Category Archives: Henry Brock

Henry Brock Reviews Cold London Blues

CLB---3d-stack_d400And says:

 5 out of 5 stars  London is a violent violent town

February 21, 2018

There are so many gems in Paul D. Brazill’s “Cold London Blues” that this review could contain nothing but a bulleted list. If I did that, surely it would be enough to convince you that you need to read this smart, violent and funny book.
I should try a little harder to point all of the fantastic elements of this short sharp novel and certainly I could do better than that bulleted list, but hell, I can’t resist sharing at least a few:

“The bar had the smell of a soggy nun”
“A storm had gouged open the battered and bruised sky”
“A wiry old duffer sat nursing a half-pint of Guinness and reading a battered copy of Ivanhoe, pausing occasionally to sniff the pages”
“There comes a time in every man’s life when he knows he will never be The Fonz”.

I loved this book. It captures the cold damp violent sleaze of London that makes us love that city. I miss drinking pints in those pubs. The dialogue is true and fresh and the characters are interesting and surprising. I think of this as a London underworld novel, with emphasis on the ‘world’. There is such a rich cast of characters that you will feel like you are getting a glimpse of the rough world that most of us (thankfully) don’t see in the real world. You won’t regret reading this “Cold London Blues”

FIVE CRIME FICTION FAVOURITES FROM 2017.

From my decidedly faulty memory, I’ve picked 5 crime fiction books, films and TV shows that I enjoyed in 2017. There were others, of course, and plenty of pleasures outside the genre too – The Love Witch, Guardians Of The Galaxy 2, and Damnation, for example.

Anyway, here you go:

small crimes

FILM

DOG EAT DOG

I DON’T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE

SMALL CRIMES

BABY DRIVER

WIND RIVER

better-call-saul

TV

BETTER CALL SAUL 

HAP AND LEONARD

TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN

FARGO

THE PUNISHER

eye for an eyeBOOKS

FATBOY – PAUL HEATLEY

EYE FOR AN EYE – PAUL HEATLEY

A MAN WITH ONE OF THOSE FACES – CAIMH MCDONNELL

VICIOUS DOGS – HENRY BROCK

A BRUTAL BUNCH OF HEARTBROKEN SAPS – NICK KOLAKOWSKI

Short, Sharp Interview: Henry Brock

vicious-dogsPDB: Can you pitch VISCIOUS DOGS in 25 words or less?

Derek Lasker, a broke and desperate PI,  foolishly takes a case that involves following a potential psychopath. It will cost him.

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

What books do I wish I had written? So many. In fact, when I am working on a book I have a difficult time reading fiction since I fear my work will not measure up by comparison or their prose will change my writing style somehow. That being said, some books that I wish I had written are “We’re All In This Together” by Amy Jones, “The Talented Mr. Ripley” by Patricia Highsmith, “Whale Music” by Paul Quarrington, “Hyperion” by Dan Simmons and what writer wouldn’t love to have written Marcel Proust’s “In Search of Lost Time”?

Films I wish I had written include: “Runaway Train”, “Citizen Kane” and “Plane, Trains and Automobiles”.

Television shows I wish I had written: “Mad Men”, “Orphan Black” and “Mr. Robot”.

PDB: Which of your books do you think would make good films or TV series?

I would love to see Lasker Investigations as a series with “Vicious Dogs” as season one. I started developing the idea for the book while working in the film business in Toronto, Ontario, so seeing the book brought to the screen would seem apropos. I also wrote a book about a 1980’s heavy metal band called Bastards of Destruction, which has been rejected by dozens of publishers (I like to think it is due to the graphic sex and rampant drug use and violence, but editors might just think it isn’t good enough…) but I think it would make a fantastic movie.

 PDB: Who are your favourite writers?

Like most avid readers, it’s hard to list a few for fear that I will forget someone important. But since you are twisting my arm here, Paul, I will list a few here: Jim Thompson, Philip K. Dick, John Irving, David Goodis, Michel Faber, Sarah Waters, Clive Barker, Robertson Davies, and Michael Crichton.

PDB: What’s your favourite joke?

I don’t think I am a particularly funny person and am terrible at jokes, but here’s one for my UK friends:  Apparently someone in London gets stabbed every 60 seconds. Poor bastard.

PDB: What’s your favourite song?

So many faves…. but how about “The Blank Generation” by Richard Hell and the Voidoids.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

I am plugging away on book two of the Lasker Investigation series and once I am done my first draft I am going to cleanse my pallet before editing/re-writing by writing something completely different like a kids book or a book about Stephen Stills.

 PDB: Anything else?

Though I have been writing all of my life, I am new to crime fiction and I need to say that I absolutely love it. I would like to thank everyone who supported my along the way and thanks to all of those who have read Vicious Dogs and have reached out to me to let me know how much they have enjoyed it. As you know, Paul, writing is a solitary task, so hearing from readers makes all the difference.

henry brock

Bio: Henry Brock is the author of “Vicious Dogs” which is the first Lasker Investigation. He worked for ten years in the Toronto film industry, where he sidelined as a copy editor and musician. He currently lives with his wife and twin 8 year olds in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Recommended Reads: February 2017

ryan-bracha-jeebiesPhoebe Jeebies and The Man Who Annoyed Everybody by Ryan Bracha

Tony is a horrible man, he really is. He’s one of ‘the enlightened’ – a group of oddballs who are paid by a nasty rich kid to annoy people. Not in any major way but just enough to entertain the kid. And he’s good at it too. And then he meets Phoebe and she’s lovely, she really is.

Phoebe Jeebies and The Man Who Annoyed Everybody is bloody marvelous and really showcases Ryan Bracha’s strengths as a storyteller. In lesser hands, Phoebe Jeebies and The Man Who Annoyed Everybody would have just been an entertaining but slight scattershot of high-brow farce, low-brow satire, 6th form japes and jibes.  Bracha, however, has crafted a book that is artful, full of heart and really quite lovely.

The Origins Of Benjamin Hackett by Gerald M O’Connor benjamin-hacket

Five days in the life of eighteen-year-old Benjamin Hackett as his world is turned upside down. The Origins of Benjamin Hackett by Gerald M  O’Connor is a raucous and riotous coming of age story that is brutal, tender and hilarious.

vicious-dogsVicious Dogs by Henry Brock

Derek Lasker is a down on his luck PI who is hired to follow a wayward son and inevitably digs himself deeper and deeper into the mire. Henry Brock’s Vicious Dogs is a brutal slice of lowlife noir that smartly blends Charles Bukowski with Eddie Bunker and breathes new life into the PI novel. I bloody loved it!