Category Archives: Near To The Knuckle

Another Great Review for Too Many Crooks!

too-many-crooks
Too Many Crooks

Over at his blog, DAVID NEMETH says:

It took me a few pages of Paul D. Brazill’s Too Many Crooks (Near to the Knuckle) to settle into Brazill’s style — a Tarantino humor with Leonard’s directness. And, who names one of the main characters McGuffin? Either you’ll laugh at this joke or not. I laughed and I think you will too.

This McGuffin thing is a literary easter egg, if you will, and  Brazill sprinkles many others throughout Too Many Crooks. There is a family of characters name Rhatigan — I presume named after Chris Rhatigan, a crime fiction writer and editor. The novel’s title even comes from a British movie comedy of the same name “about a bunch of inept crooks who kidnap the wrong woman.” Hell, even some of the chapter titles are jokes that I got. What other jokes and references will you find?

Too Many Crooks moves quickly between London and Warsaw and back again as well as criminal to criminal. Like all good crime books, it begins with a murder.

Ted Singh had really had enough of Bobby Jake’s incessant whining and he was more than somewhat relieved when Ziggy eventually shot the annoying fucker in the back of the head, spraying blood and gunk down the front of Jake’s previously pristine white Fred Perry t– shirt.

Ted’s guts churned. Although he certainly had no qualms about the moral aspects of murdering Bobby Jake, he didn’t really have the stomach for the gory stuff. He never had, truth be told.

“Hold onto this for me,” said Ziggy, handing the Glock to Ted whose hands shook as he took the gun.

The novel might actually have too many crooks, but don’t worry, that’s why the criminals carry firearms. The felonious herd is thinned out repeatedly and with great effect. But nasty killings are not the only things you will find in Too Many Crooks, Brazill’s writing is fast-paced and humorous which makes this one-sitting novel a lively read.

Amazon: AU CA UK US 

Pre-order A Case Of Noir for 99p!

a-case-of-noir-n2tkThe eBook of the all-new A CASE OF NOIR is available for pre-order and it’s only 99p!

Here’s the blurb:

In snow smothered Warsaw, Luke Case, a boozy English hack with a dark secret, starts a dangerous affair with a gangster’s wife. Case escapes to the sweltering Spanish heat where he meets a colourful cast of characters, including a mysterious torch singer and a former East End villain with a criminal business proposition. While in stormy Toulouse, he encounters a blast from the past that is positively seismic which forces him to return to England and confront his past.

A Case Of Noir is a strong shot of international noir from Paul D. Brazill.

You can grab it from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and any other Amazon that takes your fancy. The paperback is on its way.

Renato Bratkovic Reviews To Many Crooks

too-many-crooksOver at Amazon.com , The Big Bratkovsky says:

on February 12, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
… when it’s Paul D. Brazill’s book, that is. It’s another great piece of noir literature by the man himself. He literally put the McGuffin into this one along with a bunch of other characters you’d expect to meet in a Brazill’s book. There can’t be too many crooks in his stories, so grab the book, become one of them and indulge yourself with a healthy dose of vivid imagery and laugh-out-loud word phrases.

Graham Wynd Reviews Too Many Crooks

too-many-crooksToo Many Crooks has had its first review and it goes a lot like this:

‘I’m pretty much an easy mark when it comes to Mr B, as you’re doubtless already aware if you’ve read my enthusiastic reviews for his other publications. But I love writers I can count on (see also Liz Hand, the Abbotts, Tess Makovesky and some others I could name but why inflate all those egos?).

Too Many Crooks hits some of the familiar territory: colourful low lifes spread across Europe from Britain to Poland and points in between, salty language, implausible schemes and cataclysmic coincidences. It also has callbacks to other tales he’s written (fun if you know them, interesting hooks if you don’t).

But there’s something more in the wild kinetic machinations: dare I say a touch of the poetic? A lot of mad laugh out loud moments — the Mad Jaffa Cake Eater, a pruney face was so lived in squatters wouldn’t stay there, a Slippery Pole — and a whole bunch of references to classic punk tunes and venerable comedies, not to mention Fall lyrics.

