The paperback of Cold London Blues is currently on sale for £3.14!

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A killer priest is on the rampage across London and an egotistical Hollywood action movie star is out for revenge when is his precious comic book collection is stolen.Meanwhile, gangster Marty Cook’s dreams of going legit swiftly turn pear shaped when one of his bouncers accidentally kills one of his salsa club’s regular customers. Razor sharp wisecracks, gaudy characters and even gaudier situations abound in Cold London Blues, a violent and pitch-black Brit Grit comedy of errors.

Recommended Read: Skull Meat by Tom Leins

Skull Meat - Tom Leins - jpegJoe Rey is a small town tough-guy-for-hire who digs himself deeper and deeper into the mire when he takes on a job for ageing gangster Marie Andretti.

Tom Leins‘ ‘Skull Meat’ is Brit Grit at its grittiest. Ulra-violent, foul-mouthed, atmospheric, hilarious and choc-full of great lines.  I loved it!

Guest Blog: Riding Shotgun and Other American Cruelties by Andy Rausch

IMG_0620I’ve been asked to write a guest piece about my new crime novella collection Riding Shotgun and Other American Cruelties. So here goes… The anthology contains three very different kinds of crime tales written with three very different writing styles.

The genesis of the first story, Easy-Peezy, came from my considering penning a Western story. Once I realized that many of the bank robbing outlaws from the Old West were still alive, albeit quite elderly, at the time guys like John Dillinger and Machine Gun Kelly were robbing banks in the 1930s, the idea for the story became instantly apparent to me. I thought, what if a band of aged Western outlaws got together and started robbing banks during this same time period? That could be fun. And away I went…

There isn’t much beyond that to share about Easy-Peezy. It’s the most straightforward story in this collection. I had fun writing it and imagining these scenarios in which decrepit old men wielded pistols and robbed banks. It was also fun writing in iconic figures like Dillinger and Melvin Purvis. Hopefully readers will enjoy reading it as much I enjoyed writing it.

The second story, Riding Shotgun, was a riff on John Cassavetes’ 1976 film The Killing of a Chinese Bookie. Like that film (and later Nick of Time, 1995), the idea was that criminal figures would coerce a common man to commit an assassination for them. But I sought to improve upon that old chestnut by upping the ante and also taking the tale to what I had always seen as its inevitable conclusion, thus making it a tale of revenge. In this way it’s sort of like two stories rolled into one. It’s sort of a mash-up (in terms of attitude and theme) of Chinese Bookie and the 1977 AIP film Rolling Thunder, which I consider the greatest revenge film ever made. So imagine my shock and awe when Rolling Thunder co-writer Heywood Gould ultimately praised the novella as being “relentless… Addictive… The kind of nightmare you don’t want to wake up from.” Pretty cool, huh? I’ve still got goosebumps from that.

Another bit of trivia readers might find interesting about Riding Shotgun is that it was written as a bit of an experiment; I sought to write something truly pulpy that basically pared everything down and cuts out anything that absolutely did not need to be present to make the story work. It’s a gritty, bare-bones story that gets right to the heart of things with as little exposition as possible. In the end, I think the experiment worked. Riding Shotgun is one of the things I am the most proud of at this point in my career.

The third story, $crilla, was an absolute blast to write. It was another experiment of sorts. I wondered what you might get if you combined the sharp dialogue of Elmore Leonard, the racial objectivity and inclusiveness of Quentin Tarantino, and the world of hip-hop music. I don’t claim to be as talented as those two writers, but they are my biggest influences (and in its way, the same can be said of hip-hop music). They are quite simply the reasons I write the kinds of stories I write.

I toyed with the idea of this story for a long time before actually putting pen to paper. The idea was that a fledgling rap group would lose their recording deal and end up turning to crime in order to finance their extravagant lifestyle. I suppose the idea occurred to me after the hip-hop act C.E.B. got arrested for bank robbery and murder in 1996. But I tweaked that idea a bit, thinking it might be interesting if the rap group kidnapped a record company mogul and held him for ransom instead.

