Category Archives: Down and Out Books

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

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 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

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.

I’m Interviewed by Mark Ramsden

SMC

Ace transgressive fiction  writer Mark Ramsden has some nice things to say about my writing and then we have a little natter:

‘In the mid 20th century there were light-hearted crime novels about decent chaps with a taste for adventure. The Saint. The Toff. Perhaps, like Paul Temple, they had a cockney manservant and lived in Mayfair. Mr Brazill’s comedic capers are generally set somewhere less salubrious. Perhaps a grim seaside town, where laconic losers drink super strength lager, which might be stored in their pockets for later – not much later at all.

Instead of a search for the Maltese Falcon a vile gangster wants to know which of his girls are offering, against his wishes, a ‘full service’.
The one liners come thick and fast. ‘”I’m as honest as the day is long”. If you live in Iceland.’
‘The silence dragged like a BNP voter’s knuckles.’
There’s nifty descriptions: ‘He had salt and pepper hair that erred on the side of Saxa, and his face had that scrubbed-by-a-Brillo Pad look favoured by football mangers like Sir Alex Ferguson.’
It’s realistically sleazy and gritty but with enough humour so you don’t need to drown your sorrows – unlike Paul’s protagonists.
Like his Too Many Crooks there’s a sly metafictional flavour but it’s gentle and playful. It won’t strip the enamel off your teeth, like some of the beverages consumed herein.
In short, an original homebrew with a kick. Well worth sampling.

MR  Your earliest influence, writers you most admire? 

PB   Well, I wasn’t a book person as a kid so the first writers I noticed were comic writers like Stan Lee, Steve Gerber, and music writers like Jane Suck and Paul Morley. Monty Smith’s film stuff for the New Musical Express was essential reading. After that, the ‘grown up’ books were by Dorothy Parker, Graham Greene, Kurt Vonnegut and Elmore Leonard – the latter due to an NME article by Charles Shaar Murray.’

Read the rest here.

Publishers Weekly Review Last Year’s Man

publishers weeklyPublishers Weekly have reviewed my book  Last Year’s Man– which is due out in June from All Due Respect / Down & Out Books.

And it’s a good one, too!

‘Tommy Bennett, the narrator of this violent, darkly funny short novel from Brazill (A Case of Noir), is nearing 60 and the end of his unlikely career as a killer-for-hire. After two jobs go bad and a couple of crooked cops pressure him for his services in London, he decides it’s time to retreat to Seatown, his birthplace, in northeast England. After getting off the train, Tommy, who has a weakness for drink, enters the first pub he sees, the Tap and Spile (“inevitably nicknamed the Spinal Tap back in the bad-old-good-old days”), where he witnesses an assault in the men’s room. When the police show up, he polishes off his pint and leaves. Outside the pub, he’s nearly run over by his grown daughter, Tamsin, on her motor bike. Tommy’s happy reunion with Tamsin leads to his reconnecting with less savory people from his past, including psychopathic gangster Drella and Drella’s drug-dealing sidekick, Sniffy, who enlist him in a scheme that could be his last. In lieu of a plot, Brazill offers a series of amusing episodes filled with breezy banter in this offbeat slice of British noir.’

Recommended Read: Monday’s Meal by Les Edgerton

MONDAY'S MEAL COVER FOR EBOOK VERSIONWho makes the best beer in the world? Maybe the Czechs or Belgians.

But when it comes to short stories, well, the American’s pretty much rule the roost, they really do. Flannery O’ Connor, Raymond Carver, Dorothy Parker, Charles Bukowski, Richard Ford,  Kyle Minor. Loads and loads more.

And you can add Les Edgerton to that list, of course.

Monday’s Meal by Les Edgerton was first published in 1997 and contains twenty-one tales of dirt realism. Sharp slices of American life. They’re set in New Orleans and Texas. Sometimes in bars or behind bars. They’re about café owners, hairdressers, nightclub musicians, prisoners, ex-cons, drifters and drinkers.

Monday’s Meal opens and closes with ‘Blue Skies’ and ‘Monday’s Meal,’ tales of strained relationships. But the real meat is sandwiched between them. And Monday’s Meal  is a particularly  meaty collection.

