Slop Shop: Out Now

“The man wipes the condensation off the cracked mirror with the threadbare sleeve of his sanitarium-issue sweatshirt. It’s a bitterly cold day and he tries to massage some feeling into his hideous, rubbery face. A face that only a motherfucker could love. A visage that was clumsily stapled back together after it was disfigured with a meat axe in an abandoned factory three years ago. The staples got infected in an effluence-splattered holding cell and now form a rusted diagonal seam that bisects his warped face. He was never a good-looking man beforehand – his slack jaw and bottle-thick National Health Service glasses only serving to highlight his otherness. Now he looks fucking repulsive.”

From the Slop Shop prologue, ‘Hometown Scars’

New e-book time! First: a confession. I never intended to write Slop Shop. It definitely wasn’t on my hit-list of planned projects. I was flicking through Repetition Kills You to make a few continuity notes ahead of a separate project, and a few RKY supporting characters snagged in my consciousness. A lot of people die in that book, but these ones didn’t, and it got me wondering what they would be up to – three years on.

As for Rey, this book finds him in muscle-for-hire mode, no longer doing investigative work. An opportunity to find a meat tycoon’s daughter changes all that, and his demons come out to play. I love writing the PI stories and I love writing what I call the ‘rampage’ stories. This story combines both elements, but definitely feels more like a rampage story.

In terms of style and content (and the disjointed writing process), it resembles Skull Meat more than any other story of mine. See what you think!


A wrongfully discharged mental patient with an axe to grind.

An elderly mob matriarch with a scorched earth revenge policy.

An ageing meat tycoon with a trophy wife and a missing daughter.

And a disgraced private investigator with blood on his hands.

Everyone’s a victimiser and everyone’s a victim. Dead meat is the best they can aspire to. Welcome to the SLOP SHOP.

SLOP SHOP is the nerve-shredding new thriller from the author of SKULL MEAT, SNUFF RACKET, SPINE FARM, SIN CLINIC and SLUG BAIT.

Buy on Amazon UK

Buy on Amazon US

Ten Pints of Blood: Out Now

“I’m not a skilled investigator. Far from it. My methods are questionable and my morals are murkier than gutter water, but I somehow manage to scrape a living. If ten years of mostly bitter experience has taught me anything, it is that finding the living is far easier than finding the dead. No blood-streaked shovels, no cobwebbed cadavers, and only the occasional bad dream.”

New book time!

Ten Pints of Blood is out today from Close To The Bone, in paperback and e-book formats. It was a pleasure working on another book with Craig at CTTB, after Meat Bubbles & Other Stories and Boneyard Dogs. I think Ten Pints – a new set of Paignton Noir Case Files – might be my favourite one yet.

Amazon UK link

Amazon US link


“Leins’ spare, striking prose confronts the horror beneath the skin of England with savage, astringent grace. These haunting tales deal compellingly with the open wounds of our world. Leins’ bloody and bruised characters drive into your skull and stay there.”

Gareth Spark, author of Marwick’s Reckoning and The Dark Earth of Albion

 “These stories kicked my ass. They are beautifully violent. Told in simple prose that is equally elegant and nasty, filled with blood and broken bones. Joe Rey is the exact kind of person I’d love to follow into the darkness that is Paignton. Tom Leins is a bad man.”

Daniel Vlasaty, author of Stay Ugly and Only Bones

 Ten Pints of Blood — a twisted novelette and nine seriously fucked up short stories — chronicles the further misadventures of unscrupulous private eye Joe Rey as he delves deep into a cesspit of sex pests, dirty coppers, serial killers and neo-Nazi toe-rags. For Rey, never likely to pass up an opportunity to inflict violence on anyone dumb enough to get in his way, it’s all in a grubby day’s work — an excuse to dust off his beloved brass knuckles and bust a few heads as he metes out his own warped brand of justice. Leins is on irresistible form here. His pared down prose will make you snort and cringe and look away, and the violence is so visceral you can almost taste the blood.”