I was pleasantly surprised when Elmore Leonard’s son, novelist Peter Leonard, praised the novella and actually compared my work to that of his father. Of course that was by design—the writing style I utilized here was a direct homage to Leonard. (And for the record, I do not write anywhere near as well as Leonard did. Nobody does.) $crilla was most directly influenced by Leonard’s Road Dogs, which opened my eyes to just how much emphasis can be placed on dialogue. Although most Leonard novels feature very little exposition in contrast to most other authors this side of George V. Higgins, Road Dogs seemed to have the least. And it was still very effective. This is how Road Dogs ultimately became the spiritual father of $crillariding shotgun

Each of these novellas was written at a different time in my life, and each represents something completely different to me. I was overjoyed when Crime Wave Press decided to publish this collection. I was going through a rough patch during this period, having just gone through a painful divorce and then spending a month in a coma. The publication of this anthology was one of the first (of hopefully many) steps towards rediscovering my place in both my life and writing career.

So that, my friends, is the story behind Riding Shotgun and Other American Cruelties.



Short, Sharp Interview: Tom Leins

Skull Meat - Tom Leins - jpegPDB: Can you pitch SKULL MEAT in 25 words or less?


A deranged seaside noir about a PI who gets dragged into a violent running battle with an obese sex trafficker called Swollen Roland. In Paignton!


PDB: Who are the great British writers?


Good question – albeit one I’m not best equipped to answer, given the heavy American bias in my recreational reading history…


Instead, I’ll give you a run-down of my own great British influences…


J.G. Ballard. This probably sounds strange to anyone remotely familiar with my fiction, but Ballard is my number one. I picked up my first Ballard book (Cocaine Nights) in a Vietnamese travel agent (in Vietnam, not in this country), and it blew me away (and kept me distracted on a terrifying mountaintop coach ride). Aspects of Ballard’s work has always seemed scarily prescient, and now we are very firmly in a post-Ballard Britain. The insidious way in which he rolls out his stories is a joy to behold, and – while we obviously won’t get the chance – I would have loved to have seen his interpretation of contemporary Britain, and indeed his nightmarish projection of our future.


Iain Sinclair. My first encounter with Sinclair was in an otherwise unmemorable football themed short story collection (I forget the title). The story later appeared in his excellent Slow Chocolate Autopsy book, which the main character, Norton, is trapped in a particular space – London’s city limits – but not in time. Anyway, the story was so good it prompted me to pick up White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings, and a number of other Sinclair books. I’m fascinated by his take on Psychogeography, and my Paignton Noir stories are an attempt at a localised spin on the concept.


Derek Raymond. I picked up a greasy hardback copy of his posthumous book ‘Not Till the Red Fog Rises’ in a 30p sale at the old Paignton Library in Victoria Park half a lifetime ago. I had no prior knowledge of the writer, or his work, and the book was grubby and intense – much like the old Paignton Library building – in a way that most British crime fiction simply isn’t. It led me to investigate his arresting ‘Factory’ series, and his compelling life-story was an additional hook. Fascinating man, fascinating life, fascinating books.


David Peace. The Red Riding Quartet must surely rank as the bleakest most absorbing series in British crime fiction. Nasty, unflinching and thoroughly immersive, it is easy to see why Peace is often likened to James Ellroy. These superb, confrontational books offer a grim, unrelenting depiction of Northern England during the Yorkshire Ripper case, and Peace mines this dark episode for a complex, terrific story.


PDB: Which books do you think would make great films or TV series?


Ballard’s High-Rise (directed by Ben Wheatley) was probably my favourite movie of last year, and I hope its success encourages other directors to tackle his work. There is so much excellent Ballard material to work with, but I would like to see Cocaine Nights turned into a mini-series, populated exclusively with the revolving cast of middle-aged, middle-class actors that ITV stuffs its programmes with. To my mind, that would make it even more subversive. Obviously, ITV wouldn’t touch the story with a barge pole, but I can dream!


PDB: What’s on the cards?


A collection of Paignton Noir short stories, MEAT BUBBLES (& OTHER STORIES), should be available through Amazon later this summer.


My Paignton Gothic story ‘Here Comes That Weird Chill’ will be included in the MORE BIZARRO THAN BIZARRO anthology, edited by Vincenzo Bilof, later this year.


Also, coming in September, is the first issue of THE BLOOD RED EXPERIMENT, a serialized collection of neo-Giallo stories, edited by our mutual acquaintances Craig Douglas and Jason Michel. I’m involved, alongside a selection of other literary reprobates. Expect blood, dismemberment and cliffhangers galore. Suffice to say, my story, DIDN’T BLEED RED, takes place in the already disturbing Paignton Noir universe. Honestly, the last thing this town needs is a deranged sex-killer in a motorcycle helmet running amok with a meat cleaver, but that’s exactly what it is going to get…!


PDB: Anything else?

