Snuff Racket: A Paignton Noir Mystery


A missing video. A dismembered girl. A deranged ex-con. And a disgraced private investigator. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it…
Still recuperating from his previous case, Paignton private eye Joe Rey is hired by a mysterious stranger to track down one of the few remaining copies of a notorious 1970s Giallo movie – only to find himself embroiled in an increasingly vicious running battle with a demented ex-convict.

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Reviews of Snuff Racket:


David Nemeth @ Unlawful Acts:

“There’s noir and then there’s Paignton Noir. If you have never heard of this type of noir before that’s okay Tom Leins invented it. Leins takes a tourist town on the southwest coast of England and turns it into a cross between Boston’s Combat Zone and San Francisco’s Tenderloin where killers, pornographers, pedophiles, gamblers, and drug addicts are the everyday people in the streets and bars.”

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

“In this masterful piece of brutal Brit-grit, Italian Giallo meets seaside noir, as Tom Leins takes us once more down the rough streets of the south west in the company of Joe Rey. As ever with the Joe Rey stories the level of violence is high and it is jam packed with memorable characters – the very scum of the earth! Top notch pacing provides a rocket ride of a story, and Leins’ characterisation and description of the lower end of the lowlife spectrum is second to none. Highly recommended.”

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

“Tom Leins’ blisteringly violent and savagely funny new novella follows Paignton private eye Joe Rey as he trawls through the dark underbelly of the jaded seaside town in search of a missing video. What starts as a simple enough case for a man of Rey’s dubious talents, soon descends into an increasingly desperate battle with a sadistic ex-con and a rogues’ gallery of low-lives, hired muscle and bent coppers. Leins is one of the UK’s best indie crime writers, and you can see why here. Rey is a wonderful creation — morally bankrupt, yes, but still, in Leins’ pitch-black underworld, one of the “good” guys. Not that “good” though — Rey keeps a choke rope, a shovel and a claw hammer under a loose floorboard in the filthy rooming house he calls home, and never likes to go anywhere without his trusty pig-knife. It’s fast and it’s fun, and the prose cuts like one of Rey’s assorted blades.”

Martin Stanley, author of the Stanton Brothers thriller series:

“Enjoyable ultra-violent noir thriller. The mystery is neither here nor there, really; it’s mostly an excuse for Leins’ wonderfully scuzzy PI Joe Rey to get beaten up, break some bones, and act as the reader’s tour guide through Paignton’s mean streets. Leins knows how to turn a sharp phrase, so his prose is appropriately cutting, and the narrative is jet-fuelled stuff. Highly recommended.”

Paul D. Brazill, author of Too Many Crooks (Near To The Knuckle):

“Hapless Paignton PI Joe Rey is hot on the trail of a rare and much sought after ’70s Giallo video film when he is quickly dragged down into a whirlpool of violence and sleaze. Tom Leins’ Snuff Racket is even better than his debut Skull Meat. There’s blood, guts, cracking one-liners and a hell of a lot of dark humour here.”