Category Archives: BRIT GRIT

Last Year’s Man is OUT NOW!

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Buy the trade paperback from the Down & Out Bookstore and receive a FREE digital download of the book!

Also available from the following retailers …
Print: Amazon — Barnes & Noble — IndieBound
eBook: Kindle — Nook — iTunes — Kobo — Play

Synopsis … A troubled, ageing hit man leaves London and returns to his hometown in the north east of England hoping for peace. But the ghosts of his past return to haunt him.

Last Year’s Man is a violent and blackly comic slice of Brit Grit noir.

Praise for LAST YEAR’S MAN:

“It’s all here, everything you’ve come to expect from a Paul D. Brazill caper—the fast pace, the witty banter, the grim humour and the classic tunes—except this time he’s REALLY outdone himself. Unlike the lament in the song the title takes its name from, Paul’s best years are surely still ahead of him.” —Paul Heatley, author of Fatboy

“Paul D. Brazill is the Crown Prince of Noir. That’s my opinion, granted, but I stand by it. For those who require proof, just pick up his latest novel, Last Year’s Man, and it will be clear why I make that statement. All hail the crown prince!” —Les Edgerton, author of The RapistThe BitchJust Like That and others

“Brazill is brilliant, a unique voice which stands out from the crowd.” —Keith Nixon, author of the Solomon Gray books

Short, Sharp Interview: John Bowie

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PDB: What’s going on?

 

JB: Reading, drinking, being a silly father, reading more, being a trying husband, and… drinking more. Oh, and scribbling and writing — for my sanity and madness; all in perfect balance. Teetering on life’s beautiful edge that’s fueled by all the pre-mentioned that put me there in the first place.

 

PDB: Do you listen to music when you work?

 

JB: I’ve had a permanent soundtrack running in my head as long as I remember.

 

Some tracks are constant; however I do get pests for the day: Russ Abbott’s – ‘Atmosphere’, R Kelly – ‘I believe I Can Fly’, or for some weird-ass reason Richard Blackwood’s – ‘1234 Getin’ with a wicked’ – You’re all welcome by the way!

 

The constants have accompanied me down the aisle, both in my head and literally played at the time (‘I Wanna Be Adored’ – The Stone Roses). And before taking a leap, needing strength; balls out (‘Force of Nature’ – Oasis). I blame Rhys Ifans and the film ‘Love Honour and Obey’ for this.

 

Joy Division’s ‘Transmission’ is my creative comfort blanket or on-hold music. It’s where my head goes when I block everything else out. This will come clear in my next book: Transference. All four in the coming tetralogy have intentional, multi-layered, single title Joy Division type titles like this.

 

PDB: What makes you laugh?

 

JB: Often it’s the things that shouldn’t that do. And the things that should… just don’t.

 

I frequently don’t realise my reaction and my wife picks me up on it. I often can’t explain the cause of a smile, giggle or involuntary snort that I didn’t realise I was doing, because when I think about it it’s often just plain wrong, absurd or weird. I write some of these down and into stories to distance myself in a way – disowning the filth, dark, weird and absurd. Until next time.

 

PDB: What’s the best cure for a hangover?

 

JB: Holy-fuck-a-saurus – the Holy Grail – if only!!!

 

An antidote to that pig that ‘shat in our heads’… ‘a bastard behind the eyes’. Sorry, shameless ‘Withnail & I’ Quotes. I was so surprised to learn the best acted drunk (Withnail) was played by a non-drinker (Richard E. Grant). Maybe that’s a clue to the answer though – don’t touch it! Or, if you do, don’t stop and ‘go all the way’ (Bukowski).

 

I have studied this matter in some detail though and as the years pass the hangovers intensify, and with it so does the need for a cure. So, I’ll share what I’ve gathered so far:

 

Pre-age 20: the ‘hangover’ doesn’t exist.

Early 20s: a Marlboro and a shit is enough to keep going on (after a midday rise).

Late 20s: a strong coffee, Marlboro and shit (after an early afternoon rise).

Early 30s: cider… ‘ice in the cider’.

Late 30s: cider with ice again. But now a nap is required before yet more cider – cycle is to be repeated as required.

Now: milk thistle (600mg min), N.A.C (N-Acetyl-Cysteine 600mg), vitamin C (500mg min) before starting first drink and another dose repeated before the last drink and bed.

