Guest Blog: Not Guilty! Alibi 2018, September 28th – 30th by Renato Bratkovič

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Nothing surprises us anymore. Populism and fake news “prove” the world we knew will collapse any time. Migrants are not trying to escape heartless business models conceived by greedy arms dealers, they’re here to steal our jobs, rape our women and cut our heads off. Gay people lurk around every corner and threaten to infect our children who’ll also become homosexual. Right now, lizards are taking over the planet. And, yeah, the Earth is flat…

That’s what you can find out in the most reliable sources of social media. But here and there you can still find people who search for answers in literature. Answers about real life. Answers about people you’d never want to meet, but you empathize with anyway. About people who jeopardize everything to reach their goals, although you can tell from the start they’re not going to reach them. About people like … you and me.

So, another Alibi is over, another bunch of awesome people, not to talk about food and drink and what stories came out at the end.

This year we were kind of Balkan-themed: Johnny Shaw was in Croatia when we first talked about Alibi in January, Anamaria Ionescu is from Romania, and Marko Popovič & Robert Perišić, well we share the country that doesn’t exist anymore. And we represent Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia in the BalkaNoir anthology published by Greek publisher Kastaniotis Editions.

For me, Alibi means having an alibi for three days of shameless eating and drinking … And writing, of course, the third day means reading what you wrote in front of an audience. Check it out.

Again a group of fine people got together ― I’m not sure whether I have such luck in picking just the right people or is just every crime and noir writer a wonderful person?

Again some fine stories came out of the mix of hard work, earthly pleasures and mutual inspiration. Find them here.

In two years, a very special thing is going to happen: all the writers will get together again and celebrate the Alibi Anthology, where all the stories from 2015 to 2019 are published together.

PS: If you’re at Frankfurt Book Fair, visit the panel on Balkan Noir where I’m one of the speakers.

No One Is Innocent at Retreats From Oblivion.

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Noir Con‘s online journal –Retreats From Oblivion– have published a slice of my Brit Grit called No One Is Innocent.

‘Marjorie shuffled through the door to the snug and switched on the lights. She pressed a button and the dusty Wurlitzer jukebox burst to life. Jane Morgan belted out ‘The Day The Rains Came.’ In French.

Check out the rest here, if you fancy

Recommended Read: Confessions Of An English Psychopath by Jack D McLean

confessionsLawrence Odd is a psychopath with a long history of committing violent crimes and he is more than happy to be recruited as an assassin by the Cleansing Department – a particularly shady branch of the British Secret Service. All goes swimmingly until Lawrence discovers the Cleansing Department’s darkest secret.

Jack D. McLean‘s  witty, quirky thriller Confessions Of An English Psychopath is fast moving, funny, violent and a hell of a lot of fun.

Imagine a lethal cocktail of The Ipcress File, The Prisoner, Monty Python, and A  Confederacy Of Dunces, and you’re halfway there.

A belter!

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.

Recommended Read: Untethered by John Bowie

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John, the protagonist of Untethered, is a man with a dark and secret past who is living a new life under witness protection.  As he sits alone in his flat, drinking and writing in his journal, John becomes embroiled in the search for a missing neighbour.

John Bowie’s ’90s set Untethered is a violent and inense read. Lyrical, moody, funny and as gritty as hell, Untethered is like a British blend of Jim Thompson and Nelson Algren.

Recommended Read: A Citizen Of Nowhere by Seth Lynch

a citizen of nowhereSeth Lynch’s cracking debut novel has recently been republished by Farhenheit Press  and  has been given a new title, as well as a tasty new cover.

A CITIZEN OF NOWHERE is part historical detective story and part character study reminiscent of Maugham’s The Razor’s Edge,

It is richly cinematic and completely enthralling, with a great sense of time and place, as well as a great deal of wry humour.

Recommended Read: Squeeze by Chris Rhatigan

squeezeLionel Kaspar quits his safe-but-dull health department job and bullshits his way into a journalist’s position at a local newspaper.  However, Kaspar soon realises that it’s much easier – and more profitable- to just make up stories rather than do any actual reporting.

