Category Archives: pulp

Recommended Read: Bad Luck City by Matt Phillips

bad luck cityJaded Las Vegas hack Sim Palmer is approached by a stranger in a bar and asked to look into the disappearance of a young girl.

Twists, turns and violence quickly ensue in a classic slice of atmospheric, brutal, fast-paced pulp fiction.

Matt Phillips’ Bad Luck City is a whip crack of a read and is highly recommended.

Switchblade Magazine – The Line Up

SWITCHBLADE First Issue Lineup:

Arriving in early March of 2017, and featuring a motley crew of noir fiction usual suspects, along with some new blood; here are the lucky thirteen.

The eight short fiction authors, and five flash fiction authors who will appear in the very first cut of SWITCHBLADE:

Tom Leins
Liam Sweeny
Patrick Bates
Travis Richardson
Preston Lang
Steve Liskow
William Dylan Powell
Larry Kelter
Paul D. Brazil
Jim Wilsky
Fred Zackel
Scotch Rutherford
Susan Cornford

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!

#FRIDAY FLASH: Seven Minutes To Midnight

 

Hinkson’s tired, dog tired, but he can’t fall asleep. Can’t let himself drift off into the warm, comforting womb of his unconscious. It’s seven minutes to midnight and the brothers will be here at the witching hour, for sure. Same as last night and the previous night.

The motel room is dark except for the faint light from an old transistor radio that is tuned to a classical music station. Hinkson sits in an old rocking chair, eyes closed. A sawn-off shotgun across his lap. A half-empty bottle of whisky on the table beside him. He opens his eyes, leans over and unsteadily lifts the bottle to his lips. Takes a little sip. Closes his eyes again for a moment. Drifts away.

The slam of a car door drags him back to reality. He peels back the blinds. The motel’s neon sign flickers. Snow falls like confetti and the brothers stand in front of their battered BMW. They’re dressed in black, as always. Overcoats, flat caps. Black leather gloves. They are illuminated by a string of Christmas lights that encircle the car park. They take something out of the car boot, slam it shut then slowly trudge across the snow smothered car park, looking like shadows.  Larry leads the way. Lloyd and Lee either side of him, as usual.

Hinkson rummages in his jacket pocket and fishes out an amphetamine tablet. Pops it in his mouth and washes it down with the whisky.

A church bell chimes.

*

Lloyd span the BMW into the side street, narrowly missing an old woman with a tartan shopping trolley as she dragged herself across the street.

Lee, his massive frame jammed into the passenger seat, giggled.

‘For fuck’s sake, that was close. Nearly got ten points,’ he said.

‘Only five points for a coffin-dodger,’ said Lloyd.

Harsh winter sunlight was pouring through the shattered windscreen and he was sweating like a pig.

‘Focus, lads,’ croaked Larry. ‘Focus.’

He was slouched in the back seat, blood pouring from a shotgun wound in his stomach. Hinkson had covered the wound with a towel but it was already soaked red.

‘This’ll have to do for now,’ said Hinkson. ‘Fucks knows what I’m doing, though.’

‘Thought you were medically qualified,’ said Lee, his speed-freak eyes dancing a tarantella.

‘First Aid certificate from when I worked at the swimming baths,’ said Hinkson.

‘Beggars can’t be choosers,’ said Lee.

Sirens screamed in the distance as they pulled up in front of The Royal Oak. The pub was stained with graffiti, its windows boarded up. A rusty metal shutter was pulled down over the front door.

Lee rushed out of the car and pulled up the shutter while Lloyd dragged a black holdall out of the car boot. Hinkson eased the groaning Larry out of the car and into the darkened pub. Lloyd followed, struggling with the holdall.

‘I’ll hide the car round the back while you phone Doc Holloway, then,’ said Lee.

‘Most sensible thing you’ve said all day,’ said Lloyd.

Lee stopped as his hand gripped the car door handle. He glared at Lloyd.

‘Do not blame me for this, bro,’ he said. ‘Understand?’

‘Whatever,’ said Lloyd. ‘Just get a move on’

He pulled down the shutters with a bang.

*

The radio’s batteries are dying and the music and lights are fading. The brothers are outside the motel room’s door now. Hinkson can hear Lee trying to suppress his giggles. Larry is breathing heavily. Hinkson pats the holdall.

There is a knock at the door.

‘Three strikes and you’re out,’ rasps Larry. ‘I’m growing impatient. I’m not a well man.’

The radio dies and the room is completely dark, silent. Except for the sound of Hinkson’s heartbeat which seems loud enough to make his head explode.

*

The day had melted into night. Lee and Lloyd were crashed out on the sofa, bottles of vodka drained and littering the floor. Larry was knocked out by the morphine administered by Dr Holloway. A police siren dragged Hinkson from his slumber. Seemed to be getting nearer. Hinkson looked at the black holdall and did what he always knew he would  do. He picked it up and left.

