Coming Soon: Meat Bubbles and Other Stories

I am excited to announce that my new book MEAT BUBBLES & OTHER STORIES will be published by Near To The Knuckle on 2nd June 2018! NTTK has published some excellent books in recent years, so I will be in good company! Check out the fantastic artwork courtesy of NTTK head honcho Craig Douglas – you can definitely judge this book by its cover!

Synopsis:

Still licking his wounds after the brutal events of SKULL MEAT, Paignton private investigator Joe Rey is reluctant to take on another case that could have violent repercussions. However, a lucrative pay-day from a soon-to-retire cop tests his resolve, and Rey quickly finds himself on the trail of a deranged plastic surgeon with a queasy line in body modification procedures. Over the course of a long, bloody summer, Rey tangles with rogue ex-cops, suburban hitmen, neo-Nazi scumbags and even Paignton’s richest man – a notorious hoarder of unknown horrors. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it…

Praise for Meat Bubbles:

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

“Welcome to the nightmare factory – there’s dark and then there’s Tom Leins’ Paignton… By parts a mix of the brutality of Hubert Selby Jr and the pure noir-ish banter of Ray Banks with more than a dash of the good old ultra-violence. Thirteen brutal shorts and then the extended nightmare of Snuff Racket. You’d have to go a long way to beat the sheer violence, brutality, humour and brilliance of Meat Bubbles.”

Paul Heatley, author of Fatboy (All Due Respect) and An Eye For An Eye (Near To The Knuckle):

“Tom Leins’ Paignton is close to Hell on earth. His battle-scarred PI Joe Rey is navigating every circle of it here – hookers, pimps, pornographers, killers, crooked cops, and every other grotesque you could care (or not) to imagine make up the colourful characters in this grim collection of noir from one of the premier writers of gut-wrenching dark fiction currently at work. One day people will talk about the fiction of Tom Leins the same way they talk about Derek Raymond’s – get on board now and when that day comes you’ll be able to brag you were round at the start.”

Matt Phillips, author of Bad Luck City (Near To The Knuckle) and Accidental Outlaws (All Due Respect):

“If you had to kill someone with a book, you’d use this one. Cracked skulls. Bruised knuckles. Wounds in the shape of unnameable body parts. Characters as broken and misshapen as the populace of a violent noir hellscape. Tom Leins writes like a man skinned by jackals and doused in lighter fluid. Meat Bubbles & Other Stories is a new paradigm in noir—Paignton noir, an aesthetic built on images that’d make a seasoned leg-breaker squeal like a school girl.”

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Snuff Racket: Out Now!

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m pleased to announce the publication of a new e-book: SNUFF RACKET.

Here’s the synopsis:

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.

Buy:

UK

US

Repetition Kills You – Coming In September 2018 – From All Due Respect

I am delighted to confirm that All Due Respect, an imprint of Down & Out Books, will be publishing my Paignton Noir book Repetition Kills You in September 2018.

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’.  The key stylistic influence on this collection is ‘The Beach Murders’ (1966) by J.G. Ballard, which was collected in Low Flying Aircraft and Other Stories (1976). Like the letters of the alphabet, Ballard’s fragments can be arranged in any order. So can my stories.

Combined in certain 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.

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.

blue-christmas-tom-leins

This Book Ain’t Nuttin to Fuck With: A Wu-Tang Tribute Anthology – Out Now

This week saw the release of This Book Ain’t Nuttin to Fuck With: A Wu-Tang Tribute Anthology (Clash Books), a hip-hop themed short story collection edited by Christoph Paul and Grant Wamack.

The book includes my story Incarcerated Scarfaces, which is actually a sequel to my story A Brief History of Bad Men, which appeared in Walk Hand In Hand Into Extinction: Stories Inspired by True Detective (Clash Books), co-edited by the aforementioned Christoph Paul.

Incarcerated Scarfaces tells the story of a disgraced – now imprisoned – private investigator who is enlisted by the prison governor to crack a black-market organ transplant ring operating within the walls of the facility. As you might expect, given the theme of the anthology, a number of fictionalised Wu-Tang Clan members appear in the story!

 

Contents as follows:

Gabino Iglesias: BIG GHETTO BOYS

Charles Austin Muir: THE RAEKWONOMICON

Joshua Chaplinsky: SUPREME MATHEMATICS: A CIPHER

Mame Bougouma Diene: BEATS, BONES, & BRISKET

Jeremy Thompson: WU-TANGIBLE

J.C. Carter: ABBOT OF THE WHITE LOTUS

Loren Kleinman: SUNSHINE

Robert Dean: THE WORLD FELL BENEATH THE BROKEN CONCRETE

Andy Rausch: THE NIGHT OL’ DIRTY BASTARD CAME TO HOBOKEN

Tom Leins: INCARCERATED SCARFACES

Laura Lee Bahr: THE ONE WHO SWALLOWS THE SEA

J. David Osborne: PCP & METH & MOLLY & ALCOHOL, & NO SLEEP

S.L. Dixon: THE RIGHTEOUS HUNT

Aaron Besson: HELLRZA

Sergio Hernandez: LINX

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

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

Jailbait @ Near To The Knuckle

“I twist the screwdriver out of his neck, and it makes a sound like a sloppy kiss. To his credit, he doesn’t even flinch.”

UK webzine-turned-publisher Near To The Knuckle has been serving up essential reading for fans of short crime fiction for quite a while now, and it is always a thrill to have a new story published by Darren and Craig.

My latest short, Jailbait, went live at the weekend – I hope you enjoy it!

Jailbait Tom Leins Near to the Knuckle

This Is Hardcore @ Pulp Fiction

I recently had a new short story included in Pulp Fiction, a quirky little anthology themed around the songs of Britpop band Pulp.

My story, ‘This Is Hardcore’, is a violent noir story about suburban pornographers. It was good fun to write, and even includes a retired porn star whose back catalogue is made up of films named after obscure Pulp album-tracks.

You can buy it here.

Pulp Fiction cover

Zero Sum @ Spelk Fiction

“Caruso’s dead face was cracked like an old piece of linoleum. One of his eyes was half-shut, the other was totally destroyed.”

This month saw my 5th short story – Zero Sum – go live over at top UK flash site Spelk Fiction. It is always a real pleasure to be featured by Spelk – one of the most eclectic sites on the web!

Zero Sum Tom Leins