You’d expect no less than offhand Carry On lines and knowing music choices for every mood. There’s a lot more, too:

He was also the world’s leading authority on the Klingon language, apparently and used speaking in Klingon as part of his radical therapy. Hattie had told him she wasn’t interested and had never seen Star Wars and he’d glared at her.

“If you haven’t made a fool of yourself at least once in your life, you haven’t lived,” said Anna.
“Oh, well, if that’s true, I’ve lived more lives than a cat, then,” said McGuffin.

He watched Leslie leave the café and put up her umbrella, which flapped in the wind like a black crow.

He was hungover from a bad dream, or maybe a bad life.

The old grandfather clock had just struck thirteen.

Obviously I could go on and on. Just the audacity of naming a primary character McGuffin (snort!). Get it. You need the laughs. Because all orange clowns should be fictional.’

Out Now! Too Many Crooks by Paul D. Brazill

too-many-crooksToo Many Crooks is a blackly comic Brit Grit romp from the author of Guns Of Brixton and Kill Me Quick!

When high-class fence Leslie Hawkins meets Peter Rhatigan in a sleazy London pub, he offers her the chance to get her hands on the Totenkopfring, a legendary piece of World War Two memorabilia. However, after a violent encounter with a member of a biker gang, things soon spiral wildly and dangerously out of control. Meanwhile in Poland, Dr Anna Nowak finds an amnesiac Englishman half-dead in the snow…

Too Many Crooks by Paul D. Brazill is a fast-moving and action-packed cocktail of bodies, bullets and death-black comedy.

Published by Near To The Knuckle, you can grab Too Many Crooks from Amazon.com , Amazon.co.uk and any other Amazon. The paperback is on its way!

I’m Flashing At Pulp Metal Magazine and Near To The Knuckle

CHELSEA GIRLS is at PULP METAL MAGAZINE

Chloe left the money and took the guns. She couldn’t carry everything and she knew that cash would be a hell of a lot easier to come by than a couple of AK47s that was for sure.

and

THE TALL MAN is at NEAR TO THE KNUCKLE

‘I sit on a bench in the darkened park and watch The Slug get out of his car. I am dressed head to foot in black and holding a black briefcase. The Slug walks up to an apartment block and opens the front door with a key. He doesn’t leave a real trail of slime behind him, of course, just a metaphorical one.’

CHECK EM OUT!

Out NOW! Close To The Boneyard

close-to-the-boneyard-2012Includes my yarn Killing Mr Cornflakes and MORE!

Close To The Boneyard: A Near To The Knuckle Anthology. 

From the archives of the online fiction site, Near To The Knuckle. We have picked thirty tales that featured on the site. We have writers from across the globe. You won’t be disappointed with award winning authors spinning yarns coated in cordite and specks of blood.’

Get it HERE!

Recommended Read: Marwick’s Reckoning by Gareth Spark

marwick's reckoningMarwick is a broken man. Broken but not shattered. Marwick is a violent London gangster, an enforcer who has moved to Spain for a quieter life and who is eventually embroiled in drug smuggling, murder and more.

Published by Near To The Knuckle, Marwick’s Reckoning by Gareth Spark is fantastic. Like a Brit Grit Graham Greene it’s full of doomed romanticism, longing and shocking violence.

Beautifully, vividly  and powerfully written Marwick’s Reckoning is very highly recommended indeed.

Short, Sharp Interview: Gareth Spark.

marwick's reckoningPDB: Can you pitch Marwick’s Reckoning in 25 words or less?

A British gangster in Spain contends with Romanian mobsters, an ex-lover and his former employers, as he searches for the truth behind a friend’s murder.

