Paignton Noir Book #2: Meat Bubbles and Other Stories


Publisher: Near To The Knuckle

Release Date: June 2018


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…

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Praise for Meat Bubbles & Other Stories:

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 schoolgirl.”

Meat Bubbles Reviews:

David Nemeth @ 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 … Leins writes with a strong vile style and his short story collection Meat Bubbles & Other Stories does not follow standard mystery decorum … With Meat Bubbles, Leins continues to beat on our anesthetized sensibilities creating crime fiction for the remorseless and bloodthirsty.”

Colman Keane @ Col’s Criminal Library:

“Rey’s the go to guy if you want something found – a missing person, or a rare snuff film. He’s the closest thing Paignton has to a moral compass and the best hope it possesses for if not justice, some form of violent restitution… It’s hard to articulate just exactly what I like about these stories…. I’m entertained, I’m thrilled, I’m appalled, I’m amused, I’m disgusted and I’m hooked.”

Martin Stanley, author of the Stanton Brothers series:

“Violent, fast-moving, gory, depraved, and great fun. Leins’ stories featuring scuzzy detective Joe Rey show an ugly Paignton that probably isn’t going to be recommended by the Devon tourist board anytime soon, but it does make the town a character in its own right.”