Repetition Kills You: Out Now

“When I was a small child, my uncle Alvin was engaged to a carnival stripper called Magdalena. It seemed like an impossibly glamorous lifestyle at the time, and it was only years later – when I actually watched a carnival strip-show for myself – that I realised how horrific the prospect truly was.”

Ladies and gentlemen, boy and girls… my new book Repetition Kills You is out today, from All Due Respect (an imprint of Down & Out Books)!

Many thanks to the people who made this possible, namely All Due Respect publisher Chris Rhatigan and Eric Campbell and Lance Wright at Down & Out Books. Additional thanks to Nigel Bird, an editorial consultant at ADR, whose great suggestions really improved the manuscript.

Here’s the synopsis:

Repetition Kills You is an experimental noir. A novel-in-stories. A literary jigsaw puzzle.

The book comprises 26 short stories, presented in alphabetical order, from ‘Actress on a Mattress’ to ‘Zero Sum’. Combined in different ways, they tell a larger, more complex story. The narrative timeline is warped, like a blood-soaked Möbius Strip. It goes round in circles—like a deranged animal chasing its own tail.

The content is brutal and provocative: small-town pornography, gun-running, mutilation and violent, blood-streaked stories of revenge. The cast list includes sex offenders, serial killers, bare-knuckle fighters, carnies and corrupt cops. And a private eye with a dark past—and very little future.

Welcome to Paignton Noir.

And here’s a little taster. This is my story ‘The Carny’ being performed live in Hong Kong at the Liar’s League back in 2015:

Check it out – and let me know what you think!

Bedlam Money @ Spelk Fiction

“Kendall Spate stinks worse than a wank-splattered lunacy booth. He is wearing an over-sized dog’s shock-collar, and looks like he has difficulty remembering his own name.”

In September I had my 10th story published at UK flash fiction stronghold Spelk.

Big thanks to new editor Cal Marcius for giving a home to Bedlam Money!

 

Interview @ Bad Citizen Corporation

“I sometimes wonder: could a private investigator really flourish in a town like Paignton? Well, they bulldozed Paignton police station to make way for a property development that never happened, and now they have to send out-of-town cops down in people carriers to raid local crack-houses. So, yeah!”

Last week it was a real pleasure to be interviewed by California crime writer S. W. Lauden over at his Bad Citizen Corporation website.

Steve is a great guy, and I look forward to checking out Hang Time, the third book in his Greg Salem series, next year.

You can read the interview here.

(Image created by S.W. Lauden.)

Blue Christmas @ Near To The Knuckle

“Why was Father Christmas upset when he got a sweater for Christmas?”
I shrug.
“Because he was hoping for a screamer or a moaner.”

Blue Christmas was the third of my three festive crime stories to go live last year, when it was published by UK crime site Near To The Knuckle on Christmas Day!

Funnily enough, my first ever NTTK story was a Christmas story too: Christmas Eve Can Kill You.

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All I Want For Christmas Are Your Two Front Teeth @ Spelk Fiction

“The barman at the Cock & Whistle is the least jolly-looking motherfucker I’ve ever seen wearing a Santa hat. I pay for my pint and back away, slowly — he is nursing a baseball bat wrapped in tinsel. I don’t know if he is trying to scare off the carol singers, or the wiry Glaswegian who sells shower gel, bacon and socks out of a Slazenger hold-all.”

Last month saw my festive flash piece All I Want For Christmas Are Your Two Front Teeth go live at excellent UK site Spelk Fiction.

If you dig it, I had a Christmas story up at Spelk in 2015 too: Christmas Is Going To The Dogs.

two-front-teeth-tom-leins

Crooked Holster 3 Out Now

Albert Erasmus gestures vaguely over his stooped shoulder at the prowl car. It is moving at kerb-crawler pace down Palace Avenue, and the fat plainclothes cop in the passenger seat glares at us.

“You know what they call a Paignton cop in a three-piece suit?”

I shrug, already bored of his shtick. Already bored of his face.

“The defendant.”

I’m delighted to confirm that I have a violent new slice of Paignton Noir entitled Raw Deal included in the latest edition of British crime journal Crooked Holster. It’s the story of a dead lawyer, a crooked property developer and a hardboiled private eye who is only too happy to trawl Paignton’s sick underbelly in search of answers.

The table of contents includes lots of names that are new to me, but I was happy to find myself alongside Brit-grit luminary Paul D. Brazill, who has a story called New Dawn Fades in the same collection.

You can buy this great looking book through Amazon right now, and I believe a Kindle version is in the works.

crooked-holster-covercrooked-holster-raw-deal

The Repulsion Box @ Crime Factory

“It is nine o’clock, and the Burning Wheel is emptier than a plundered grave. The warm summer air filters through the propped-open fire exit. It carries with it the tang of raw sewage.”

I am delighted to confirm that my new story The Repulsion Box is included in Issue #19 of the excellent Australian crime fiction journal Crime Factory.

This one is a nasty little slice of Paignton Noir, and I’m happy that it has found a home in such a great publication.

The Kindle version is dirt-cheap, so please check it out!

crime-factory-19

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!

other-peoples-blood-tom-leins

Molotov Cocktail Lounge @ Yellow Mama

“I slowly unwrap the grease-proof paper. Inside is a human hand. It is half rotted, with flaked yellow skin clinging to the bone.”

Earlier this month I had a new piece of flash fiction featured at Yellow Mama – a first for me.

Anyone fancy paying a visit to the Molotov Cocktail Lounge?

Molotov Cocktail Lounge Tom Leins

The Carny @ Liars League Hong Kong

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Late last year my story The Carny was selected by the Hong Kong offshoot of cult literary event Liars League for their ‘Rich & Poor’ event. The video has now emerged online, and you can find it here. The actor, Aaron Kahn, adds a great new dimension to the story, and I think his Americana-fuelled take on my Paignton Noir yarn is fantastic. Check it out!