Gary Duncan, author of You’re Not Supposed to Cry

Demonology @ Shotgun Honey

He used to be a good-looking man – until a rent boy with a Stanley knife carved him open from ear to moustache. He fingers the pink scar and shrugs. “Even plastic surgery has its limitations.”

Today I made my 6th (?) appearance at the excellent US crime site Shotgun Honey, with a new piece entitled Demonology.

I haven’t written much short fiction in recent years, so it is satisfying when a new story comes together!

(I enjoyed writing this one a lot, so maybe I’ll revisit some of the characters that Joe Rey encounters at a later date?)

My new book, Ten Pints of Blood – which is out later this month (26 June) – includes an alternative version of a previous Shotgun Honey story, Splatterproof Is Not A Challenge. If that one hits the spot, then I’m sure you will enjoy the rest of the book!

Ten Pints of Blood: Cover Reveal

“A smarter man than me once said that good investigative work is about asking the right questions. I find that the quality of my work generally depends on how fucking hard I hit people.”

New book announcement!

My next short story collection, Ten Pints of Blood, will be published this summer, via Close To The Bone!

This book contains the Paignton Noir novelette Spine Farm and nine other stories – a mixture of flash fiction, obscure anthology stories and exclusive content.

Politics, perversion and pain in Paignton… I think it’s my most brutal book to date.

Artwork designed by Craig Douglas @ Close To The Bone.


When Paignton private investigator Joe Rey finds himself enlisted by hapless local cops Benson and Hedges to help apprehend a vicious sex criminal known as the Ladyscraper, he ends up unearthing a grisly surprise in the midst of a derelict tract of farmland. What Rey discovers shocks the whole town to its core, and he sets out to unravel a decades-old mystery involving a cabal of powerful men who want their queasy secrets to remain dead and buried.

He may be psychologically damaged by the things he has seen and done, but Rey finds himself a man in demand, and his case-load piles up – setting him on a violent collision course with dealers, delinquents, degenerates and the damned.

Is Rey finally in hell, or is he just teetering on the brink?

49,000 Ways To Die @ All Due Respect

“The meaty motherfucker with the leprous complexion is taking his Doberman for a shit on the grass when I hit him. 
I’m wearing brass knuckles, so I rupture his ear and rip out his hooped earring in the process. He’s wearing tracksuit bottoms and dress shoes, like an alcoholic on laundry day. He probes the ruined ear warily with calloused fingertips. To his credit he doesn’t whine, just looks up curiously, trying to work out who the fuck I am.”

Legendary indie crime publisher All Due Respect recently resurrected the original online ‘zine that ran between 2010 and 2013, with a view to running a story a month during 2020 and creating an end-of-year anthology. It’s a real pleasure to be involved with the new venture, and my story – 49,000 Ways To Die – is now live!

Big thanks to ADR head honcho Chris Rhatigan and co-editor David Nemeth (of Unlawful Acts fame) for running the story.

This story – a private eye story dipped in hell – is something of a ‘flash-forward’, which jumps beyond the current Paignton Noir books. Regular readers may recognise a few familiar faces from the likes of Skull Meat and Repetition Kills You, but you will have to wait a while to find out exactly why Rey is a broken man at the outset of this piece!

(You’ll also have to wait to find out why Rey finds himself doing clean-up work on an adult film set at the beginning of Repetition Kills You! Suffice to say, there are some absolutely brutal books sloshing down the pipeline.)

And if you haven’t read Repetition Kills You yet, it’s on special offer this month, priced just 99p/99c.

Amazon UK link

Amazon US link

Sin Clinic : Out Now

“Fuck off, Rey. You’re about as welcome here as a rapist at a fucking roller disco.”

2019 may be drawing to a close, but it’s never too late for a new Paignton Noir Mystery. Welcome to the Sin Clinic! 

