Venus In Fake Furs @ Retreats From Oblivion

“Frank has come a long way. The way people tell it, he started out selling dirty pictures imported in bulk from the Eastern Bloc. Pale flesh, dead eyes and plenty of pubic hair. He kept them in a lock-up behind Winner Street and flogged them in pubs, video shops and amusement arcades. Understandably, he was known around town as ‘Frank the Wank’ . . .”

Many thanks to Lou Boxer and Cullen Gallagher for running my brand new Paignton Noir story Venus In Fake Furs at Retreats From Oblivion: The Journal of Noircon.

This one is a companion piece to my upcoming book, Repetition Kills You, which will be published by All Due Respect/Down & Out Books in just over a month’s time. It is always fun to pick through the narrative wreckage and find out what the survivors are up to!

Coincidentally, Repetition Kills You is available for pre-order now!



Interview @ Toe Six Press

“Popular books fascinate me and terrify me in equal measure. I struggle to get more than 50 pages into most mainstream thrillers, and these brutal, intense stories of mine are an antidote to that.”

Thanks to Sandra Ruttan for having me back at Toe Six Press to discuss Meat Bubbles & Other Stories!

Dirty English @ Near To The Knuckle

“People say he killed a bent cop with a lump hammer after a deal went boss-eyed, but then again, I’ve heard worse stories about myself that weren’t necessarily true…”

Last month I had a brand new Paignton Noir story online at the Near To The Knuckle: Dirty English.

This is the 12th story of mine to appear on the Near To The Knuckle website. Here are the rest. A couple of these appear in my book Meat Bubbles & Other Stories, so you can try before you buy!

New Interview @ Unlawful Acts

“I can assure you that my next book, ‘Repetition Kills You’ represents a nervous step towards the light – a bit like a captive stumbling out of a sex dungeon, I suppose…”

This week David Nemeth interviewed me as part of his ‘Suspect’s Viewpoint’ Q&A series over at Unlawful Acts. We discussed Paignton Noir, my murky historical fiction project Pig Alley and Jean-Claude Van Damme. Check it out!

David recently went toe-to-toe with Meat Bubbles and survived. Here is what he had to say.

Murderers I Have Known @ Horror Sleaze Trash

“The first time I see Lucius Lamont he is wearing a nylon stalking mask and a pair of greasy jeans. There is a snail-trail of fresh semen down his right leg. At best, he looks like Tailgunner centrefold material on a particularly bad month. At worst, he looks like the kind of guy who advertises his services at the back of the magazine, and ends up handcuffing you to a radiator and stealing your wallet. Hell, what do I know? I only buy it for the fucking articles…”

Last month I had a brand new Paignton Noir story online at Horror Sleaze Trash: Murderers I Have Known.

A deranged sex killer is on the loose in Paignton. Sounds like a job for Joe Rey!

Pointless trivia: this story involves a couple of surviving supporting characters from my forthcoming book Repetition Kills You (All Due Respect), which itself features a couple of nasty little stories that featured on the original Horror Sleaze Trash site a few years ago.

Murderers I Have Known will be included in my next Paignton Noir short story collection, Sharp Knives & Loud Guns, which will hopefully be available in 2019.

Meat Bubbles: Brit Grit Alley Recommended Read

“It’s gritty, it’s visceral, it’s stomach churning – everything you want from crime fiction, British or otherwise.”

Last week Paul Heatley – author of the excellent novellas An Eye For An Eye (Near To The Knuckle) and Fatboy (All Due Respect) – wrote a great little feature on Meat Bubbles & Other Stories for his Brit Grit Alley column at Out of the Gutter Online. You can check it out here.

And here’s a vicious Meat Bubbles taster, also online at Out of the Gutter: Sloppy Operator.

Sons of Spade: Guest Feature

“He is a cut-price private investigator with a nasty side-line in muscle-for-hire work. As the series progresses his investigative skills are honed, and his client list improves, but he never really loses his willingness to get his hands dirty for personal gain and his unwavering commitment to revenge.”

I am excited to have a new guest feature over at Sons of Spade, the great fictional PI blog run by Dutch crime writer Jochem Vandersteen.  I discuss the top five private investigators who have influenced the character of Joe Rey. These may or may not be obvious to people who have read my work – see for yourself!