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

I’ve been reading a lot of Harry Crews lately; fantastic writer.  I admire the way he seems to absolutely be sure of himself and his place in the world. We don’t seem to have that so much, this generation; identity seems fractured by the greater complexity of this world we have. I’d like that certainty, and to be able to write like that. I’ve also been re-watching Sky TV’s FORTITUDE. The writing and characters and the overarching mystery are so well drawn and profound, and the setting so instantly compelling that it makes me seethe with envy. Wish I’d written that.

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

I’d like to see Brian Panowich’s BULL MOUNTAIN make some kind of appearance on TV, Sam Hawken’s Camaro books also would make for a compelling TV serial. I’ve just read Benjamin Myers BEASTINGS, and that would make for a cracking film.  Justin Hill’s SHIELDWALL too; that would be fantastic given a HBO sized budget.

PDB: Who are the great British writers?

I’d have to go with Graham Greene, for his vision and technique. Arthur Machen, one of the greatest. M.R. James, for his powerful storytelling and the way he evoked the dark side of the British countryside. Algernon Blackwood. Malcolm Lowry for UNDER THE VOLCANO. Alan Moore, whose JERUSALEM I’m waiting for with feverish glee. Writing today? Off the top of my head, Ramsey Campbell, Mark Morris, Benjamin Myers, China Mieville, Ian Rankin, Richard Godwin and about a thousand others I could name had I the time.

PDB: Your writing is very visual. Which childhood images have you retained?

I grew up in a very beautiful part of the world, and that beauty can be dramatic; winter storms, the sea like a dirty mirror, moorland black beneath clouds the colour of old coins, murky forests that hide ruined castles (that last one’s legitimate too, not just my waxing poetic, google Old Mulgrave castle). That all has seeped into my writing, sure, but being a complicated sort of person the things that affect me more are along the lines of graffiti stained concrete, rusted abandoned cars, broken wire fences and barbed wire filled with torn plastic fluttering like prayer flags. Dust and industrial spaces at the edge of town. That’s what I remember. Those liminal spaces and the summer burning over asphalt roads…Orion’s belt above a play park with broken swings and a twilight so deep and palpable it washes over you like a river…an abandoned railway bridge that was always pale and sepulchral against air the colour of faded till receipts. The blue smoke from my Gran’s cigarettes drifting upwards to a yellow ceiling in light falling through a lace curtain. The river Esk, murky as Builder’s tea after a week of rain, lapping at greasy fishing trawlers. It all stays with you, makes you the writer you are destined to be, the only one you could have ever been.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

I’ve been working on a novel for the past *coughs* so many years. Too many years really, when I see how productive other writers can be. There’s a lot of hustling out there, I just want to get it right, make sure the book’s saying what I want it to, while creating something dramatically interesting; making sure the characters aren’t just stock types or ciphers, but actual people as best as I’m able. It’s also set during the 1940’s, which has called for a bit o’ research. I like to get things as accurate as I can, historically. Hope it’ll be worth the work.

In the meantime, I have some short stories coming out soon on a couple of my favourite short fiction websites, some poems over at In Between Hangovers and I have a novella outlined for when I have the time to write it. Having a day job and 7 children commands a lot of one’s time and I’m grateful to whatever munificent deity allows me the time to write.

PDB: Anything else?

Support the small presses, that’s where the quality is, and leave reviews wherever you can for writer’s whose work you appreciate.

Bio: Gareth Spark is from Whitby, Yorkshire. His short fiction and poetry has appeared in Shotgun Honey, Line Zero, Out of the Gutter, Near to the knuckle and Deepwater Literary Review, among others. He is the author of Snake Farm and Marwick’s Reckoning.

Recommended Read: One Day In The Life Of Jason Dean by Ian Ayris

jason deanFirst published by Byker Books and now published by Near To The Knuckle, One Day In The Life Of Jason Dean is a gem.

Jason is a debt collector and gangster’s enforcer who loves Shostakovitch, poetry and his little girl. He awakes at the break of a harsh day next to a wife who hates his guts.

Ian Ayris – whose- debut novel Abide With Me was one of my favourites of 2012- follows Jason’s Sisyphean trudge through the course of that single day and gives us a powerful novella that is tense, harrowing, violent, funny and very moving.

