SKULL MEAT is a 10,000-word teaser for my forthcoming collection, MEAT BUBBLES (& OTHER STORIES), which should be out in summer 2017.
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.
Reviews of Skull Meat:
“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!”
“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) / Co-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.”
“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.”