Spine Farm: Out Now

“Let’s nail this ruddy arse-wipe.”

Christmas has come early for fans of Paignton Noir – my new e-book SPINE FARM is out now via Amazon.

UK link

US link

This one takes place a few months after the end of SNUFF RACKET (or MEAT BUBBLES, depending on which one you have read), and paves the way for BONEYARD DOGS next summer.

I never planned on writing this one, but I really enjoy telling the stories between the stories: shifting the pieces around the board, fleshing out the supporting characters and working out what makes Joe Rey tick. (And detailing hideous suburban atrocities, obviously!)

It is also set at Christmastime, in a snow-covered Paignton, so now is definitely the best time to read it!

If SNUFF RACKET was my twist on the serial killer sub-genre, and SLUG BAIT was my version of a heist story, this one drags the cold case sub-genre into Paignton Noir territory. I hope people dig it.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Still coming to terms with the traumatic events depicted in SNUFF RACKET, Paignton private investigator Joe Rey finds himself enlisted by hapless local cops Benson and Hedges to assist with a sting operation. Rey gets more than he bargained for, however, when he pursues a vicious sex criminal known as the Ladyscraper into a derelict tract of farmland. What he discovers shocks the whole town to its core, and Rey commits himself to unravelling a decades-old mystery involving a cabal of powerful men who want their queasy secrets to remain dead and buried. Welcome to the SPINE FARM.

 

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Down and Out in Paignton and Torquay

“In 2017 Torbay was identified as one of the coastal communities with the worst levels of economic and social deprivation in the UK, as well as being ranked as the local authority with the ninth lowest average wage in the entire country. Last year the synthetic drug Spice arrived in Torquay, and the situation degenerated so quickly and hideously that the mini-epidemic even piqued the interest of the national media.”

This month Tess Makovesky – author of Gravy Train (out from All Due Respect this month) – invited me to write a guest post as part of her ‘Where The Heck Wednesday’ series. Naturally, I wrote about Paignton! I wanted to step away from the stylised Paignton Noir universe I have created and shine a light on the real town, and how it has inspired my work.

You can find the feature here.

New Interview @ Messy Business

“This is blunt force storytelling: brief, sawn-off lines weaved into dense ominous chapters; repeated motifs and phrases; stream of consciousness period details; an unflinching eye for queasy observations; and a seamless blend of real-life events and fictional content. Taken together, it’s an intoxicating blend.”

This month I have had a lot of fun discussing David Peace’s tremendous Red Riding Quartet with Jason Beech, as part of his ‘Stuff I Wish I’d Written’ series. If you have read the books you will already know how impressive they are. If you haven’t read them, check out the interview and find out why I like them so much!

Earlier this month, Dave Burnham at The Haunted Pen checked out Slug Bait, and likened it to the illegitimate love child of Sam Spade and The Purge’, which is a great description!

And, last but not least, you can read my story Molotov Cocktail Lounge over at Paul D. Brazill’s new website, Punk Noir Magazine. This flash fiction piece is a taster for my book Meat Bubbles & Other Stories.

Casting Call: Repetition Kills You

“If you can imagine Charles Dance with a firearm fetish and a floral-patterned rayon shirt, and you are in the right ballpark!”

This week I had the pleasure of returning to Toe Six Press, where I contributed a Casting Call feature for my new book, Repetition Kills You.

Thanks to Sandra Ruttan for running the piece!

 

Dancing With Myself @ Sea Minor

“The common perception is that short story collections don’t sell, and yet you have published two this year. What’s wrong with writing a fucking novel, like everyone else?”

This week Nigel Bird, a fellow All Due Respect author, let me interview myself as part of his Dancing With Myself series. I tried to ask myself a bunch of questions which no one else has asked me, and realised that I am my own toughest interrogator!

You can find the feature here. Oh, and the interview took place in the Dirty Lemon (naturally), so look out for a brief Joe Rey cameo!

Repetition Kills You Interview @ All Due Respect

“For me the violence has to be bleary-eyed and unpleasant, but never gratuitous. A few years ago, I was taking my son to the library, when I walked past a pub in town, and saw bloodied people crawling out of the door. I later found out that someone had run amok with a hatchet. The surreal image of a ravaged-looking man draped over one of the many mobility scooters parked outside, leaking blood, stayed with me. This wasn’t slick Hollywood violence. Whatever happened inside was clumsy and reckless, and I think it is important to convey that feeling.”

Check out this great new interview, in which I discuss the past, present and future of Paignton Noir with All Due Respect publisher Chris Rhatigan.

Also online this week is a brief Q&A over at the The Big Thrill – the official magazine of the International Thrillers Writers (ITW).

Buy Repetition Kills You!

