Snake Charmer @ Punk Noir Magazine

“I don’t wear a suit very often, but whenever I do, I end up looking like a football hooligan making a fucking court appearance.”

Check out Punk Noir Magazine today for a brand new slab of Paignton Noir carnage: Snake Charmer.

This story sees Joe Rey tangle with a local biker gang – with typically brutal results!

Thanks, as always, to Punk Noir editor Paul D. Brazill for running the story.

Marsh Barton Fink @ Punk Noir Magazine

Silvio Foxx is a tall, uneasy looking man. He watches me cautiously from across the buckled concrete floor of his warehouse, an unlit high-tar cigarette dangling from his plump, girlish lips.

“Mr Rey?”

“That’s what my probation officer calls me…”

Last week I had a brand new piece of flash fiction online at Punk Noir Magazine, the webzine edited by Brit-grit power-player Paul D. Brazill. You can find Marsh Barton Fink here.

I have worked in Exeter for many years, but I’ve never felt compelled to write a story set there until recently. Paignton is a noir town. Plymouth is a noir city. Exeter? Exeter is a nice place! (Not that you will believe it after reading this story…)


Boneyard Dogs @ The Haunted Pen

“My little corner of Devon is a cultural vacuum, where creative endeavours are neither welcomed nor encouraged. Suffice to say, I don’t have too many readers in this neck of the woods, and I’m well and truly under everyone’s radar!”

Thanks to Dave Burnham at The Haunted Pen for giving me The Third Degree interview treatment today.

I analyse my influences and then spill the beans on some upcoming projects, including Sharp Knives & Loud Guns and The Good Book.

Last week Dave was good enough to review Boneyard Dogs, writing: “Boneyard Dogs is never going to be a cozy mystery to be made into a Hallmark movie. The story keeps the punches coming to the very end. And the ending will leave you shaking your head!” You can find the full review here.

As I write this blog post, the Kindle version of Boneyard Dogs is on special offer, priced at just 99p/99c, so grab a bargain while you can!


Dirty Bullion: Out Now

“When I emerge blinking into the queasy daylight, the first thing I see is Carver’s long arm, dangling out of the prowl car window, cigarette smouldering between his blistered knuckles.”

I’m delighted to announce that DIRTY BULLION – my collaboration with London crime writer Benedict J. Jones – is out today!

Out of prison and on the rampage, DIRTY BULLION finds Joe Rey harder and nastier than ever. His increasing notoriety means that he is a man in demand, and a seemingly innocuous case sees him thrust into a volatile world of neo-Nazi hate-mongers. After crossing paths with rival investigator, Charlie ‘Bars’ Constantinou – himself no stranger to violence – the two men agree to work together, in what could be Rey’s most sickening case to date…

Amazon UK link

Amazon US link

Official synopsis below:

A missing jeweller. A vanished girl. A stash of long-lost Nazi gold. And two very dangerous men. Things are going to get dirty.
In DIRTY BULLION Paignton private eye Joe Rey crosses paths with South London ex-con-turned-investigator Charlie ‘Bars’ Constantinou, as the two P.I.s look into very different cases.
Neither man plays well with others, but they are forced to push aside their mutual suspicions to work together on an increasingly disturbing case – an assignment which sees the duo outnumbered, outgunned and out of their depth.

Boneyard Dogs: Out Now

“It has been an atypically harsh winter, and Paignton looks blurred and uneven under the low winter sun. I step out of the Oldenburg and reconcile myself to Winner Street’s sour, dead smells. Sometimes I swear that this town has a weird stink that even I’m not used to yet. The street is slick with icy drizzle. It is so cold I think that my toenails might crack. Even the drunkest, most depleted prostitutes aren’t working the stroll on a day like this.”

So begins BONEYARD DOGS, the latest Paignton Noir Mystery – out today via UK publisher Close To The Bone.

This book is the sequel to MEAT BUBBLES & OTHER STORIES and also sees Joe Rey get reacquainted with certain characters first introduced in series opener SKULL MEAT.