Meat Bubbles @ Unlawful Acts

“The hard-boiled edge of Mickey Spillane’s ‘I, the Jury’ and the drug-infused rantings of William S. Burroughs’s ‘Naked Lunch’ fused together in a whiskey-soaked opiate haze.”

David Nemeth, Unlawful Acts on Meat Bubbles & Other Stories

I felt downright queasy reading David Nemeth’s review of Meat Bubbles – and I was the one who wrote the damned book!

Unlawful Acts is a must-read crime blog, and David’s passion for independent crime fiction is infectious. I’m very happy that he crawled back into the Paignton Noir wasteland after going toe-to-toe with series opener Skull Meat last year.

I would like to tell you that I will never write another book as extreme as Meat Bubbles, but then I cast an eye over my works-in-progress and I’m not so sure!

My next book, Repetition Kills You (out in September from All Due Respect) dials down the darkness a notch. Hell, there’s even a love story in there… kind of. Suffocated beneath meaty slabs of suburban savagery!

Meat Bubbles and Other Stories: Out Now

“I like my explosives the same way I like my pornography – homemade and volatile…”

Out now on Kindle and in paperback, my first ever short story collection: Meat Bubbles & Other Stories (Near To The Knuckle)!

Earlier versions of these stories were published over the course of the last decade by the likes of Akashic Books, Crime Factory, Spelk Fiction, Sein und Werden, the Flash Fiction Offensive, Yellow Mama and Near To The Knuckle, among others. I’m very proud of this collection, and had a great time working with NTTK publisher Craig Douglas on the book.

Note: Meat Bubbles & Other Stories contains language, scenes and descriptions of Paignton that may be considered offensive!


Still licking his wounds after the brutal events of SKULL MEAT, Paignton private investigator Joe Rey is reluctant to take on another case that could have violent repercussions. However, a lucrative pay-day from a soon-to-retire cop tests his resolve, and Rey quickly finds himself on the trail of a deranged plastic surgeon with a queasy line in body modification procedures. Over the course of a long, bloody summer, Rey tangles with rogue ex-cops, suburban hitmen, neo-Nazi scumbags and even Paignton’s richest man – a notorious hoarder of unknown horrors. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it…

Praise for Meat Bubbles:

Benedict J. Jones, author of Pennies For Charon and The Devil’s Brew (Crime Wave Press):

“Welcome to the nightmare factory – there’s dark and then there’s Tom Leins’ Paignton… By parts a mix of the brutality of Hubert Selby Jr and the pure noir-ish banter of Ray Banks with more than a dash of the good old ultra-violence. Thirteen brutal shorts and then the extended nightmare of Snuff Racket. You’d have to go a long way to beat the sheer violence, brutality, humour and brilliance of Meat Bubbles.”

Paul Heatley, author of Fatboy (All Due Respect) and An Eye For An Eye (Near To The Knuckle):

“Tom Leins’ Paignton is close to Hell on earth. His battle-scarred PI Joe Rey is navigating every circle of it here – hookers, pimps, pornographers, killers, crooked cops, and every other grotesque you could care (or not) to imagine make up the colourful characters in this grim collection of noir from one of the premier writers of gut-wrenching dark fiction currently at work. One day people will talk about the fiction of Tom Leins the same way they talk about Derek Raymond’s – get on board now and when that day comes you’ll be able to brag you were round at the start.”

Matt Phillips, author of Bad Luck City (Near To The Knuckle) and Accidental Outlaws (All Due Respect):

“If you had to kill someone with a book, you’d use this one. Cracked skulls. Bruised knuckles. Wounds in the shape of unnameable body parts. Characters as broken and misshapen as the populace of a violent noir hellscape. Tom Leins writes like a man skinned by jackals and doused in lighter fluid. Meat Bubbles & Other Stories is a new paradigm in noir—Paignton noir, an aesthetic built on images that’d make a seasoned leg-breaker squeal like a school girl.”

Small Town Horrors: splicing genres in Meat Bubbles and Other Stories

“In recent years my pure, undiluted approach to crime fiction has started to blur at the edges: the story titles have got more visceral, the antagonists more ghoulish, the imagery more horrific and the sense of foreboding more pronounced.”

The Meat Bubbles promotional bandwagon rolls on…!

Many thanks to David Spell for letting me contribute a guest post to his site, The Scary Reviews. You can find the full feature here.