“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.”