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Messy Business – Books, Writing, Stuff

Books and books and books …

Gumshoe by Paul D. Brazill


Another work of comic sleaze from noir master Paul D. Brazill. Peter Ord is a private eye in Seatown, a blustery place in northeast England, full of blustery characters. Ord stumbles from one job to another in the company of the drunks, the nutters, and bottles of special sauce to keep him arm’s length from life’s cold realities. His main task throughout this novella is to serve up info and complete tasks for the local gangster, Jack. But never mind all that, the plot (which are more moments in the life of Ord) is purely in the service of delivering hilarious scenes with chapters punctuated with tasty punchlines. Every chapter will at the very least raise a happy smile, and more often bellow a laugh at the nutters within.

A taster:

He was guarded at first but after a couple of drinks the words tumbled out of Ernie’s mouth like a gang of deunks staggering out of a pub at closing time’ …

This kind of stuff just spills out the book. It’s short and sweet, and well worth an investment of time.

Note: As of now, I cannot find the book in the Kindle store, though it is available in paperback if you look hard enough at Amazon.

 

SHORT, SHARP INTERVIEW: Jason Beech

Paul D. Brazill has a few words with me over at his site. I answered all his questions like a good boy.

Paul D. Brazill

moorlandsPDB: Can you pitch  your latest book in 25 words or less?

JASON: 22 shorts, novelettes, and a novella, featuring violence, rotten goings-on, smart-arses, dumbos, and a dodgy inn-keeper, all with dirty hands and stress-addled minds.

PDB: Which music, books, films or television shows do you wish you had written?

JASON: I wish I’d written Ellroy’s American Tabloid, Iain Banks’ The Crow Road, Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars, and Ray Banks’ Matador. I’d beam with pride if I’d come up with Faith No More’s Angel Dust, Nirvana’s Nevermind, Radiohead’s The Bends, and Super Furry Animals’ Fuzzy Logic. I’m sure there’s been good music since.

 PDB: Which books do you think would make great films or TV series?

JASON: Ray Banks’ Matador would make a brilliant film. I think I’d sweat and squirm as much as I did watching Breaking Bad. Ryan Bracha’s After Call Work: Verbal Warning would…

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Remission by Ed Chatterton 


Ed Chatterton’s crime thriller, Remission, opens with Frank Keane, a Liverpool cop, in possession of £25 million and incurable cancer. The money comes from a dodgy character from his mission in America to keep schtum about his Stateside business. Suspended from the force, he spends a bit of quiet time in the countryside, but, this being a crime thriller, such peace doesn’t last long. Keane will check his shoulder to see if his American “friend” or Liverpool drug gangs are behind him with a gun aimed at the back of his head. 

Meanwhile, the body of a woman is found in a van stolen from a Berlin Clinic but which has crashed in Liverpool, leaving both abductors dead and leaving a bunch of weird questions behind. 

So begins a trail of blood and terror which Liverpool’s MIT try to clear up and from which Frank Keane tries to escape and ultimately solve. It’s a thrill-ride and a grim exploration of far right extremism. There’s one scene in a zoo where a German Nazi operative is threatened by another in such a way you lose sight of his extremism and experience a real primal fear for him that I almost fell off my chair. I can’t remember a time I read something which made me so clammy and fearful, and that includes Ellroy. 

Chatterton matches it later at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, a scene of horror as grim as anything I’ve ever read. The buildup is pacy, relentless, cold (and funny). Keane’s cancer gives the book a personal urgency which parallels the larger picture and gives the novel some warmth from the cold motives which populate the rest of the story. 

There are a lot of characters in the book. Frank Keane is the protagonist, but he’s not the sole viewpoint. We get in the head of his colleague and former lover, Harris, as well as her protege, the far right characters, and even the security team in Berlin. I’m fine with all that, though I’m not sure how I needed to get involved in the security team’s mindset. It seemed a bit much. There is also some head switching within scenes which can lead to a bit of confusion. 

If you leave the book for a while you might get lost on returning with all the stories involved, but I doubt you’ll leave this lying on the bedside table for long. It compels you to turn pages and its darkness drags you into its abyss. 

A great read. 

Books for Free and on Sale.

To celebrate today’s release of Bullets, Teeth, & Fists 2 I have Moorlands on sale for 99p, $0.99, and 0.99 euros until 21 November 2016, and the first Bullets, Teeth & Fists is free up to and including 18 November 2016.