Exceptional.

What Goes On? Ayris, Godwin

Ian Ayris

jason deanWell, the reissue of my Kindle novella – One Day in the Life of Jason Dean – has just been released by the brilliant Near to the Knuckle, and April Skies – the sequel to my debut novel – Abide With Me – is due for publication in both paperback and Kindle versions on the 7th April. It’s taken me the best part of three years to write, so it’ll be a fantastic feeling to finally have it out skating in the ether. April Skies carries on two years after the end of Abide With Me, following John as he attempts to navigate the perils of adult life. He does his best, bless him, but everyone has a history. And with a history like John’s, the past is never far behind.

Here’s a little extract:

The bloke next to me’s readin the back pages. Looks over the top and asks me if Thommo’s mental. I says he is.

‘Always been like that, has he?’ the bloke says, puttin his paper on his lap.

‘Not always,’ I says. ‘Glue. Fucked him right up.’

‘He want a sweet?’ the bloke says.

I tap Thommo on the shoulder.

‘You want a sweet, Thommo?’ I says.

APRIL SKIES coverThommo don’t even turn round.

‘He’s all right, mate,’ I says. ‘Cheers, anyway.’

The bloke opens up a pack of Refreshers, chucks half of em in his mouth in one go, picks up his paper, and carries on readin.

I’m watchin Thommo lookin out the window, the fields goin by like they was movin faster than the train. And I’m wonderin if Thommo knows this time tomorrow he’ll be back in the nuthouse with the screamin and the bangin and the walls, and that the fields he’s lookin at now won’t even know he was ever here.

It’s still an hour before kick-off.  We’re up at the Holte End, me and Thommo, this massive fuck off terrace behind the goal. There’s Hammers comin in all the time, fillin it right up.

Thommo’s lookin at me with this stupid grin on his face. It’s the same grin he had as a kid, but it don’t mean nothing no more. It’s just his mouth doin a shape.

Apart from the writing, I’m also teaching novel writing for a second year on an Arts Council funded project for Barking and Dagenham Council, entitled Pen to Print. The idea is to take adults through the process of writing a novel.

It’s brilliant fun, and unbelievably rewarding.

So, that’s me 🙂

Bio: As well as being the author of One Day in the Life of Jason Dean, Ian has forty short stories published online and in print. His debut novel – Abide With Me – was published in 2012 by Caffeine Nights Publishing, and its sequel – April Skies – is to be published in April 2016.

Ian is a qualified counsellor, a creative writing tutor and runs his own editing business.

At weekends he works in a care home for adults with learning difficulties and mental health issues, whilst also indulging in his lifelong passion for the Mighty Dagenham and Redbridge Football Club.

Ian lives in Harold Hill, Essex, with his girlfriend, Karen, his three children, Mollie, Charlie, and Summer, and two guinea pigs by the name of Sanchez and Bob.

Richard Godwin

savage highwayMy novel Savage Highway was published this January. It is about abductions in Arizona, lawlessness, the criminal mind and revenge. Here is some Blurb.

Women are disappearing on the highway, a drifter hunts the men who raped her, and a journalist discovers law has broken down in the area.

On a remote highway in Arizona women are disappearing at truck stops. Journalist Johnny Sullivan travels to the area to investigate. He encounters hitchhiker Patty, who is being hunted by violent trucker Red. Patty tells Johnny of the local myth of the maniac trucker. Johnny also meets Valentino de La Cruz, a mysterious Mexican who is looking for his missing sister.

Valentino is having an affair with Natasha, the wife of recently murdered businessman, Theodore Mills, whose wealth funds the corrupt police force in the area. The local Highway Patrol is run by sexually sadistic Sam Roche and Franklin Norman and they want to put an end to Johnny’s snooping. Marshall Simmons knows a lot about the goings on in the area, and has a young woman captive in a house. He is reprogramming her identity. Meanwhile Johnny discovers that years previously serial killer Donald Lake disappeared in the area while in transit between prisons. And it seems he had police help. But what is being done to the women? And who is running the criminal organisation that controls the area? Savage Highways is about lawlessness and the hunt for justice in a no man’s land. Pedal to the floor all the way, the narrative speeds towards its stunning and unforeseeable conclusion.

