Category Archives: Crime Fiction

The Guns Of Brixton paperback is only £4.37, with FREE UK delivery.

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‘A foul-mouthed, violently comic crime caper, full of gaudy characters and dialogue sharp enough to shave with. When London gangster Mad Tony Cook gives aging thugs Big Jim and Kenny the simple task of collecting a briefcase from northern courier Half-Pint Harry he doesn t suspect that the courier will end up dead in his lock-up, or that Kenny and Big Jim will then dress up in drag to rob a jeweler’s shop and lose the coveted briefcase. A fast-moving, wild, and hilarious search for the missing briefcase quickly ensues, with fatal consequences.’

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: 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.

Recommended Read: Watch Her Disappear by Eva Dolan

watch her disappearDI Zigic and DS Ferreira are called to investigate the murder of a trans woman in Eva Dolan’s fourth novel set in Peterborough police’s Hate Crimes Unit.

Once again Dolan gives us an evenly paced police procudural full of  twists and turns, believeble characters  and a stong sense of place and time.

Engrossing and moving, Watch Her Disappear is another gritty gem from Eva Dolan.

A Film For Friday: Small Crimes

small crimesSmall Crimes is a sharp, short slice of noir based on David Zeltserman’s classic cult novel.  A low-key, quirky crime film that is packed with great nuanced performances. Tightly directed with a gripping screenplay that smartly straddles the razors edge of noir and absurdity. Rich characters with a marvellously self-deluded and engaging protagonist. Small Crimes is brilliant, black comedy of errors that ticked all the boxes for me. I loved it.

Guest Blog: What Goes On by Richard Godwin

18193320_10213098319995219_4819326852453550096_oWell well here we are again, at Paul’s gaff, I have been a busy boy, and that’s an understatement. WHAT’S NEW:

I have my Noir sampler, Noir Candy out NOW with Down and Out Books, and for your personal delectation, here’s the pitch:

Noir Candy is a genre shifting candy shop of noir, the hybrid form.

Buy here

I also have my killer novel expose as it is, Portrait Of An Assassin out with Near To The Knuckle run by the peerless Craig Douglas:

An original novel about a hit man I met in the heart, or interior as they call it, of Sicily when I rented a villa from a Mafia lawyer.

Buy here

And last but not least my anthology of short stories, Crystal On Eclectic Acetate, how’s that for a title, also out with Down and Out Books run by the peerless Eric Campbell

What is it about? Are you kidding?

NOIR NOIR.

Links

AND COMING my sci fi porn novel Android Love, Human Skin is to follow.

Watch this fucking space.

Sneak preview

A dystopian science fiction novel that explores the nature of gender and sexual conflict and the addiction to pleasure in a virtual word.

Welcome to the four genders in a future with no planned conflict, a utopia of pleasure engineered by the union.

Society has been revolutionised by gender control and the technologization of man and woman. In a future where a biochemical weapon has removed the skins of the population, the rulers hunt for the beautiful ones, those men and women who still have skins. The union is the new government, a faceless body of politicians who were behind the order to use the weapon that backfired on them, leaving them skinless.

In the glass citadel, the new utopia, where the only surviving humans with skin are placed, they recreate the world of gender by offering humans four types of robot with which to have relationships. All the humans are placed in relationships with machines, apart from Gerald, who appears to be a spy for the union and is filming the humans, and Elliott, a robot programmer. The union watches it all, political voyeurs in a totalitarian state of enforced sexual ecstasies. Food has been replaced by nutrient skins, and flavours can be chosen.

Bio: Richard Godwin is the critically acclaimed author of novels Apostle Rising, Mr.Glamour, One Lost Summer, Noir City, Meaningful Conversations and Confessions Of A Hit Man. He is a crime and horror writer as well as a produced playwright. He was born in London and obtained a BA and MA in English and American Literature from King’s College London. His stories have been published in many magazines and anthologies. He has 29 distinct works in print. You can find out more about him at his website http://www.richardgodwin.net/.

Warren Stalley reviews Big City Blues

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Over at Amazon.co.uk , Warren Stalley says:

‘Big City Blues is littered with the usual Brazill razor sharp one liners honed to perfection. To summarise this is another polished winner from Paul D Brazill and Near To The Knuckle publishing.’