Some favourites: ‘The Mockingbird Café’ is the story of a man in a low-rent bar trying to mind his own business; ‘Hard Times’ is bleak and scary and brilliantly written; ‘The Last Fan’ is a tragic look at a shattered marriage; ‘My Idea Of A Nice Thing’ is a touching and sad story of an alcoholic’s  crumbling life;’Telemarketing,’ is the story of a young couple just trying to get by; ‘I Shoulda Seen a Credit Arranger,’ is a fun Runyonesque crime story.

And there’s plenty more to enjoy in Monday’s Meal. Edgerton has a strong and sure grasp of the lives of people who are standing on the edge of a precipice.

The eBook of Monday’s Meal is to be published by the splendid Down and Out Books. It’s currently being offered as a prepub sale. It goes on regular sale on April 23.

Recommended Read: Slaughterhouse Blues by Nick Kolakowski

slaugherhouse bluesFiona and Bill – the stars of Kolakowski’s cracking debut A Brutal Bunch of Heartbroken Sapsare  lovers on the lam  from New York gangsters The Rockaway Mob. Bill is hiding out in Havana and Fiona is taking a job in Nicuragura when they are tracked down. Mayhem and violence quickly ensue.

Like A Brutal Bunch of Heartbroken Saps, Slaughterhouse Blues is jam packed with high-octane action, gaudy characters, witty dialogue and enough sharp twists and turns to give you whiplash. Five hardboiled stars.

Recommended Read: May by Marietta Miles

MayMarietta Miles’ May takes place on Folly Island in the 1980s and in Shreveport, Louisiana  during the 1970s.  There’s a storm coming  to Folly Island and May Cosby is just hoping to survive it, and any other disaster that might befall her.

In the course of this tense and claustrophobic book we find out a lot about May and the people she encountered over the years.  As well as as moving backwards and forwards in time to tell May’s story, Miles also gives us a look at the POVs of a couple of the book’s supporting cast; the hapless Tommy and  the vicious John Karl Jr. And we see how they impact on May’s life.

Marietta Miles once again proves herself to be one of the best noir writers working today.  May is a brutal, brittle and brilliant gem.

Short, Sharp Interview: Lawrence Kelter

back to brooklynPDB: What’s going on? Hi, Paul, I’ve written Back To Brooklyn, the literary sequel to My Cousin Vinny, one of the most beloved film comedies of all time. Bringing Vincent LaGuardia Gambini and Mona Lisa Vito back to life was the most fun I’ve ever had sitting in front of a keyboard. I have high hopes for this book. After all, I love the characters and the backstory—not to mention the two years have invested in the project. But where it goes from here…

PDB: Do you listen to music when you work? I need to be alone in my head while I write. I rarely listen to music while in the creative phase. It is music, however, that keeps me going through the drudgery of editing. Without it… I’ve got a NAD power amp connected to a pair of Dahlquist speakers in my office. I’m a diehard rock fan. Clapton, Mick, John, Paul, and George have prevented me from taking my life many times (while editing that is—a suicide watch is not needed).

PDB: What makes you laugh? People make me laugh—not at them but with them. There’s nothing better than getting together with friends (mates for you Brits) and hoisting a few (or many). If you’ve read any of my stuff you’ve probably suspected that I’m a frustrated comic. My work is full of comedy—can’t seem to pass up a chance to level a gnarly antagonist with good helping of sarcasm whenever the occasion arises.

PDB: What’s the best cure for a hangover? Don’t be jealous but I rarely get hung-over. I seem to be blessed in that regard. Not that I drink until shitfaced, but I somehow manage to cut myself off before I pass the point of no return.

PDB: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? No doubt there are fabulous locales in the world I’m selling short, but for my money there are few places in the world as perfect as Tuscany. I was only there once but my days there just seemed to float along in such relaxing manner that it’s forever etched upon my mind. Sitting around, drinking local wine and marveling at the beauty of the countryside … I’m under Tuscany’s spell just thinking about it.