Thanks for having me back, Paul – always a pleasure!TomLeins-2017-b&w


Bio:  Tom Leins is a disgraced ex-film critic from Paignton, UK. His short stories have been published by the likes of Akashic Books, Shotgun Honey, Flash Fiction Offensive, Near to the Knuckle, Pulp Metal Magazine and Spelk. His novelette SKULL MEAT is available for Kindle, via Amazon. Get your pound of flesh at


Guest Blog: Murder most foul with a bit of humour sometimes! by Pat McDonald

pat mcdonaldNow a full time novelist, currently writing within the crime fiction genre, I latterly worked as a Researcher, Project Manager and Programme Manager for the last seventeen years of my career within the police service. I decided to write fiction when I was fifteen, got caught up in this thing called the ‘real world’ that delayed me for too many years.

‘Retiring’ during the 20,000 police staff cuts in the austere times, I began to write my first crime novel ‘Getting Even: Revenge is best served cold’ with maybe a tongue in cheek desire not to waste the invitation to leave full time work and the ‘freedom’ to become creative. I did pull on my experiences (procedural) and is the story of a Major Crime Unit where Luc Wariner and Aidey Carter battle against a corrupt Chief Inspector Beddoes, murder, a paedophile ring, underage prostitution and drug dealing, which grew into an epic.

I found myself writing ‘The Blue Woods’ trilogy named because of my over-active imagination at disposal of bodies and a rather good Book Cover designer who nudged me that way. The spill over into ‘Rogue Seed’ led me to think about what would happen to a snatched baby if it was never found, but grew up in someone else’s family and of course ‘going rogue’ a term used for when a cop goes bad. I explore the other aspects of rogue seed; it would have been rude not to include the botanical meaning (growing of weed) or the loveable rogue conceived in the likeness of a deceased father.

‘Boxed off’ the third book although reflecting the theme of the book, buried bodies, kidnapped and confined to a cage, it also reminded me of a need to finish the series. All three books stand in their own right, but certain aspects of criminal investigation goes on and sometimes doesn’t culminate in the villain being caught. Not in real life or in my books and as in life there are plenty of murders along the way.

For every writer some characters will just drop out of their plot. As a ‘free flow’ writer who doesn’t plan but let’s their imagination run, it allows them to use that character for a book of their own. ‘Breaking Free’ sees Livia Morrison, the once child mistress of Chief Inspector Harry Beddoes (Getting Even) escape to UAE and eventually return to a quaint village in Wales to hide in plain sight. This book is about stalking, has a touch of the paranormal and WW1 history thrown together into a thriller. She discovers she has a past in the very community she lives in when she finds the chest in the attic of the cottage she has just purchased. The ghostly influence of this book led me on a visit to Caernarfon Castle where the Royal Welsh Fusilier museum is housed and where I ‘saw’ the ending to that particular element of the story. Breaking Free came to an end just as I discovered I had a brain tumour which I had removed surgically a couple of months later.

My recovery and convalescence, particularly learning to write and type again was done through editing Breaking Free and beginning ‘A Penny for Them’ which is a humorous crime series I began at this time to maintain a sense of humour and to entertain myself during what I have to say was a trying time.

Benjamin Matthews (nee Pollock) was conceived and his trials and tribulations innocently entering the criminal world in pursuit of Rebecah, the beautiful nymphomaniac daughter of a failed politician and notorious villain. His attempt at selling The Daisy Effect, a Benzedrine product in the shape of tiny embossed daisies on rice paper, as a slimming product fails on the drug scene, when he discovers he has been producing and selling a genuine and successful slimming product. He also discovers in a series of eventful meetings that he isn’t who he thought he was.

I enjoyed writing humour so much I wrote the second book in the series, ‘The Penny Drops’, which sees Ben and his new family emigrating out to United Arab Emirates, where Rebecah gets a job as a nurse. Ben gets arrested at the airport and is taken in for questioning and discovers that the undercover cop Daphne has different plans for him. His attempts to try to join his family and stay one step ahead of being pursued are hard fought and with a little help from his recently discovered ‘new’ real family, he manages to escape.

Book 3 ‘ A Bad Penny’ is half written and takes place in United Arab Emirates where crazy chickens, vigilante freedom fighters and zombie movie making leads Ben to realise that escaping from family and crazy people is harder than he thinks – like a ‘bad penny’ someone always turns up.