In the future: I’m pretty sure a full-on transfusion, drip and head transplant is going to be required mixed with most of the above.

 

PDB: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

 

JB: I’ve been lucky; travelled and visited a lot of places. Pulau Tiga, Pangkor Laut, Gozo, Krakow, Cambodia, Vietnam all stick in the memory. Manchester, Porlock Weir, Edinburgh, Dublin and Newcastle are in my blood, heart and soul though —  Bristol seems to be a smorgasbord of all them — I love it. I’ve discovered I need to be near the water or I feel wrong (and not in a good way). Maybe a Viking thing…

 

PDB: Do you have a bucket list? If so, what’s on it?

 

JB: No, I don’t.

 

I did drink a bucket (maybe 2,3,4…) in Cambodia after visiting Angkor Wat and the Killing Fields. Also fired a colt .45 as an ex Khmer Rouge soldier let the safety off his own pistol as he held a ‘reassuring’ hand on my shoulder. Later that night, after the buckets, we found ourselves in a Cambodian club. Westerners weren’t allowed on the dance floor all at once so we had to take it in turns. Between the rehearsed local Karaoke, dancers, troops, public announcements and fashion parades –  I got up alone and the stony-faced locals circled, with another armed guard watching on at my bucket fueled cross between ‘the robot’, Rab C. Nesbit and Ian Curtis.

 

I ticked a lot off what I could’ve put on a bucket list that trip, and on others since.

 

The thing is… If I had written a list, it wouldn’t have kept up with what was going on. Life’s a bit like that. Convince yourself to aim for sweet and you could miss the pleasure of the sour. And your taste changes anyway the more, or less, you do.

 

PDB: What’s on the cards?

 

JB: Researching and writing the second in the Black Viking P.I. series: Transference. It’s set in Manchester so I’m revisiting it physically and, in the head, to test if it matches memory: the smell, sights… the sounds of it all — I’m savouring it! It’s nice to revisit the idea of the Hacienda again too. It and Factory Records were so fundamental to my creative journey then and now. The next books could be a homage to the city and them —  doubt it’ll feel like that to read though.

 

PDB: Anything else?

 

JB: I’m currently pondering my first person, present tense style with jumps to the past to give context. Is it in-fact poetic, lyrical, immediate and … right? Or, is it restrictive and switching some readers off… and are they maybe the ones that should be?

 

Wait…

 

‘Another?’

‘Yes.’

‘… with ice?’

Bye x

John BowieBio: John Bowie grew up on the coast in rural Northumberland, a region steeped with a history of battles, Vikings, wars and struggles. These tales and myths fascinated him as a child, and then as an adult. In the mid to late nineties he studied in Salford enjoying the bands, music, clubs and general urban industrial-ness of Greater Manchester, including the club scene and the infamous Hacienda. He was also there when the IRA bomb went off in 1996.

Recommended Read: Histories Of The Dead by Math Bird

histories of the dead‘History’s never written by the dead.’

Math Bird’s Histories Of The Dead is a brutal and brilliant short story collection that is bookended by two truly powerful short stories- ‘Histories Of The Dead’ and ‘Billy Star.’

The rest of the stories in the collection are just as well-written, moving and compelling. These are evocative stories of hard men and women living hard lives and Bird proves himself to be a master storyteller throughout.

Highly recommended.

Graham Wynd Reviews Last Year’s Man

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And says:

‘From blood-soaked shenanigans to effortlessly clever banter, there’s everything you’d expect and more. The motif of the hitman haunted by his past gets a fresh angle as disgraced Tommy Bennett returns to Seatown, the northern coastal city where his past awaits him. A wild mix of musical and pop culture references come at you thick and fast. I was chortling by the end of the first page.’

Read the rest of the review here.

Pre-Order Small Time Crimes

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Hit-men, con men, jewel thieves, career criminals, killers, crooks and cannibals. They all congregate between the pages of Paul D. Brazill’s Small Time Crimes – a brutal and blackly comic collection of short stories and flash fiction that views the world at its most askew.’

Th eBook of Small Time Crimes is now available for pre-order from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and all the other Amazons, if you fancy.