*

The hammering on the door is getting louder. Hinkson opens the holdall. Pours the last of the whisky over its contents. Takes out a lighter and sets fire a toilet roll. Puts it in the bag and puts the bag in front of the door.

He stands and picks up the shotgun as the front door bursts open.

‘Bring it on,’ he says, as he presses the trigger.

(Seven Minutes To Midnight first appeared at Pulp Metal Magazine)

Sheila, Take A Bow at The Flash Fiction Offensive.

ffo-badge-finalI’m flashing at OUT OF THE GUTTER‘s FLASH FICTION OFFENSIVE again.

She’s lost the plot again. It’s the third time this week. Sheila should never have come off her meds in the first place and now she’s just bounced straight back onto the cider. In fact, she’s bouncing around my front room at the moment, smashing into the telly, and knocking over the ornaments. As she waves a bottle of White Lightning cider around, I fear for the glass coffee table. I really do.’

Read the rest of SHEILA, TAKE A BOW here.

#FRIDAY FLASH: The Company Man

Jose opened the waiting room door. Six men, wearing grey suits identical to his, were sat staring straight ahead. Their hands were palm down on their knees. Jose walked in and took a seat next to the reception desk.  He put his hands on his knees and sniffed. He sniffed again.

‘Would you like a tissue?’ said Margot the receptionist, offering a box of lemon-scented handkerchiefs.

‘No thank you,’ said Jose, without looking at her. ‘It’s the bleach. I smell bleach.’

One of the men looked at his hands and sniffed them. Margot sighed and took out her iPhone. She put in her ear plugs, hoping to drown out the sniffing sounds with The Saints’ ‘Swing For The Crime.’

Fifteen minutes later, the red telephone on Margo’s desk flashed. She picked up the receiver and put it to her ear. She listened, nodding occasionally.

‘Of course, Mr Tipple,’ she said.

She hung up and cleared her throat.

The men all leaned forward and stared at Margot.

‘Jose please go through,’ she said.

The shadow of a smirk briefly crossed Jose’s face.

He got up and walked through a door marked The Director.

***

Mr Tipple’s office was dark. He sat behind his mahogany desk breathing heavily.  Behind him was a large window. Its blinds were pulled down. Tipple switched on an Anglepoise lamp. He was well dressed, as always, and held a gold fountain pen in his hand.

‘Please take a seat, Jose,’ said Mr Tipple. ‘I’ll be two ticks.’

Jose sat and waited until Mr Tipple had finished signing a wad of papers. He pressed a button on his desk and Margot came into the room and collected the documents.

Tipple waited until Margot left and nodded at Jose.

‘The thing is,’ said Mr Tipple. ‘The thing is …’

He leaned across the desk and looked Jose in the eye.

‘The thing is, Jose, we have to let you go,’ said Mr Tipple.

He smiled, looking uncomfortable.

Jose blinked and said.

‘I understand,’

‘Please take this to Col in supplies and he will arrange everything connected with your … departure.’

Jose took the slip of yellow paper from The Director and stood. As he went to open the door, he turned and looked at Mr Tipple.

‘Thank you, sir,’ he said.

Mr Tipple nodded.

‘Good luck, Jose,’ he said.

***

Col’s office was small and cramped. It was stuffed with metal filing cabinets and cardboard boxes.  Col was big and ginger. He smelt of Cuban cigars although no one in The Company was allowed to smoke.

Jose gave the slip of paper to Col who rubber stamped it and put it in a filing cabinet. He took a small wooden box from another cabinet and handed it to Jose.

‘Check this and sign it,’ said Col.

Jose opened the box. He took out the Glock, inspected it and put it back in the box.

‘It’s fine,’ he said.

Col gave him a sheet of pink paper. Jose signed it and gave it back to Col, who stamped it and filed it away.

‘Is this your first field trip?’ said Col.

‘It is.’

‘Well, keep an eye on those expenses, eh?’ said Col. ‘We’re not made of money.’

He winked.

***

Noelle’s Bistro was dark and red. Vivaldi’s Four Seasons leaked from a small CD player. An old married couple sat near the window, holding hands and watching the rain soaked street outside. A skinny business man maniacally tapped at his iPhone.

Jose sat at a small table near the door. He had finished his spaghetti carbonara and was halfway through a glass of Maison Surrenne Cognac when Sir David came in, shaking his black umbrella and spraying the room with autumn rain. As the petit waitress fussed around him, Jose went to the toilet. Five minutes later he came back out and shot everyone in the room. Twice, just to be on the safe side.

As he left the bistro, he picked up his blood splattered bill from his table and put it in his wallet. He’d need that for his expenses claim.

© Paul D. Brazill.

 

AJOKORTTI HELVETTIIN

finnish-anthoOut now,  AJOKORTTI HELVETTIIN is a Finnish language crime fiction/ flash fiction anthology  edited by Juri Nummelin, of the acclaimed Pulpetti blog.