It’s a whodunit with the intensity of a revenge thriller and it goes some way to explaining Rey’s character and actions.

If you want a sneak-peak at some of the characters, check out these Boneyard Dogs Top Trumps, which follow on from last year’s Meat Bubbles Top Trumps.

It’s the first Paignton Noir book of the year, but it won’t be the last!



Dirty Bullion: Cover Reveal

“A missing jeweller. A vanished girl. A stash of long-lost Nazi gold. And two very dangerous men. Things are going to get dirty.”


Dirty Bullion is a blistering new novella in which Joe Rey crosses paths with South London PI Charlie ‘Bars’ Constantinou.

Benedict J. Jones and I had a blast writing this book, and we look forward to sharing more details about the story in due course.

In the meantime, make sure you check out Ben’s previous Charlie Bars thrillers, which include Pennies For Charon and The Devil’s Brew. You won’t regret it!



A Ticket To The Boneyard: How Boneyard Dogs Came Back From The Dead

“Dead characters were hauled away in digital body-bags. Surviving characters re-emerged to cause chaos.”

The release of Boneyard Dogs is only a month away, so I thought I’d share some thoughts on the book’s tortured origins.

I’m not usually inclined to yank back the curtain and discuss the inner workings of my books, but – now that the dust has settled – I wanted to try and work out why it took me ten years to finish.

Thanks to Paul D. Brazill at Punk Noir Magazine for running the piece, which I have titled A Ticket To The Boneyard – How Boneyard Dogs Came Back From The Dead‘.

Also online at Punk Noir this week is an interview with me, conducted by John Wisniewski. Thanks to John for the questions!

Boneyard Dogs Review @ Break The Code

“This is a world where pessimism and cynicism fall short, a violent backwater of the imagination where primal fear and terror haunt the broken realities of some forgotten realm.”

S.C. Hickman on Boneyard Dogs 

Boneyard Dogs is out next month, and some early reviews are starting to pop up online. Thanks to S.C. Hickman at Break The Code for this fantastic write-up, which name-checks a number of my literary heroes, including Andrew Vachss, Jim Thompson and Charles Willeford.

Boneyard Dogs is out on 26 July, and available for pre-order on Amazon now.

Earlier this month, Beau Johnson, author of A Better Kind of Hate and The Big Machine Eats (both Down & Out Books), went toe-to-toe with Meat Bubbles & Other Stories, and lived to tell the tale. He wrote of the book: ‘Tom Leins is not only cutting to the bone in each and every story involving [Joe Rey], but exposing the muscle and nerve endings that lay beneath with such deftness that I know I’ll be coming back for more.’

The Only Bones That Show @ Boned

“My face slams into the royal blue wall tiles at Parkside public toilets. The tiling has been polished to a deep gleam. Someone around here really takes pride in their work. I slide down the wall and taste metallic trough-piss. At least one of my teeth comes loose and floats lazily towards the rusted drain, which is clogged with pubic hair, bloody phlegm and even a condom wrapper.”

I have brand new piece of Paignton Noir flash fiction online this week at Boned: A Collection of Skeletal Writings.

As editor Nate Ragolia explains: “Whether protagonist, antagonist, setting, or MacGuffin, each work in Boned corresponds — somehow — to the architecture of living things.”

Check out my brutal Boned story: The Only Bones That Show

Splatterproof Is Not A Challenge @ Shotgun Honey

“Do you know how many times you need to bounce a man’s skull off a breezeblock wall before you split the epidermis, shatter the brain-pan and draw blood?”

This week I have some brand new flash fiction online at Shotgun Honey: Splatterproof Is Not A Challenge.

Joe Rey gets a new assignment and 700 words of carnage ensues!

Splatterproof … is my sixth Shotgun Honey story. A previous Paignton Noir story, Ventilator Blues, was one of the jigsaw puzzle pieces in Repetition Kills You, while Bloater will be included in The Good Book later this year.

Strangely enough, a couple of my older Shotgun Honey stories are actually being reworked into longer pieces for a pair of future books. One of them has provided the jump-off point for what is shaping up to be my most riotous book to date!