Skull Meat @ Do Some Damage

Earlier this month I was delighted to have Skull Meat reviewed by Marietta Miles, author of the excellent Route 12 (All Due Respect) over at Do Some Damage.

She said: “Tom’s writing is kinetic and fast-paced, perfectly suited for the break-neck feeling of this novelette. Start reading a few lines and the next thing you know it’s well past the witching hour. SKULL MEAT delivers dirty, British crime at its best. Descriptive. Violent. Bloody. Grotesque. Wait until you meet ‘Swollen’ Roland. I loved it!”

I wholeheartedly recommend checking out Route 12 – one of my favourite books of 2016. Here is my review from last year.

 

 

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More Bizarro Than Bizarro – Out Now!

“It’s not even Halloween yet, but the stripper at the Dirty Lemon is already wearing a Santa hat. I drop a fake pound coin in her pint glass and she smiles through broken teeth. Out-of-season seaside towns – other people’s last resorts. I pick my way through the crowd – day-time drinkers crouched perilously on the edges of their barstools, like swollen suburban gargoyles – and head to the toilet.”

Out this week from Bizarro Pulp Press: ‘More Bizarro Than Bizarro’ edited by Vincenzo Bilof.

This collection includes my story, Here Comes That Weird Chill, which plays out like a grindhouse version of Scooby Doo. Set in the Westcountry!

Here is an interview on the Bizarro Pulp Press site in which I discuss my story.

Amazon UK link.

Amazon US link.

Interview @ Bad Citizen Corporation

“I sometimes wonder: could a private investigator really flourish in a town like Paignton? Well, they bulldozed Paignton police station to make way for a property development that never happened, and now they have to send out-of-town cops down in people carriers to raid local crack-houses. So, yeah!”

Last week it was a real pleasure to be interviewed by California crime writer S. W. Lauden over at his Bad Citizen Corporation website.

Steve is a great guy, and I look forward to checking out Hang Time, the third book in his Greg Salem series, next year.

You can read the interview here.

(Image created by S.W. Lauden.)

Dry Salvage @ Near To The Knuckle

“Spaulding was in his eighties, and looked far too vulnerable to put a proper beating on, but I had agreed to give Marie Andretti at least five of his teeth in order to get my full fee. They came loose effortlessly, and the old bastard bled like a stuck pig regardless.”

Last month my 10th story went live at top UK crime fiction site Near To The Knuckle. Check out Dry Salvage!

If you have read my novelette Skull Meat, this story is a sequel of sort, and sees the (un)-welcome return of demented ex-cop Wet-Look, who also appears in Wet-Work, a previous Near To The Knuckle story.

 

 

Skull Meat Reviews

My Paignton Noir novelette Skull Meat has picked up some nice reviews this summer. Check them out:

Book Bloggers:

David Nemeth @ Unlawful Acts:

Skull Meat is the epitome of gritty crime fiction, reading his noir novella is like chewing on a mouthful of sand mixed with shards of sea shells … Set in southwestern England, Paignton along with Torquay and Brixham make up an area that is collectively known as the English Riviera, but Leins’ version of Paignton is a decrepit and more dangerous version of Poisonville in Hammett’s Red Harvest … Leins has created a world where Tarantino’s characters would not live past their first five minutes in town — brutal does not cover the violence that lives in the pages of Skull Meat. If you like your crime fiction filled with dive-bars, whore-houses, and vicious beatings then Leins’ Skull Meat will be the best 99¢ you will have ever spent.”

Adrian Shotbolt @ The Grim Reader:

Skull Meat is dark, gritty, violent and really well-written. The characters are great, despite their limited time on the page and each one is given a memorable name … The violence is realistic and gritty, the dialogue even more so. I couldn’t put this story down.”

Colman Keane @ Col’s Criminal Library:

“Years ago I spent a week on holiday in Paignton with the wife and kids. After reading this one I doubt we’ll be returning. Low life characters, grimy watering holes, seedy nightclubs and dingy brothels, a private investigator or two, a midget and a pornographer, teenage strippers and prostitutes, a beating, a stabbing and lots more. Joe Rey is on a case and plenty of blood is going to get spilled. Fantastic writing, brutal imagery, tremendous turns of phrase with an interesting story.”

Crime Writers:

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

“I’ve been a big fan of Tom Leins’ prolific output of short stories for years now, and I’ve been waiting for him to put out something longer –Skull Meat does NOT disappoint. Dirty characters, a filthy setting, gratuitous violence and blacker than black humour, THIS is what I look for in noir fiction. Wonderfully, brazenly over the top Americanised British crime fiction. On every page you’re sure to find a line that will either make you laugh out loud, or it’ll turn your stomach – sometimes both!”

Paul D. Brazill, author of Guns of Brixton (Caffeine Nights) and The Last Laugh (All Due Respect):

“Skull Meat is Brit Grit at its grittiest. Ultra-violent, foul-mouthed, atmospheric, hilarious and choc-full of great lines.  I loved it!”