Chris Rhatigan’s Squeeze is just great. Lionel Kaspar is one of the sleaziest and most amoral fictional creations of recent times and easily one of of the most enjoyable. Imagine Melville’s Bartleby crossed with Henry Chinaski and Tom Ripley and you’re halfway there.

Squeeze is smart, askew,  laugh out loud funny, and, of course, not for those of a delicate sensibility.

Five stars.

Meet Last Year’s Man Next Year!

adrI’m more than somewhat chuffed that ALL DUE RESPECT will be publishing my novella LAST YEAR’S MAN in June 2018. I’ll tell you more about that anon but for now you can take a gander at ALL DUE RESPECT’s current publishing schedule.

Outlaws by Matt Phillips (Dec. 15 2017)
Street Whispers by Liam Sweeny (Feb. 2018)
Dead Guy in the Bathtub by Paul Greenberg (March 2018)
Sunk Costs by Preston Lang (May 2018)
Last Year’s Man by Paul D. Brazill (June 2018)
A Taste of Shotgun by Chris Orlet (July 2018)
Repetition Kills You by Tom Leins (September 2018)
Welcome to HolyHell by Math Bird (October 2018)
Gravy Train by Tess Makovesky (November 2018)

Shots Of Polski Noir

katarzyna BondaFor a country with such a relatively low crime rate, crime fiction is more than somewhat popular in Poland. Polish television is as cluttered with corpses as its British and US counterparts and if you walk into Empik, or any of the country’s many book shops, you immediately spot the kryminał and sensacja sections. The shelves are choc-full of police procedurals, cozies, thrillers, and their various hybrids. There are lots of books by foreign authors there, of course, especially the ubiquitous Nordic noirs. But there’s plenty of home-grown talent, too. Most of whom have yet to be translated into English – though not for long, I suspect.

Here are a few shots of Polski Noir to give you a taster:

k bondaKatarzyna Bonda is a journalist and scriptwriter whose novels have all become best-sellers in Poland. Her books include the Hubert Meyer trilogy (The Case of Nina Frank, Only the Dead Don’t Lie, The Florist), the true crime books Polish Murderesses, and An Imperfect Crime, as well as a textbook entitled The Writing Machine. However, her most successful novel series stars the female profiler Sasza Załuska: Girl at MidnightThe White Mercedes, and Lanterns. Girl at Midnight received the Audience Award at the 2015 International Crime Festival, while The White Mercedes won the 2015 Empik Bestseller Award. Foreign rights to the books have been purchased by the likes of Hodder & Stoughton and Random House.

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S. M. Borowiecky has been compared to Dan Brown, James Patterson, Paula Hawkins and Stephen King. She followed up her bestselling debut Ani Żadnej Rzeczy (Or Anything) with Która Jego Jest (Who is he?), which has also been a great success.

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Mary Sue Ann was born in a small town in Silesia. In the dark evenings she writes dark novels. Zabójcza podświadomość (The Murderous Subconscious) is a paranormal crime novel. The action takes places in Los Angeles where a serial killer targets woman who are in advanced stages of pregnancy. Real estate agent Laura Kovalsky one day receives a strange phone call that shakes her stable world. Will a little boy with paranormal abilities be able to help Laura, the police and the FBI catch the killer?

23140438_1134969006634123_107251585_nJacek Ostrowski AKA Jack Sharp is a Polish writer who specializes in dark fantasy noir with a strong gothic atmosphere.

His best known books are Posiadlosc w Portovenere (The Mansion In Portovenere), UT, Transplantacja (Transplantation) and Mezczyzna z tatuazem (The Man With The Tattoo).23158006_1134968249967532_1631462797_o

His most recent novel Ostatnia wizyta (The Very Last Visit) is based on the true story of an unsolved kidnapping that took place in communist Poland.

It shouldn’t be long before all of these authors are translated in English so keep a beady, bloodshot eye out for them.

A Case Of Noir is FREE !

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A Case Of Noir

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 blackly comic international noir from Paul D. Brazill.

You can grab it for FREE from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk or any other Amazon you fancy.