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!

Synopsis:

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

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

Violent Delights: Deconstructing Violence in The Good Book

“In recent years I’ve carved out a reputation for producing uncompromising, no-holds-barred crime fiction. Gore-streaked, expletive-ridden noir stories that trample taboo subjects into the threadbare carpet and leave hardened readers wondering what the fuck they have just experienced. By comparison, my new wrestling-themed short story collection The Good Book: Fairy Tales For Hard Men – which was published by All Due Respect earlier this month – feels like my shot at the big time! This is the moment when the brutalised dark-match also-ran readjusts his spandex and gets thrust under the stadium lights for an improbable shot at an obscure title belt.”

ADR publisher Chris Rhatigan recently invited me to write a guest blog about the level of violence in The Good Book. Here are my thoughts.

Buy The Good Book!

 

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.

 

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.

Dirty Bullion: Out Now

“When I emerge blinking into the queasy daylight, the first thing I see is Carver’s long arm, dangling out of the prowl car window, cigarette smouldering between his blistered knuckles.”

I’m delighted to announce that DIRTY BULLION – my collaboration with London crime writer Benedict J. Jones – is out today!

Out of prison and on the rampage, DIRTY BULLION finds Joe Rey harder and nastier than ever. His increasing notoriety means that he is a man in demand, and a seemingly innocuous case sees him thrust into a volatile world of neo-Nazi hate-mongers. After crossing paths with rival investigator, Charlie ‘Bars’ Constantinou – himself no stranger to violence – the two men agree to work together, in what could be Rey’s most sickening case to date…

Amazon UK link

Amazon US link

Official synopsis below:

A missing jeweller. A vanished girl. A stash of long-lost Nazi gold. And two very dangerous men. Things are going to get dirty.
In DIRTY BULLION Paignton private eye Joe Rey crosses paths with South London ex-con-turned-investigator Charlie ‘Bars’ Constantinou, as the two P.I.s look into very different cases.
Neither man plays well with others, but they are forced to push aside their mutual suspicions to work together on an increasingly disturbing case – an assignment which sees the duo outnumbered, outgunned and out of their depth.

The Only Bones That Show @ Boned

“My face slams into the royal blue wall tiles at Parkside public toilets. The tiling has been polished to a deep gleam. Someone around here really takes pride in their work. I slide down the wall and taste metallic trough-piss. At least one of my teeth comes loose and floats lazily towards the rusted drain, which is clogged with pubic hair, bloody phlegm and even a condom wrapper.”

I have brand new piece of Paignton Noir flash fiction online this week at Boned: A Collection of Skeletal Writings.

As editor Nate Ragolia explains: “Whether protagonist, antagonist, setting, or MacGuffin, each work in Boned corresponds — somehow — to the architecture of living things.”

Check out my brutal Boned story: The Only Bones That Show

Slug Bait: Out Now

“I was looking for a quiet place to die, and someone suggested the Paignton Cliffs Caravan Park. Sure, it’s a quiet place, but I’m not dead yet…”

I have a new novelette out now: SLUG BAIT!

Here’s the synopsis:

Traumatised and brutalised after a grisly encounter with a serial killer known as The Cartographer, SLUG BAIT finds cut-price private investigator Joe Rey licking his wounds at a decrepit caravan park on the cliff path high above Paignton. Violence has a way of finding Rey, however, and an altercation involving local amusement arcade tycoon Raymond Coody sees him dragged back into town – where his name is now on all of the wrong people’s lips. Rey’s reckless disregard for his own safety quickly wins Coody’s trust, but his new associate harbours some dark secrets, and things are about to get very bloody…

This one evolved out of a couple of old projects which fell apart. I salvaged what I could, took stock of the material I had at my disposal, and came up with this little page-turner.

It’s a standalone story, but the surviving characters will definitely reappear in future books. Whether you like it or not…

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

Amazon UK link

Amazon US link

More Bizarro Than Bizarro – Out Now!

“It’s not even Halloween yet, but the stripper at the Dirty Lemon is already wearing a Santa hat. I drop a fake pound coin in her pint glass and she smiles through broken teeth. Out-of-season seaside towns – other people’s last resorts. I pick my way through the crowd – day-time drinkers crouched perilously on the edges of their barstools, like swollen suburban gargoyles – and head to the toilet.”

Out this week from Bizarro Pulp Press: ‘More Bizarro Than Bizarro’ edited by Vincenzo Bilof.

This collection includes my story, Here Comes That Weird Chill, which plays out like a grindhouse version of Scooby Doo. Set in the Westcountry!

Here is an interview on the Bizarro Pulp Press site in which I discuss my story.

Amazon UK link.

Amazon US link.

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.)