Juri says: Ajokortti helvettiin (“License to Hell”, according to the short story the title was taken from), is a collection of flash fiction stories I published in my short-lived Ässä magazine (plus three new stories from Rob Hart, Stephen D. Rogers and Anthony Neil Smith).’

There are also stories from the likes of  Joe R. Lansdale, Patrica Abbott, Ray Banks, Keith Rawson, and even me!

Get it here!

Recommended Read: Chase Baker and The Vikings’ Secret by Benjamin Sobieck and Vincent Zandri

chase bakerAction- man Chase Baker agrees to help a beautiful Chinese journalist find The Pit, which is said to be guarded by a mythical beast known as The Wendigo.

But all is not as it seems.

The book’s eponymous hero was created by Vincent Zandri but Chase Baker and The Vikings’ Secret ,the fifth book in the series, sees Benjamin Sobieck take the reins with great aplomb as he delivers a fast-paced, funny, action-fueled adventure story that quickly gets under your skin.

Recommended Read: Kill Em With Kindness by CS DeWildt

kill em with kindnessNick is a small-town, small-time dope dealer who is haunted by the death of his wife. One night at his local bar, he helps out a local gangster’s girlfriend and finds himself dragged into a world of violence.

CS DeWildt’s Kill Em With Kindness is a classic modern noir. Brutal, cruel, blackly funny, and even moving at times, Kill Em With Kindness grabs you by the lapels from the very start and drags you on a twisted journey through a small town’s circles of hell.

Recommended Read: Orchard Grove by Vincent Zandri

orchard groveDown on his luck screenwriter Ethan Forrester is home all day recovering from a foot injury and trying to break his writer’s block when he starts to spy on his beautiful neighbor Lana. This soon  develops into an obsession. But Lana has dark secrets of her own.

Vincent Zandri’s Orchard Grove is great stuff. It’s like a lethal cocktail of Jim Thompson, film noir, ’80’s action movies, and Brian De Palma.

The story twists and turns tightly before spiraling off into a high-octane climax. Orchard Grove is cracking, page-turning fun.

Out Now! Kill Me Quick! by Paul D. Brazill

kill me quick coverWe’re all lying in the gutter. But some of us are staring at the spaces between the stars…

Seatown may not have a lot going for it – apart from the Roy Orbison lookalikes and Super Seventies Special every Thursday night, of course – but it is at least the place Mark Hammonds calls home. And after a decade away, it’s the place he returns to when he has nowhere else to go.

From dead bikers to dodgy drug deals, from one downbeat bar to another, from strippers to gangsters and back again: the luckless former musician bounces from one misdeed to the next along with a litany of old acquaintances, almost as though he never left. And if only he can shake off everybody who wants to kill, maim or otherwise hurt him, maybe he could even think about staying.

After all, there’s no place like home, eh?

Praise for Paul D. Brazill:
“If you took Ken Bruen’s candor, the best of Elmore Leonard’s dialogues, sprinkled in some Irvine Welsh, and dragged it all through the dirtiest ditch in South London, the result will be something akin to Brazill’s writing.” – Gabino Iglesias (author of Zero Saints and Gutmouth)
“Visceral, foul-mouthed and blisteringly funny, Paul D Brazill creates a sleazy underworld inhabited by dodgy London geezers, Geordie hard men and the occasional shark. Highly recommended.” – Lesley Ann Sharrock (author of The Seventh Magpie)
“A broad range of cultural strands come together in the melting pot and form a delicious stew of criminal adventure… The observations are sharp and the characters create small nuclear explosions as they collide with each other.” – Nigel Bird (author of Southsiders)
“Unashamedly entertains you while sticking two fingers right up in your stupid face.” – Ryan Bracha (author of Strangers Are just Friends You Haven’t Killed Yet)
“The brilliantly named characters, crackling dialogue and dark humour jump out.” – Keith Nixon (author of The Fix and I’m Dead Again)

Number Thirteen Press is publishing 13 crime novellas by 13 top crime authors, from November 2014.

Get Kill Me Quick! from Amazon.co.uk  or Amazon.com or any other Amazon.

Recommended Read: Cars and Girls by Various Artists

cars and girlsCars and Girls is a brutal pulp fiction anthology featuring, well,  cars, girls and a hell of a lot more.

The first story, Zoe Spencer’s 500, is a tight, hard-boiled revenge yarn reminiscent of the early Matt Helm books.  Tee Tyson’s Roadrunner is the story of Holly Hellbound, fresh out of the slammer with unfinished business to sort out. Madeline Harvey’s Barracuda has a small-town waitress taking revenge on behalf of her younger sister. Evangeline Jennings’ remarkable Crown Victoria is a classic lovers-on-the run story with a twist of the blackest noir.

Every story in Cars and Girls is a sharp, hard gem. Violent, lurid and sometimes touching, Cars and Girls is highly recommended.