PDB: Do you have a bucket list? If so, what’s on it? Yes and no. There are so many things I want to do, but I don’t have a formal (or even semiformal) list: places to visit, people to meet. Some are practical and others pie in the sky. I’d like to meet Eric Clapton because I’ve been listening to him since I was thirteen and still have my original vinyl copies of Disraeli Gears and Wheels of Fire. I’d like to chat with some of the great thinkers and visionaries of our time, and see parts of the world I’ve not yet visited. Mostly, I’d like to live long enough to watch my grandchildren grow up and prosper.

PDB: What’s on the cards? If you’re asking me to look into a crystal ball, I’d rather not. I like each day to be a surprise. Book wise there are many projects in the hopper. I just released a gritty police procedural, which I penned in tandem with Frank Zafiro. It’s called Fallen City, and visits NYC in the eighties when ruthless Dominican drug gangs were on a rampage. There’s more Vinny and Lisa in work as well, a novelization of the film coming this spring with new scenes, more laughs, and insights into the characters backgrounds. Later on in the year Gambini and Vito will return in an all-original new story. Stephanie Chalice is coming back as is Chloe Mather. Several new one-offs are in various states of completion, each vying for my attention.

20900837_10155694496264413_5031558669142335757_oPDB: Anything else? The publishing business is changing at breakneck speed and what my place in it will be is the $64,000 question. I love writing and hope to always feel that way. There’s a list of story ideas on my desk that grows longer and longer everyday. I’ll keep writing as long as the ideas keep coming.

Bio: I never expected to be a writer. In fact, I was voted the student least likely to visit a library. (Don’t believe it? Feel free to check my high school yearbook.) Well, times change I suppose, and I have now authored several novels including the internationally best-selling Stephanie Chalice Thriller Series.

Early in my writing career, I received support from literary icon, Nelson DeMille, who reviewed my work and actually put pencil to paper to assist in the editing of the first book. DeMille has been a true inspiration to me and has also given me some tough love. Way before he ever said, “Lawrence Kelter is an exciting new novelist, who reminds me of an early Robert Ludlum,” he told me, “Kid, your work needs editing, but that’s a hell of a lot better than not having talent. Keep it up!”

I’ve lived in the Metro New York area most of my life and rely primarily on locales in Manhattan and Long Island for my stories’ settings. I try very hard to make each novel quickly paced and crammed full of twists, turns, and laughs.

Out Now! Just Like That by Les Edgerton

New from Down & Out Books

Purchase links …
Buy from the Down & Out Bookstore or from the following retailers …
Print: Amazon — Barnes & Noble
eBook: Kindle — Nook — iTunes — Kobo

Synopsis … Jake and his pal Bud’s journey begins six months after he is released on parole and is occasioned when his girlfriend Donna dumps him and aborts their child. After a suicide attempt where the Norelco shaver cord he used to hang himself breaks, on an impulse—everything in Jake’s life happens “just like that”—he calls up Bud, who lives by the same credo, and the two take off with no particular destination in mind. They’re just going “south”—somewhere where it’s warm. An hour before they leave, Jake on another impulse, holds up a convenience store to get some traveling money. Ultimately, they end up in New Orleans and then Lake Charles, Louisiana and from there, back to Indiana.

Along the way are many “watercooler” moments and near the end Jake takes a fall when he is caught burglarizing a bar back in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, gets shot in the leg and is returned to Pendleton where he kills the inmate he had a nasty encounter with during his first stay in prison.

Just Like That is based on an actual trip the author took with an ex-prison cellmate under similar circumstances as protagonist Jake Mayes does in the narrative. The scenes in Pendleton are also based on true experiences he had while incarcerated. Approximately 85% of the novel is taken from real life. Portions of the book have previously appeared as short stories in the literary magazines Murdaland, Flatmancrooked, and High Plains Literary Review, the latter of which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and was selected for inclusion in Houghton Mifflin’s Best American Mystery Stories, 2001.

