‘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.
Ace transgressive fiction writer Mark Ramsden has some nice things to say about my writing and then we have a little natter:
‘In the mid 20th century there were light-hearted crime novels about decent chaps with a taste for adventure. The Saint. The Toff. Perhaps, like Paul Temple, they had a cockney manservant and lived in Mayfair. Mr Brazill’s comedic capers are generally set somewhere less salubrious. Perhaps a grim seaside town, where laconic losers drink super strength lager, which might be stored in their pockets for later – not much later at all.
Instead of a search for the Maltese Falcon a vile gangster wants to know which of his girls are offering, against his wishes, a ‘full service’.
The one liners come thick and fast. ‘”I’m as honest as the day is long”. If you live in Iceland.’
‘The silence dragged like a BNP voter’s knuckles.’
There’s nifty descriptions: ‘He had salt and pepper hair that erred on the side of Saxa, and his face had that scrubbed-by-a-Brillo Pad look favoured by football mangers like Sir Alex Ferguson.’
It’s realistically sleazy and gritty but with enough humour so you don’t need to drown your sorrows – unlike Paul’s protagonists.
Like his Too Many Crooks there’s a sly metafictional flavour but it’s gentle and playful. It won’t strip the enamel off your teeth, like some of the beverages consumed herein.
In short, an original homebrew with a kick. Well worth sampling.
MR Your earliest influence, writers you most admire?
PB Well, I wasn’t a book person as a kid so the first writers I noticed were comic writers like Stan Lee, Steve Gerber, and music writers like Jane Suck and Paul Morley. Monty Smith’s film stuff for the New Musical Express was essential reading. After that, the ‘grown up’ books were by Dorothy Parker, Graham Greene, Kurt Vonnegut and Elmore Leonard – the latter due to an NME article by Charles Shaar Murray.’
Read the rest here.
Over at Amazon.com, Kevin McNamara says:
‘I very much enjoyed this gem from Mr. Brazill. A fast set of interwoven stories about a man on the run from his past. Set in several European countries, our “hero” stumbles into awkward situations and somehow seems to extricate himself in one piece. There are twist and turns and humor as well. Highly recommended!’
Publishers Weekly have reviewed my book Last Year’s Man– which is due out in June from All Due Respect / Down & Out Books.
And it’s a good one, too!
‘Tommy Bennett, the narrator of this violent, darkly funny short novel from Brazill (A Case of Noir), is nearing 60 and the end of his unlikely career as a killer-for-hire. After two jobs go bad and a couple of crooked cops pressure him for his services in London, he decides it’s time to retreat to Seatown, his birthplace, in northeast England. After getting off the train, Tommy, who has a weakness for drink, enters the first pub he sees, the Tap and Spile (“inevitably nicknamed the Spinal Tap back in the bad-old-good-old days”), where he witnesses an assault in the men’s room. When the police show up, he polishes off his pint and leaves. Outside the pub, he’s nearly run over by his grown daughter, Tamsin, on her motor bike. Tommy’s happy reunion with Tamsin leads to his reconnecting with less savory people from his past, including psychopathic gangster Drella and Drella’s drug-dealing sidekick, Sniffy, who enlist him in a scheme that could be his last. In lieu of a plot, Brazill offers a series of amusing episodes filled with breezy banter in this offbeat slice of British noir.’
THE ELECTRIC STORM podcast take a 60 SECOND look at A CASE OF NOIR in their WORDS ON WORDS spot and say some very nice things about it indeed!
Check it out!
BRISTOL NOIR takes a gander at GUNS OF BRIXTON and says:
‘Rich quick-fire dialogue full of colorful characters fill each page from start to finish. Their words are all delivered like solid noir gold bricks; bang, bang, bang; building up a wall of intermixed noir screwball fun that leaves you looking forward to the final bite…but also hoping it doesn’t end.’
Read the rest of the review HERE.
And over at Amazon.com, Dee Arr gives A CASE OF NOIR a 5 STAR review and says:
‘The book contains five short stories, although the stories are more like chapters that serve to reveal related bits of Luke’s life. Mr. Brazill writes a form of pulp fiction, though it is laden with talent and does what it should do: makes you laugh, makes you cringe, makes you squirm…and definitely makes you want to reach for the next book in the series. Five stars.’
Read the rest of the review HERE.
‘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”
Over at at Amazon.com, Ethan Hobart reviews my short story Drunk On the Moon, which has also been tranlated into Slovenian by Renato Bratkovic, if you fancy it.
He says it’s a ‘Briskly paced, darkly comic horror/P. I. mashup.’
Over at GOODREADS , Chris says:
‘Luke Case is a “journalist” adrift in an expat’s sea of booze, smoke, sex, shady characters and shadier dealings. He hops around Europe running from his past, but you can’t run forever. Or maybe you can? Doesn’t matter. This is more excellent entertainment from PDB, who makes for a top tour guide.’
Over at Goodreads, ace Brit Grit writer Martin Stanley says:
‘Fast moving, funny, crime caper with Brazill’s usual abundance of wordplay, in-jokes, and crooks looking to get one-over on each other. It is a mix of the Quentin Tarantino multi-character McGuffin (in this case, of a Nazi ring) and a Carry-On film. It never takes itself seriously and is all the more entertaining for it. Highly recommended.’
Over at Amazon.com, e.hobart says:
‘Paul Brazill is fast becoming one of my favorite crime fiction writers. This one is another winning combination of humor, suspense and action.’
Over at Amazon.com, Lizzie says:
‘Gangsters looking for good help. Cops looking for a good time. A private detective looking for an alcoholic crime writer. A young man looking for his father. How Paul Brazill ties these threads together makes for an entertaining novella.’
Over at the Amazons, he says:
‘Brazill is a master of noir fiction’
Read the rest here.