Paul D. Brazill is one of the best practitioners of Brit Noir working today. Even his worst scumbags are relatable and all too human. They joke, they die, they torture one another, they come up with schemes that seem all too perfect before they implode, and they drink. Man, do they drink. These stories are hilarious when they need to be, but Brazill can also seamlessly switch gears into the bloodcurdling and hardcore. Highlights from this collection:
“Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One” – hits a nice Ted Lewis level. Unsentimental, brutal.
“The Last Laugh” – Let’s just say that ennui is a killer.
“The Postman Cometh” – talk about going out with a bang.
All the stories in here are good, which isn’t something you often find in your typical crime-fiction collection. If you’re looking for a good journey through the underbelly of Brit Noir, this is your book.‘