Gary Duncan, author of You’re Not Supposed To Cry (Vagabond Voices):

Skull Meat is a blast — an eye-wateringly violent tale of mobsters, ex-cons and hopeless bottom-feeders. It’s grubby and unsettling, and it makes you laugh out loud at things you really shouldn’t be laughing at. It’s James Ellroy with the dial turned up. Brutal and brilliant. You have been warned.”

Matt Phillips, author of Bad Luck City (Near To The Knuckle) and Three Kinds of Fool (All Due Respect):

“Hell of a piece of noir. This is as down and dirty as it gets – a brutal look at the dark underbelly where good ol’ Joe does his life’s work. Gritty and surreal and hardscrabble. “The road to oblivion is paved with tiny crimes…” Oh, yes it is.”

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

“In Paignton everyone has a story, and none of them are good … a frenetic roller-coaster of violence and small town crimes … excellent Brit Grit fiction.”

Chris Rhatigan, author of Wake Up, Time To Die (Beat to a Pulp) / Publisher of All Due Respect:

“This is how it’s done. Leins has a voice and style suited for lowlife literature … The superb writing sets this short and brutal work apart from the crowd. Paignton is my kind of town and I’m looking forward to reading the next one.”

 

If you are a book blogger or crime writer and would like a free copy of Skull Meat in exchange for a brief review drop me a line, and I will gladly send one over!

Buy Skull Meat:

Amazon UK link

Amazon US link

Sloppy Operator @ The Flash Fiction Offensive

“Her real name is Carol Cummings, but she prefers to be called Khandi Kane. She likes to tell people she works as a glamour model, but as far as I know she only ever made one topless calendar—for a local petrol station. She is better known as ‘Snow White,’ after she fucked a couple of midgets while shooting a video for a smut-freak called Caruso back in the ‘90s. She was supposed to fuck all seven but the others were too drunk and sat around in the background, wanking and smoking noxious-looking cigarettes.”

Last month I had a brand new Paignton Noir story featured online at the Flash Fiction Offensive: Sloppy Operator, Big thanks to editorial tag-team Rob Pierce and Hector Duarte Jr. for running the story!

I’ve had a whole bunch of stories online at the F.F.O. since making my debut on the old website way back in August 2009 with Triggerman, and it is always a real pleasure to be featured on the site.

Interview @ Col’s Criminal Library

Earlier this month tireless UK book blogger Colman Keane invited me to take part in a Q&A at his excellent Col’s Criminal Library blog. Among other things, we discussed my new novelette Skull Meat, 10 years of Paignton Noir and my haphazard creative process. Thanks to Col for putting me through my paces!

And, in case you missed it, here is a link to Col’s top-notch review of Skull Meat.

Short, Sharp Interview by Paul D. Brazill

Earlier this month – to celebrate the release of my new novelette Skull Meat – I did an interview with Brit Grit kingpin Paul D. Brazill, in which I discuss the key British influences on my fiction: J.G. Ballard, Iain Sinclair, Derek Raymond and David Peace. You can check out the Q&A here.

Paul also made Skull Meat a ‘Recommended Read’ on his website, saying: ‘Skull Meat is Brit Grit at its grittiest. Ulra-violent, foul-mouthed, atmospheric, hilarious and choc-full of great lines.  I loved it!’ Check out his fantastic review here.

Big thanks to PDB!

Skull Meat – Out Now!

My Paignton Noir novelette SKULL MEAT is available for Kindle now, via Amazon. This story is intended as a teaser for my forthcoming collection MEAT BUBBLES (& OTHER STORIES), which should be out later this summer.

Here’s the pitch:

Hired by mobster Marie Andretti to ransack the office of morbidly obese local nightclub owner ‘Swollen’ Roland Smart, Paignton private investigator Joe Rey quickly finds himself plunged into a dangerous cat and mouse game – which leaves him fighting for his life. His quest for answers – and vengeance – sees him plunge headfirst into the queasy underbelly of the grubby little seaside town he calls home. Rey is a man with a dark past, and, it seems, very little future. Welcome to Paignton Noir.

Amazon UK link

Amazon US link

SKULL MEAT grew out of a few old, unfinished pieces I found lurking on my hard-drive. The prologue, ‘Paignton Rust’, was previously published as part of the Akashic Books’ ‘Mondays Are Murder’ series a few years ago, while other excerpts were featured by A Twist of Noir and Straight From The Fridge. It is too long to publish as a short story, and too short to be a novella, so an e-book seemed like a good idea.

If anyone reading this would like a free copy (mobi or PDF) in exchange for a review, drop me a line through the contact form.

The Glory Hole @ Horror Sleaze Trash

“There were hundreds of bogs in the Old Testament badlands, but the best one was known as the Glory Hole. None of us knew what a glory hole was back then, except maybe Curtis Corliss, and if he did, he never let on. Damn kid was a pervert even then. He knew more about sex at the age of eight than I do at fuckin’ 38.”

I’m excited to have some brand new wrestling noir now online at the excellent Horror Sleaze Trash today. Check out The Glory Hole!

… and if you like that, why not check out my previous HST story, Fairytales For Hard Men.

Big thanks to editor Ben John Smith for running the story!