As always, the story is a standalone, but it slots seamlessly into the ongoing narrative. (That said, I would definitely recommend reading Spine Farm and Boneyard Dogs before tackling this one.)

I’ve explored scattered episodes in Joe Rey’s past in Boneyard Dogs and Repetition Kills You, but this time around I wanted to drag readers deeper into his childhood. It’s one of my favourite Paignton Noir stories so far – I hope other people agree!

Here’s the synopsis:

When disgraced right-wing politician Norman Farquar returns to Paignton – still pushing his queasy ‘populist’ agenda – he captures the town’s attention by staging a grisly stunt in Victoria Square. When it comes to light that Farquar has set up a warped rehabilitation centre for local sex offenders, local private investigator Joe Rey finds himself coerced into breaking into the facility and freeing one of the men. But should Rey and his oldest friend – crippled ex-soldier Carl Hardcastle – take the building by force, or should they let the inhabitants rot?

Buy Sin Clinic from Amazon UK.

Buy Sin Clinic from Amazon US.


The Naughty List @ Punk Noir Magazine

“It was a bitterly cold day when the bodies appeared. Not the coldest day of the year, but pretty fucking chilly. The half-cut eyewitness said they floated up from the bottom of Paignton Harbour like bubbles in cheap champagne.”

This year’s annual Paignton Noir Christmas story is now live at Punk Noir Magazine: The Naughty List!

This one features dismemberment, heists and old lags… it’s a comedy.

It also represents Joe Rey’s 7th consecutive Christmas crime appearance – an achievement I’m weirdly proud of.

You can find the links to all of the earlier Christmas crime stories (Paignton Noir and otherwise) here.

Merry Christmas – and thanks for reading!


Repetition Kills You – Reviewed by Math Bird

“Leins’ unique vision of Paignton noir is uncompromising and laced with urban myth, yet his brief explorations of supernatural noir left a lasting impression on me. I’d love to see more of this; it was reminiscent of Laird Barron, and Leins undoubtedly has the talent to take it further, and I’d be excited to read the results.”

Math Bird, author of Welcome To HolyHell and Histories of the Dead

One of the most enjoyable books I’ve read so far this year was Welcome To HolyHell by Math Bird, so I was really pleased when Math told me that he had enjoyed my neo-noir literary jigsaw puzzle, Repetition Kills You. You can find out what he thought about the book here.

Repetition Kills You is definitely my most unusual book, and it hasn’t really found an audience yet, so it is especially gratifying when it clicks with someone.

Anyway, I hope this new review prompts a few more people to pick up a copy!

(Paignton Noir trivia: the crime scene that forms the backdrop to this image is the street that houses the delightful Black Lace Motel, which features in Meat Bubbles and Boneyard Dogs.)

Snake Charmer @ Punk Noir Magazine

“I don’t wear a suit very often, but whenever I do, I end up looking like a football hooligan making a fucking court appearance.”

Check out Punk Noir Magazine today for a brand new slab of Paignton Noir carnage: Snake Charmer.

This story sees Joe Rey tangle with a local biker gang – with typically brutal results!

Thanks, as always, to Punk Noir editor Paul D. Brazill for running the story.

Marsh Barton Fink @ Punk Noir Magazine

Silvio Foxx is a tall, uneasy looking man. He watches me cautiously from across the buckled concrete floor of his warehouse, an unlit high-tar cigarette dangling from his plump, girlish lips.

“Mr Rey?”

“That’s what my probation officer calls me…”

Last week I had a brand new piece of flash fiction online at Punk Noir Magazine, the webzine edited by Brit-grit power-player Paul D. Brazill. You can find Marsh Barton Fink here.

I have worked in Exeter for many years, but I’ve never felt compelled to write a story set there until recently. Paignton is a noir town. Plymouth is a noir city. Exeter? Exeter is a nice place! (Not that you will believe it after reading this story…)