Category Archives: Nick Kolakowski

Recommended Reads: April 2017

Some recent faves …

The Things I Love Will Kill Me Yet by Rob Piercethe things i love

Rob Pierce is surely the noir Raymond Carver. In this brutal and brilliant short story collection you’ll find a veritable cornucopia of tightly written and gritty tales of people living on the razor’s edge of life.

Highly recommended.

Fun City Punch by James Newman fun city punch

James Newman’s latest spin on the private eye novel is a potent piece of futuristic noir. Fun City Punch is winding and twisting tale that vividly blends Beat poetry and pulp prose to create something quite special.

A Man With One Of Those Faces by Caimh McDonnell

a man with one of those facesFast-moving and hilarious, McDonnell’s knockabout crime caper is a joy from start to finish. Great characters, fantastic dialogue and full of twists and tuns, I bloody loved it.

A Brutal Bunch of Heartbroken Saps by Nick Kolakowski a brutal bunch of heartbroken saps

Kolakowski follows up his cracking debut short story collection with a full-on slice of hard-boiled pulp fiction. Blackly comic, violent and jam-packed with richly drawn characters, A Brutal Bunch Of Heartbroken Saps  is a hell of a read.



Short, Sharp Interview: Nick Kolakowski

somebody's trying to kill mePDB: Can you pitch SOMEBODY’S TRYING TO KILL ME in 25 words or less?

Noir short stories: Stolen rifles! Murderous supermodels! Vengeful old ladies! People breaking into prison! Broke Brooklyn writer plays detective and pays for it, bloodily!

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

In terms of television shows, “Breaking Bad” stands at the top of that list: Walter White’s transition from Mr. Chips to Scarface has the sweep of a great novel. With regard to movies, “The Usual Suspects” is the one I’d give my left arm to have written.

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

“A Nice Pair of Guns,” the short story that leads off my latest collection, is probably the most cinematic. It features a morally compromised bounty hunter who’s forced to take some pretty drastic measures after the local meth kingpin steals his rifles as collateral. Those measures include a rocket launcher.

PDB: Who are the great American writers?

Those among the living, when it comes to crime: Richard Price, David Simon, David Milch, Don Winslow.  

PDB: What’s on the cards?

My upcoming novella from One Eye Press, “A Brutal Bunch of Heartbroken Saps,” is due in March 2017. It’s a modern riff on the classic ‘man walks into the wrong town’ plot, with a hefty dose of Midwestern weirdness and an assassin who dresses like Elvis. I like to think it would make a pretty good B-movie, if anyone ever adapted it.

PDB: Anything else?

Support your local indie press! They need the readers.

Bio:  Nick Kolakowski’s crime fiction has appeared in Thuglit, Shotgun Honey, Out of the Gutter, Crime Syndicate Magazine, and other venues. Many of those tales appear in “Somebody’s Trying to Kill Me,” his latest book of short stories.

Nick Kolakowski Reviews The Last Laugh

last laugh new (1)
The Last Laugh

Over at, Nick Kolakowski says:

 Paul D. Brazill is one of the best practitioners of Brit Noir working today. Even his worst scumbags are relatable and all too human. They joke, they die, they torture one another, they come up with schemes that seem all too perfect before they implode, and they drink. Man, do they drink. These stories are hilarious when they need to be, but Brazill can also seamlessly switch gears into the bloodcurdling and hardcore. Highlights from this collection:

“Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One” – hits a nice Ted Lewis level. Unsentimental, brutal.

“The Last Laugh” – Let’s just say that ennui is a killer.

“The Postman Cometh” – talk about going out with a bang.

All the stories in here are good, which isn’t something you often find in your typical crime-fiction collection. If you’re looking for a good journey through the underbelly of Brit Noir, this is your book.

Nick Kolakowski Reviews Cold London Blues

CLB---3d-stack_d400Over at Goodreads, Nick Kolakowski says:

‘A fantastic book that combines some of the best elements of Brit noir. If you’re a fan of films like ‘Sexy Beast’ or anything Mike Hodges did over the past thirty years, you’ll find a lot to like in these pages. At the same time, though, Brazill’s voice is wholly original. His characters are funny and dangerous without turning into cliches or clowns, and his plots zoom along at a nice clip.’

Recommended Read: Somebody’s Trying to Kill Me: 17 Noir Tales by Nick Kolakowski

somebody's trying to kill meIn Somebody’s Trying to Kill Me – the fantastic novella that this collection takes its title from- a down-on-his-luck writer is asked to help out an old friend and is quickly and violently dragged out of his depth. The collection is worth it for this story alone. Somebody’s Trying to Kill Me is full of great characters, sharp twists and sly humour, worthy of early Elmore Leonard.

But Kolakowski is no slouch when it comes to the shorter pieces, either. Somebody’s Trying to Kill Me: 17 Noir Tales is a rich brew of hardboiled crime stories and flash fiction.

Favorites – along with the title tale – are the high-octane opener A Nice Pair Of Guns,  A Bad Day In Boat Repo , Dee The Friendly Grizzly’s Little Miracle,  and Whoops, all of which mix humour and grit with ease.

Somebody’s Trying to Kill Me: 17 Noir Tales by Nick Kolakowski is a hell of a collection and highly recommended.