Moorlands is 99p, $0.99, and 0.99 euros until 21 November 2016

Small-time crook Larry is in a world of trouble. He has a missing sister, dodgy friends, and money-induced cracks in his family. Sophie is the missing sister, and his step-father wants him to use his criminal skills to find her. Larry’s in debt to a man called Stan, who has a side as dark as a blood streak. As time runs out on paying Stan his money, Larry fears his sister is more than avoiding everybody. His nerves are stretched by multiple tensions, from friends’ roving eyes to the consequences of an ill-advised one-night stand. Can Larry escape Stan’s heavy hand – and find Sophie alive?
Set in Brexit-fever Britain, Moorlands is a rollercoaster ride through the nation’s underbelly, where bitterness, violence, and surges into the wild crawl beneath the surface.

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Bullets, Teeth & Fists is free until midnight 18 November 2016

Take a turn down a dark alley and witness a New York cop seeing murders before they happen. Climb a drainpipe and pad your way across London rooftops to see what a man would do to keep his daughter in the country. Drop down again, to that restaurant where a date goes from bad to worse, to boutique coffee. Boutique coffee? Wouldn’t you run?
14 short stories take you from London to New York, and to the sun-seared hills of Ancient Greece, that will have you dodging bullets, teeth, and fists all the way to the end.

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Bullets, Teeth, & Fists 2 is 99p, $0.99, and 0.99 euros for a limited time

In New Jersey, a woman flees from her dead boyfriend’s family – who’d like to feed her to their pigs. In Sheffield, a former pop star is willing to humiliate himself to a crowd of smartphones in the hope of a social media-charged escape from his burger van. In the southwest USA, a father goes too far to protect his daughter. On a stage in northern England a drummer brawls with his egotistical front-man after a threat to ditch him – the talent scout better watch out. A gang member, after the robbery of a Saudi prince on the streets of London, strips the other members of their money in pursuit of a dream which leads to mayhem.

Bullets, Teeth, & Fists 2 is a bloodied fist packed with grit and heart, filled with bad and good souls in often horrific moments – where one bad move means an avalanche of trouble.

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New release: Bullets, Teeth, & Fists 2 – out 14 November 2016

So, I have a new book out on 14 November, packed with 22 stories across more than 300 pages. You’ll have seen a few on the magnificent crime fiction sites, Shotgun Honey, Pulp Metal Magazine, Plots with Guns, and The Flash Fiction Offensive, but they’ve been heavily edited for their new version in this book.

Most of the stories are new and unseen. They include a novella and a couple of novelettes. Here’s the blurb:

In New Jersey, a woman flees from her dead boyfriend’s family – who’d like to feed her to their pigs. In Sheffield, a former pop star is willing to humiliate himself to a crowd of smartphones in the hope of a social media-charged escape from his burger van. In the southwest USA, a father goes too far to protect his daughter. On a stage in northern England a drummer brawls with his egotistical front-man after a threat to ditch him – the talent scout better watch out. A gang member, after the robbery of a Saudi prince on the streets of London, strips the other members of their money in pursuit of a dream which leads to mayhem.

Bullets, Teeth, & Fists 2 is a bloodied fist packed with grit and heart, filled with bad and good souls in often horrific moments – where one bad move means an avalanche of trouble.

The bugger is available for pre-order at an introductory price of 99p, $0.99, and 0.99 euros for Kindle versions.

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Pre-order Bullets, Teeth, & Fists 2 here.

To celebrate, Moorlands will cost 99p, $0.99, and 0.99 euros from 14-21 November and the first Bullets, Teeth & Fists is free from 14-18 November (Kindle versions).

Other stuff you ought to get your eyes on are Thomas Pluck’s Blade of Dishonor, Ryan Bracha’s After Call Work: Verbal Warning, and Remission by Ed Chatterton. I’ve not finished the latter yet, but the thing makes the blood pulse – with one scene at a zoo which might make you vomit.

Bullets, Teeth, & Fists 2 contents:

  1. Pusher
  2. Red Hole
  3. Here Comes a Soul Saver
  4. Getting Home Late
  5. Pop Star Burger Van
  6. If You Want a Job Doing
  7. Die, Witch, Die
  8. A Damned Agreement
  9. Corner Flag
  10. The Cops
  11. Brother
  12. Drumsticks
  13. Banking on It
  14. A Conversational Robbery
  15. The Lad Needs a Lesson
  16. Dirty Night
  17. The Other Woman
  18. Invisible Man
  19. Scrag
  20. Pop Star Burger Van 2
  21. Should Have Been a Son
  22. Dressed to Live

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