, Keep the Motor Running, is out on 22 January. If you want an ARC for review there’s a few copies left over at Book Siren. Click HERE to grab a copy for FREE.

The Holly Bush, a taster …

“What we doing so deep in the woods?”

Kenneth flinched at every snap of a twig, every brush in the dead winter leaves underfoot, every harsh caw of a crow in the deep, deep forest.

Finlay pulled him into his shoulder, squeezed him tight, and let him go to wrap his knee-length coat tighter. “It’s a family tradition.” Kenneth’s forehead etch-a-sketched lines Finlay wanted to shake away. “Every Christmas we come to this holly bush and pluck it for decoration.”

“I’m hardly family.”

“You’re dating my sister, so you’re family, even if it’s short term.”

“I’m not thinking it’s short term. Why would you say that?”

“Well …” Finlay sniffed the crisp air, enjoyed the earthy tang of mud, distant smoke, the faint whiff of horse manure. He whirled the basket, playful. “She likes the boys. Maybe she’s thinking short term.”

Finlay stepped ahead, smirked at how Kenneth’s upper lip exposed his teeth at the horror of Laura dumping him. 

“Nah. You’re fucking with me. We’re solid. Last night -”

Finlay shot a hand backwards to halt him right there. “Not my business.”

“I’m just saying -”

“But don’t, I’ve got holly to think about.”

They jumped over fallen trunks, picked their way through parts of the path mangled with stones rutting from the dirt and out of the kind of boggy mud which sucks the boots from your feet. Finlay twirled at the noises from the branches above, thrilled at the chase of squirrels, the pretty chirp of birds, the odd glimpse of a sly fox, and the curious cows gathered by the barbed wire at the glade’s edge. It’s a trek infused with childhood memories so strong he’d kill to preserve these woods. That branch of the river where he and his brothers floated their home-made boats, that hole in the ground where the devil took them so they never saw the little wooden ships again – it all solidified what he is now. That gnarled oak his sister climbed to show she could match her brothers, but couldn’t get back down until mum threw Laura over her shoulder and eased her to the hard ground. That ditch they dug beneath the bush to shut Adam’s stupid mouth forever.

To see the rest, sign up for my newsletter HERE.

Happy Holidays to every one of you. Cheers.

Only Bones by Daniel Vlasaty

It starts on a dirty surface in one of Chicago’s finest filthy bathrooms where Daniel crushes amphetamines and snorts it right up his nose without a care in the world for disease. Or anything but his fix.

Only Bones is a dark bit of noir and a hard look at the Windy City. Daniel earns his living from his bicycle, delivering all kinds of packages, including food, to various parts of the city, all the while meditating on the city as if it’s a character. Easier to see it as a character, for Daniel, because he sees the people living in it as not much more than lice crawling over its body.

All he wants is the next hit, but he can’t get it without paying his debt to Lawrence, his dealer. Daniel earns barely $40 per day, so paying that debt comes in the form of work. He’s sent with a wad of cash to pick up a package – and life drops into a toilet from that moment.

This is much more than life-starts-bad-and-gets-worse-from-there noir. Between the bizarre scenes of bad men and bad cops doing bad things to each other is a meditation on the city, Daniel’s place in it – more his absorption into it as if he’s a molecule in its body just passing along – and whether he can control his fate.

There’s a brilliant scene where he just sits in the park and watches life as it passes – as it passes him by. It’s a moment of peace in his amphetamine frazzled life that kicks as hard as the funny dialogue and the brutality.

It’s not a long book (a novella), but if you like the dark stuff, this is an excellent read.

Buy it HERE.


Coming Soon

Selena by Greg Barth

Here’s a book that never let’s up. Selena is a prostitute, enjoys a snort of recreational drugs, and can look after herself. She needs to, because the amount of abuse she suffers is monumental and graphic. If you’re Squamish, you better move on.

It starts with an opportunistic theft of a one night stand’s cash and dodgy CD. The CD turns out to be data, and it’s wanted. Here comes Selena’s first beating and rape. She’s so badly turned over by the gangsters you’d half-expect her to slink away and lick her wounds, but she’s not like that. She plots revenge, and from there the stakes become higher and higher, until you think she’s done for.

Selena’s a self-professed whore, with little self-esteem, but she will do what she needs to survive. The danger throughout is comic-book, but bone-crunchingly real. Selena herself is fully three-dimensional even if some of her adversaries are not, and I totally enjoyed it. The violence, the rape, the sex is all very graphic, but Selena’s agency powers you all the way through.


“A stunning tale of crime, corruption, friendship, and betrayal.”

Hat Dance by Carmen Amato

Very entertaining crime thriller from Carmen Amato. Set in Acapulco, Mexico, Emilia Cruz has to navigate sexism, corruption in her own police department, a sour new cop partner, a missing girl, and a whole set of firebombings of high-end restaurants.

Emilia’s tough, but what I like is that she isn’t some superwoman who saves the day because everything she witnesses is water off a duck’s back. Nah, the sexism, her mum’s wandering mind, the city’s violence all has an effect on her. They press down on her confidence, cause such internal conflict that you see how hard she has to work against herself as much as the craziness around her to get results. She earns what she achieves.

There’s plenty to chew over, here. How police can stay on the right side of the law when their pay hardly matches the dangers they face. How corruption makes so many end up just shrugging their shoulders, losing faith in the system and as a result, their fight.

How Emilia could so easily give it all up and live the high life with her rich, successful boyfriend. I love that internal conflict more than any other. She’s from a poor background. She’s rooted in her community. To go and live in plush surroundings with an outsider is a pull which she resists because it’s so alien. And how can she? What has she got to give in return? She’s poor, and though street savvy, totally naive in his circle.

The danger in the romantic side story is that her blue-eyed norteamericano boyfriend becomes her savior. But he’s more her haven. Emilia’s victories are all hers.

An exciting read. Good stuff.


“A stunning tale of crime, corruption, friendship, and betrayal.”

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