If you are interested you can buy it here in the US

http://www.amazon.com/Savage-Highway-Richard-Godwin-ebook/product-reviews/B01AL7AC0O/ref=cm_cr_dp_synop?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=recent#R2FXA2C1ZUNEOI

And here in the UK

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Savage-Highway-Richard-Godwin-ebook/dp/B01AL7AC0O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1453201099&sr=8-1&keywords=Savage+Highway+by+richard+godwin

And you can listen to me talk about it on You Tube here

Richard Godwin Discusses His New Novel SAVAGE HIGHWAY

The year has really started with a bang and looks to continue that way, with the publication of my tenth novel, Ersatz World this month. It is about the age of surveillance and the rise of the digital revolution and how that may be eroding identity and be part of  a wider and more sinister social engineering programme with the ultimate goal of cloning humanity. Here is some Blurb.

Samuel Verso is an ordinary, old-fashioned publisher trying to resist the lure of e-books. As his wife fills the hallway with prosthetic limbs and his business partner is replaced with an exact replica he realises that his problems run deeper than books on a computer screen. But it is only when he is serially abducted, beaten and accused of terrorism that he understands it isn’t that he’s paranoid – it’s that he isn’t paranoid enough.

You can read more about it here

Guest blog: ERSATZ WORLD by Richard Godwin.

If you are interested you can buy it here in the US

http://www.amazon.com/Ersatz-World-Richard-Godwin/dp/1530025826/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1455956822&sr=8-2&keywords=Ersatz+World+by+richard+godwin

And here in the UK

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ersatz-World-Richard-Godwin/dp/1530025826/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1455957051&sr=8-1&keywords=ersatz+world+by+richard+godwin

ersatz worldNext month my novel, The Pure And The Hated is published. It is a Vermont based novel, a state I know well, and is about the nature of forgiveness in a corrupt world, redemption, the extent to which we can know anyone, even in a family structure, and moral compromise, something I think is definitively Noir and two words I think about a lot when writing Noir.

In June my novel Disembodied is published. It is narrated in four different genres and is about surveillance and espionage.

I will have up to eight novels released this year. In October

Buffalo And Sour Mash is published. It is about a man called Murphy Stubbs, who wants to bring the Wild West to Surrey. He organises an all-female rodeo show as part of his own dark and Southern psychosis. Coming all the way from Oklahoma, he brings with him a level of anarchy that rips through the tidy lives of the locals. Then there is Rhonda, his rodeo star and the woman who shakes it up. High drama in Surrey as it is transformed into a Southern state by a lunatic. It is a novel full of hustlers and low lifes. I am currently writing a sequel to both Wrong Crowd and it, involving the central characters of each novel.

My first novel Apostle Rising, is being translated into Slovenian and will be published in Slovenian in August or September.

I will also have a literary novel called The Artist published at some point.

Bio: Richard Godwin is the critically acclaimed author of Apostle Rising, Mr. Glamour, One Lost Summer, Noir City, Meaningful Conversations, Confessions Of A Hit Man, Paranoia And The Destiny Programme, Wrong Crowd, Savage Highway, Ersatz World, The Pure And The Hated, Disembodied, Buffalo And Sour Mash and Locked In Cages. His stories have been published in numerous paying magazines and over 34 anthologies, among them an anthology of his stories, Piquant: Tales Of The Mustard Man, and The Mammoth Book Of Best British Crime and The Mammoth Book Of Best British Mystery, alongside Lee Child. He was born in London and lectured in English and American literature at the University of London. You can find out more about him at his website www.richardgodwin.net , where you can read a full list of his works, and where you can also read his Chin Wags At The Slaughterhouse, his highly popular and unusual interviews with other authors.