Paignton Noir: Weekly Round-up

“People say that Paignton turns feral after dark, but I think it’s feral all day long – you just have to know where to look…”

Brit-grit supremo Paul D. Brazill, author of the recent novella Last Year’s Man (All Due Respect), cast an eye over my latest e-book, SLUG BAIT, this week, making it one of his recommended reads of the week. If ‘vivid, lurid, lewd and crude’ sounds like your cup of crime fiction, you should probably check it out!

Meanwhile, tireless UK crime fiction blogger Colman Keane plunged head-first into the seedy world of MEAT BUBBLES & OTHER STORIES, saying ‘I’m entertained, I’m thrilled, I’m appalled, I’m amused, I’m disgusted and I’m hooked.’ It’s a tremendous review, in which Col unpicks the key themes of the book, so please check it out.

Finally, one last MEAT BUBBLES interview, before the REPETITION KILLS YOU promotional bandwagon rolls into town. This is a short Q&A on the Close To The Bone website. I discuss violent repercussions and unknown horrors: ‘Rey is a hard man – nowhere more so than in Meat Bubbles – but I don’t like the idea of an indestructible character. He is very much destructible, and every hideous thing he experiences affects his body and his mind. Watch this space to see how bad it gets.’

 

Repetition Kills You: Out Now

“When I was a small child, my uncle Alvin was engaged to a carnival stripper called Magdalena. It seemed like an impossibly glamorous lifestyle at the time, and it was only years later – when I actually watched a carnival strip-show for myself – that I realised how horrific the prospect truly was.”

Ladies and gentlemen, boy and girls… my new book Repetition Kills You is out today, from All Due Respect (an imprint of Down & Out Books)!

Many thanks to the people who made this possible, namely All Due Respect publisher Chris Rhatigan and Eric Campbell and Lance Wright at Down & Out Books. Additional thanks to Nigel Bird, an editorial consultant at ADR, whose great suggestions really improved the manuscript.

Here’s the synopsis:

Repetition Kills You is an experimental noir. A novel-in-stories. A literary jigsaw puzzle.

The book comprises 26 short stories, presented in alphabetical order, from ‘Actress on a Mattress’ to ‘Zero Sum’. Combined in different ways, they tell a larger, more complex story. The narrative timeline is warped, like a blood-soaked Möbius Strip. It goes round in circles—like a deranged animal chasing its own tail.

The content is brutal and provocative: small-town pornography, gun-running, mutilation and violent, blood-streaked stories of revenge. The cast list includes sex offenders, serial killers, bare-knuckle fighters, carnies and corrupt cops. And a private eye with a dark past—and very little future.

Welcome to Paignton Noir.

And here’s a little taster. This is my story ‘The Carny’ being performed live in Hong Kong at the Liar’s League back in 2015:

Check it out – and let me know what you think!

Slug Bait: Early Reviews

This is a book that, if read by the authorities, could quite possibly get Leins sectioned. Think of some of the most gruesome scenes you’ve ever seen on film and TV; Leins says, “Hold my beer.”

David Nemeth @ Unlawful Acts on SLUG BAIT

My new novelette SLUG BAIT picked up a couple of neat reviews this week. David Nemeth, who has previously checked out SKULL MEAT and MEAT BUBBLES & OTHER STORIES over at Unlawful Acts plunged back into the Paignton Noir cesspool, and said of SLUG BAIT: “The action moves along at a blistering pace and his fight scenes are brief and savage. His descriptions are like Chandler without worrying about decency and decorum.”

US crime writer Christopher Davis also checked out SLUG BAIT, writing: “Slug Bait was a kick, quite literally. Maybe a kick in the balls is a better way to phrase that?” He goes on to name-check Sam Spade, which means I’ve notched up Hammett and Chandler comparisons in the same week!

Amazon UK link

Amazon US link

Slug Bait: Out Now

“I was looking for a quiet place to die, and someone suggested the Paignton Cliffs Caravan Park. Sure, it’s a quiet place, but I’m not dead yet…”

I have a new novelette out now: SLUG BAIT!

Here’s the synopsis:

Traumatised and brutalised after a grisly encounter with a serial killer known as The Cartographer, SLUG BAIT finds cut-price private investigator Joe Rey licking his wounds at a decrepit caravan park on the cliff path high above Paignton. Violence has a way of finding Rey, however, and an altercation involving local amusement arcade tycoon Raymond Coody sees him dragged back into town – where his name is now on all of the wrong people’s lips. Rey’s reckless disregard for his own safety quickly wins Coody’s trust, but his new associate harbours some dark secrets, and things are about to get very bloody…

This one evolved out of a couple of old projects which fell apart. I salvaged what I could, took stock of the material I had at my disposal, and came up with this little page-turner.

It’s a standalone story, but the surviving characters will definitely reappear in future books. Whether you like it or not…

Check it out – and let me know what you think!

Amazon UK link

Amazon US link