Praise for JUST LIKE THAT …

“Edgerton’s got a story to tell you so get ready; it’s coming at you fast. Get ready…” —Linwood Barclay, international bestseller

“Edgerton draws memorable portraits of these dangerous and unpredictable characters.” —Library Journal

Just Like That is yet another Les Edgerton winner. In his prison memoir, Edgerton conjures up in honest, Bukowski-esque prose a mad dog life lived behind and beyond the bars of institutional correctional facilities. Literature’s version of Johnny Cash, America has yet another gifted bard to sing the blues of time served. I have long believed Edgerton to be an American original, who has for too long remained one of our best kept literary secrets.” —Cortright McMeel, author of Short

Just Like That has it all. Great dialogue, whipcrack scenes and meaty characters haul logo-dob-ws-400x200pxyou along on a hardboiled crime road-trip worthy of the Elmore Leonard and Joe R Lansdale. A shot to the heart as well as the head, Just Like That is highly recommended.” —Paul D. Brazill, author of A Case of Noir

“Edgerton establishes the kind convincing, and wrenching, interiority with his characters achieved by only the most adept fiction writers.” —Peter Donahue, Sam Houston State University

“Edgerton’s best stories are uncompromising in their casual amorality. They stare you down over the barrel of a gun, rip you up whether or not the trigger gets squeezed.” —Diane Lefer, UCLA and Vermont College, author of The Circles I Move In

“Les Edgerton creates a vivid and compelling world. We feel the rhythm of his language and live in the skins of his characters. Altogether, a memorable experience.” —Gladys Swan, Missouri University and Vermont College, author of A Visit to Stranger

“Les Edgerton writes like a poet with a mean streak, and his prose goes down easy and smooth like good liquor as it carves up your insides.” —Henry Perez, bestselling author of Mourn the Living

“The characters in Edgerton’s world bite down hard and grind up one another with their back teeth. Their authenticity is palpable as soft-shelled clams; these are sad, mean, fully human characters who long for connection almost as fiercely as they fear it.” —Melody Henion Stevenson, author of The Life Stone of Singing Bird

Short, Sharp Interview: Tom Pitts

american static

PDB: What’s going on?

Other than signs of the apocalypse flaring up in the headlines every day? I’m out there hitting the circuit, promoting my new novel American Static.

PDB: Do you listen to music when you work?

Fuck no! I can’t do it. I think perhaps I could when I was younger, but these days my attention span is terrible. I’ve been known to stuff toilet paper in my ears so I can focus. I see writer’s talking about playlists for their novels, and I think, wow, my playlist is silence. No, actually, mine is the dream of silence. I’ve got barking dogs, loud neighbors, sirens, and squealing tires.

PDB: What makes you laugh?

Just about anything. I’ve had a long history of whistling through the graveyard. Making the horrific hilarious is my favorite coping mechanism.  When they say laughter is the best medicine, they might as well say it’s the best opiate too.

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

Easy, more booze. Even as I write this I’m comforting myself with a medicinal beer.

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

Hell of a question to answer honestly. I think right now that’d be L.A.. I’m doing my damnedest to bust into the movie business and it’s the only place to be for that. Christ, a San Franciscan admitting he wants to live in Los Angeles? They might throw me outta this town!

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

I don’t. I feel like a bucket list would only bring me closer to kicking the bucket.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

I’ve got two more novels edited and ready to submit. I guess I have sit down and start another. It’s been nearly a year since I’ve actually done any new writing—as opposed to editing and rewriting. I’m looking forward to getting lost in that world again.

tom pittsPDB: Anything else?

Yes, American Static. Buy it, love it, review it. And thanks, Paul. It’s always a pleasure.

Bio: Tom Pitts received his education on the streets of San Francisco. He remains there, working, writing, and trying to survive. He is the author of American Static (Down & Out Books) HUSTLE (Down & Out Books) and the novellas Piggyback (Snubnose Press) and Knuckleball (One Eye Press.) Find links to more of his work at: TomPittsAuthor.com

Short, Sharp Interview: Matt Hilton

19601336_471413026540927_4071050112285606313_nPDB: Can you pitch YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK in 25 words or less?

Raised in an orphanage, trained as assassins by a surrogate father who first offers chocolate and later the bullets that could kill them. (Brotherhood of the Rose by David Morrell)

PDB: Which music, books, films or television shows do you wish you had written?