‘Echoes of Doubt’ now finished is another spin off from The Blue Woods trilogy where the Private Investigator Bart Bridges has entered the Witness Protection Programme and become Cyrus Bartholomew, the clock maker, in a small seaside town called Wainthorpe-pat's bookson-sea. After two years he has settled into his new life of routine and habit only to have his serene world challenged when his elderly next door neighbour at The Art Gallery is found violently murdered whilst he slept. This leads him to wonder if perhaps the murderer has mistaken The Art Gallery for his shop, and his past caught up with him.

The trouble with his clock shop, Time and Tide, is that strange things happen which he doesn’t always have an explanation for. He meets and teams up with Jayson Vingoe, the CSI in the case who begins to realise that Cyrus isn’t all he seems. When a further murder occurs the investigations show a widespread southern syndicate of drugs and human trafficking which makes Cyrus even more nervous having escaped from something similar.

This is currently being edited and the book is due out sometime towards the end of 2017.

Check out Pat McDonald’s Amazon page.


Guest Blog: Conflict by Chris Rhatigan

Rhatigan-photo-200x300One Thing Every Reader Wants to See

A manuscript arrives in the All Due Respect inbox. It sits there for some time.

Might be a day, might be a week, might be an hour.

At some point, usually in the morning with a thermos of coffee, I open the manuscript.

There’s one thing I’m looking for from the first sentence.

I’m looking for conflict.

You may have heard this a hundred times, but there’s a reason for that: It’s easy to forget about conflict. You might focus on any number of other things—the details of setting or how to make your protagonist more likable.

But I can tell you that editors are always looking for conflict. So are literary agents, publishers, and just average readers.

You may have a 300-page manuscript with a dynamite ending, but if you don’t establish conflict in the first 20 pages, your manuscript is unlikely to make the cut.

Open any book on the shelves of your local bookstore and you’re likely to see conflict in the first paragraph, if not the first sentence. Take this opening sentence from Lee Child’s The Hard Way:

“Jack Reacher ordered espresso, double, no peel, no cube, no china, and before it arrived at his table he saw a man’s life change forever.”

The reader knows from the first moment what this book will be about. The implied question—who is this man whose life has changed forever and how will Reacher become involved?—pushes the reader forward.

adrThe conflict in the first few pages need not be the core of your novel’s plot. For example, one of the first novels our press published was Uncle Dust by Rob Pierce. The novel begins with Dust, a bank robber, discovering he is missing two hundred dollars. Dust goes on a mission to find the money, roughly interrogating his girlfriend and her kid.

The protagonist wants something and other characters are in his way. It doesn’t matter that it’s a small amount; he will not stand losing the money. This is a small conflict setting up a larger conflict that also tells the reader a bit about Dust’s character.

It’s possible an editor or agent will continue reading past page 20 if you have an engaging voice or a fascinating character.

It’s much more likely they will continue reading because you’ve established conflict.

Chris Rhatigan is a freelance editor and co-publisher of All Due Respect Books.

Recommended Read: Bad Luck City by Matt Phillips

bad luck cityJaded Las Vegas hack Sim Palmer is approached by a stranger in a bar and asked to look into the disappearance of a young girl.

Twists, turns and violence quickly ensue in a classic slice of atmospheric, brutal, fast-paced pulp fiction.

Matt Phillips’ Bad Luck City is a whip crack of a read and is highly recommended.

Recommended Read: Fatboy by Paul Heatley

Fat BoyJoey has had enough. His girlfriend has left him, taking their young son with her. He comes close to losing a bar job that he hates, and he is regularly verbally abused by one of his customers, a  local big shot.

So he hits on a plan that will sort everything out. Of course, in true noir fashion, it’s not as easy as he thinks.

Paul Heatley’s Fatboy is brilliant. A perfect example of smalltown noir worthy of Jim Thompson or Dave Zeltserman. Highly recommended.

Recommended Read: Portrait Of An Assassin by Richard Godwin

18193320_10213098319995219_4819326852453550096_oJack is a successful international hit-man who is usually  employed by the Sicilian Mafia.

When he finds himself deep in the murky waters of the British government, things spiral violently out of control.

Richard Godwin’s Portrait Of An Assasin  is full-on, hardboiled, pulp action and cracking fun it is too!

Recommended Read: Watching The Bodies by Graham Smith

watching the bodiesJake Boulder is a Scottish hardman transported to the USA who works as a bouncer and also as an assistant to his PI friend Alfonse. As they investigate the death of one of Jake’s old flames, they discover that there is a serial-killer on the loose.

Watching The Bodies  is the first in what promises to be a cracking new series from Graham Smith.

Hard-hitting, tightly paced and with lots of great twists and turns.

Writer, Editor & English Teacher.

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