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

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Beauty and Ruin @ The Flash Fiction Offensive

“The midday sun burns like a bullet wound. It feels hotter on my bare shoulders than the arena lights on fight night. There is no breeze, and the stink from the petrochemical plant lingers in the air like an afterthought.”

Last month my story Beauty & Ruin was published by top US crime site The Flash Fiction Offensive

After Hellbelly and Gusher, this was the third wrestling noir story to appear at The F.F.O.

Big thanks to editors Hector Duarte Jr. and Rob Pierce for running the story.

Other People’s Blood @ Near To The Knuckle

“Two men I don’t recognise walk into the TV lounge. The fat one is wearing a luminous-coloured t-shirt with the phrase ‘Amateur Gynaecologist’ emblazoned across it. I assume it is a joke, but in this town you never really know. After all, everyone needs a hobby…”

Last month I had a new slab of Paignton Noir over at excellent UK crime fiction site Near To The Knuckle. Check out Other People’s Blood, and let me know what you think!

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Guatemala Kill Pit @ Akashic Books

“On weekends, off duty cops prowled the barrios in unmarked cars, shooting men like rats. Afterward, they would hack off the hands and throw the bodies in ditches.”

And now for something entirely different…

I very happy to report that Akashic Books – one of my favourite publishers – has included my story Guatemala Kill Pit in their long-running ‘Mondays Are Murder’ series.

guatemala security

I spent four months traveling across Central America (Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica) in 2005-2006, and I’m currently working on a series of stories set in the region. Guatemala Kill Pit is the first one to see the light of day.

Sticking to Central America, my story The Belizean Body Dump will appear in Akashic’s Caribbean-focused ‘Duppy Thursday’ series in January 2016.

In the meantime, feel free to check out my Akashic debut Paignton Rust, which first appeared back in December 2013.