I’m a fan of old time Rock ’n’ Roll and Rockabilly music, and have actually penned some tunes myself, and being an author have written books, but would love to claim I’d written The Stand. Really would have loved to pen an episode of Banshee on TV, or (am I cheating here?) the movie adaptation of my book The Shadows Call (as it is so personal to me).

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

Ehm, The Shadows Call, or my Joe Hunter series? Seriously though, I’d like to see an adaptation of Robert E Howard’s Conan the Cimmerian that stays true to the original (I’ve enjoyed the movie incarnations to date, but they still haven’t fully caught the essence of the original stories for me), and would like to see them given a similar treatment to Game Of Thrones or The Lord of the Rings.

matt hiltonPDB: Can you tell me a joke?

(Scratches head trying to think of something clean and PC).

Q: What’s pink and wrinkly and hangs out Grandpa’s underpants?

A: Grandma on washing day.

PDB: Who are the great British writers?

I might be the wrong person to ask. I’m not well read in regards British authors. One day — I promise — I’ll read Arthur Conan Doyle.

 PDB: What’s on the cards?

I’ve got WORST FEAR, the fourth book in my series featuring Tess Grey and Nicolas ‘Po’ Villere, being published in September, and have just recently seen my twelfth Joe Hunter book, MARKED FOR DEATH, published. At present I’m working on a possible new series that mixes police procedural with the supernatural, and if a publisher picks it up will be my first published crime thriller set in my native UK.

PDB: Anything else?

 Joe Hunter will be back. Book 13 – Unlucky For Some.Guest Blogger: Matt Hilton - Genesis to Generation -or how characters are born

Bio: Matt Hilton is the author of the high-octane Joe Hunter thriller series, and the Tess Grey and Po Villere thrillers. His first book, ‘Dead Men’s Dust’, was shortlisted for the International Thriller Writers’ Debut Book of 2009 Award, and was a Sunday Times bestseller, also being named as a ‘thriller of the year 2009’ by The Daily Telegraph. Dead Men’s Dust was also a top ten Kindle bestseller in 2013 and 2016.

Matt has published novels in the supernatural/horror genre, namely ‘Preternatural’, ‘Dominion’, ‘Darkest Hour’ and ‘The Shadows Call’.

His twelfth Joe Hunter novel, Marked For Death, was published July 2017, and his next Tess and Po novel, Worst Fear, is published September 2017.

Short, Sharp Interview: Beau Johnson

20525595_1907272402872470_5546300016962871857_nPDB: Can you pitch your latest book in 25 words?

BJ:  Nope.  Not enough space.  If I had more space, maybe.  But even then, maybe not.  Hate.  The book is about hate.  How we can use it better.

PDB: Which music, book, films or television do you wish you had written?

BJ:  Oh man, there are tons.  Silence of the Lambs.  Seven.  Lost.  Breaking Bad.  Up to season 7 of the X-files.  The episode where Buffy’s mom dies.  As for books: everything by Thomas Harris excluding Hannibal Rising.  The Long Walk by King.  The Jaunt.  The raft.  Music?  Wheat Kings by The Tragically Hip, our very own Canadian treasure.

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

BJ: I want to say the Dark Tower, but as it seems that particular ship might have somewhat sailed.

a better kind of hatePDB:  Who are the great British Writers?

BJ: PDB, naturally.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

BJ:  I have a few shorts in the pipe, some coming soon.  Bishop Rider has been poking his head up too, just headlining a new finished piece titled Old Ghosts.  It’s companion story to a yarn called Shift Work, where I once and for all debunk his reasons for retirement.  It might include dismemberment.

PDB: Anything else?

BJ:  Big thanks to you, Paul.  For offering this platform and for supporting me in the past.  If memory serves, you were one of the first who started sharing my work when I first got on to Facebook.  I want you to know I appreciate that, Paul.  I always have.

 BIO:  Beau Johnson has been published before, usually on the darker side of town.  Such fine establishments might include Out of the Gutter Online, Shotgun Honey, Spelk, HST, and/or the Molotov Cocktail.  A collection of Beau’s, A Better Kind Of Hate, is published by Down and Out Books.