A Film For Friday: Bad Day For The Cut

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From Rotten Tomatoes:

‘In this witty and ultra-violent thriller, a mild-mannered farmer sets off on a bloody quest for vengeance after his elderly mother is murdered. As he tracks her killers through the criminal underworld of Belfast, he begins to realize that there was a darker side to his beloved mother–and to himself.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recommended Read: Untethered by John Bowie

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John, the protagonist of Untethered, is a man with a dark and secret past who is living a new life under witness protection.  As he sits alone in his flat, drinking and writing in his journal, John becomes embroiled in the search for a missing neighbour.

John Bowie’s ’90s set Untethered is a violent and inense read. Lyrical, moody, funny and as gritty as hell, Untethered is like a British blend of Jim Thompson and Nelson Algren.

Pre-order Last Year’s Man

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LAST YEAR’S MAN by Paul D. Brazill 

PRE-ORDER NOW! Available 06/22/2018. LAST YEAR’S MAN by Paul D. Brazill — Published by All Due Respect, an imprint of Down & Out Books (June 2018).

eBook Formats — SPECIAL PRE-ORDER PRICING: $2.99

Description

A troubled, ageing hit man leaves London and returns to his hometown in the north east of England hoping for peace. But the ghosts of his past return to haunt him.

Last Year’s Man is a violent and blackly comic slice of Brit Grit noir.

Praise for LAST YEAR’S MAN:

“It’s all here, everything you’ve come to expect from a Paul D. Brazill caper—the fast pace, the witty banter, the grim humour and the classic tunes—except this time he’s REALLY outdone himself. Unlike the lament in the song the title takes its name from, Paul’s best years are surely still ahead of him.” —Paul Heatley, author of Fatboy

“Paul D. Brazill is the Crown Prince of Noir. That’s my opinion, granted, but I stand by it. For those who require proof, just pick up his latest novel, Last Year’s Man, and it will be clear why I make that statement. All hail the crown prince!” —Les Edgerton, author of The BitchJust Like That and others

“Brazill is brilliant, a unique voice which stands out from the crowd.” —Keith Nixon, author of the Solomon Gray books

Kill Me Quick is BACK TO LIFE!

Kill me quick new

My seaside noir KILL ME QUICK has been rebooted and suited by the folks at Fahrenheit 13 and Farhrenheit Press, and you can pick it up at a discount price if you buy it direct from the publishers.

The eBook is less than a quid and the paperback is less than a fiver!

Can’t fall off!

Get the eBook here and the paperback here.

Or you can grab it from the Amazons, if you’re that way inclined.

‘We’re all lying in the gutter, but some of us are staring at the spaces between the stars… 

Seatown may not have a lot going for it – apart from the Roy Orbison lookalikes and Super Seventies Special every Thursday night, of course – but it is at least the place Mark Hammonds calls home. And after a decade away, it’s the place he returns to when he has nowhere else to go.

From dead bikers to dodgy drug deals, from one downbeat bar to another, from strippers to gangsters and back again: the luckless former musician bounces from one misdeed to the next along with a litany of old acquaintances, almost as though he never left. And if only he can shake off everybody who wants to kill, maim or otherwise hurt him, maybe he could even think about staying.

After all, there’s no place like home, eh?

“Gritty, fast-paced and hilarious. The dialogue is full of sharp one liners and insightful asides, and the characters are all larger than life. An absurd story told with such finesse that even the most over-the-top scenes feel real. My guess is you’ll read it in one sitting.” – SW Lauden (author of Bad Citizen Corporation andCrosswise)

“Dark and delicious… With ‘Kill Me Quick!’ the author has provided yet another delicious plate of cool cynicism, peppered with spicy dialogue and an inky black-humour sauce. Paul D. Brazill’s Seatown backdrop is luridly drawn; the characters are a blend of hopeless, scary and hilarious, while the verbal exchanges are as sharp and dry as glass of Northumberland moonshine on the rocks. The gritty darkness of the north-east has never been so much fun. Fabulous.” – Dominic Milne (author of Act of Contrition)

“Fahrenheit 13 have done an excellent job in assembling top quality novellas in this series and Paul Brazill’s offering is no exception. They say home is where the heart is….if you’re a character in a novella by Paul D. Brazill that heart will probably soon be removed and by a gangster with vicious intent! As always with this author’s stories it’s entertaining, witty and always a fun read. A great crime caper that is a steal at the price. Five stars.” – Darren Sant (author of Dark Voices and various Radgepacket tales from the legendary Byker Books)

“A smart and insane ride through the underbelly of crime. Told with his characteristic punch, this is as gritty and as hard boiled as it gets and Brazill is a master at it. By turn humorous and captivating this will keep you guessing. A Noir novel textured with local culture and razor sharp dialogue. Highly Recommended.” – Richard Godwin (author of Wrong Crowd and Confessions of a Hitman)

“This novella is a crazy crime jukebox that takes in everything from crooners to croakers without missing a beat…. Get it. If you have anything like a sense of humour and a heart as black as the inside of a body bag, you’ll love it. Besides, best corpse disposal trick ever.” – Graham Wynd (author of Extricate and Satan’s Sorority)

“The story winds tight as Hammond’s life unravels. Brazill uses his trademark wordplay and humour to add extra layers to the experience and manages to draw out laughs from the most uncomfortable situations. There’s also a vast soundtrack…. If I were to select a song to sum up this novella, Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll would be my pick and, if they’re elements you enjoy in your noir, this is the book for you. Terrific fun.” – Nigel Bird (author of Southsiders and Dirty Old Town & Other Stories)

“An oddball crime book with pitch black humor and wordplay while the out of luck lowlifes run from one unlucky event to the next. Everything is delivered with that dry kind of understatement only the Brits have mastered… where even the strangest situations are funny even they are not funny at all.” – Miranda (booklikes.com)’

Last Year’s Man is REVEALED!

Over at COL’S CRIMINAL LIBRARY, Colman Keane reveals the cover of my forthcoming publication, LAST YEAR’S MAN.

Last Year’s Man by Paul D. Brazill will by published by All Due Respect on 22 June 2018.

A troubled, ageing hit man leaves London and returns to his hometown in the north east of England hoping for peace. But the ghosts of his past return to haunt him. Last Year’s Man is a violent and blackly comic slice of Brit Grit noir.

“Brazill offers a series of amusing episodes filled with breezy banter in this offbeat slice of British noir.”- Publishers Weekly.

“Brazill is brilliant, a unique voice which stands out from the crowd” – Keith Nixon, author of the Solomon Gray books.

“It’s all here, everything you’ve come to expect from a Paul D. Brazill caper—the fast pace, the witty banter, the grim humour and the classic tunes—except this time he’s REALLY outdone himself. Unlike the lament in the song the title takes its name from, Paul’s best years are surely still ahead of him.” — Paul Heatley, author of Fatboy.

“Paul D. Brazill is the Crown Prince of Noir. That’s my opinion, granted, but I stand by it. For those who require proof, just pick up his latest novel, Last Year’s Man, and it will be clear why I make that statement. All hail the crown prince!” — Les Edgerton, author of The Rapist, The Bitch, Just Like That and others.

Recommended Read: The Glass House by Richard Godwin

The Glass HouseTroubled rich kids Michael and Abby are kidnapped and their parents are sent bizarre films of them trapped in glass cages.

Michael’s horrified parents contact a private detective, Earl Blake, to help them get their children back but things soon spiral out of control.

Richard Godwin’s The Glass House is a violent and gripping London set crime thriller full of sharp twists and turns.

I’m Interviewed at We Are Cult

CULTBANNER200DPIOver at We Are Cult, James Gent interviews me about Brit Grit and more:

‘Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I was born in Hartlepool in 1962, which was the same year the first Beatles single and the first Bond film were released. It’s no coincidence, I’m sure.

My first job was on a government scheme updating ordinance survey maps. It wasn’t as glamourous as it sounds.

I’ve worked in a second-hand record shop, a toy shop and as a welfare rights worker. I’ve been TEFL teaching in Poland for more than a decade and have yet to be deported.

What is your creative background?

I don’t think I have one. I played bass in a couple of bands in the early ‘80s but then, didn’t everyone? I did a screenwriting course in the ‘90s and wrote a screenplay. I sent it to ‘a well-known film production company’ but they never got back to me. It was the only copy I had of the bloody thing but I never bothered to ask for it back.’

Read the rest HERE.