Category Archives: Reviews

Graham Wynd Reviews Big City Blues

Big City Blues
Big City Blues

And says:

‘They’re coming fast and furious from Paul D. Brazill: it’s another cracking Near to the Knuckle novella from Mr B, the hardest working man in Brit Grit. This is #9 in the series and like the others a rip-snorter of mayhem and it’s got plenty of humour.

Big City Blues ranges across Europe and over to the colonies, or at least New York, which is a world of its own. Brazill always like a sprawling jumble of wild threads which he slowly knits together over the course of the unpredictable events and connections. Even his Seatown stories make the small burg feel complex. It’s not like wild coincidences either; it’s more like Six Degrees of Separation — or in this case, maybe only three degrees.

There’s a joyful abundance that teeters on the baroque: old cons, old cops, young geezers, unpredictable collisions of desire and convenience, and always sudden bone-crunching violence lurking around the next corner. Some of the jokes my grandfather would know but with a twist that makes them new again, and so many original observations that had me laughing out loud with surprise. And don’t tell anybody but hiding in between the laughs, the grimaces, the double crossing and the name dropping, you’ll find heart-searing observations about the walking wounded and some prose that will knock your socks off:

The night had draped itself over the city, and the moon bit into the sky. He stopped on the neon-soaked street to breathe in the sultry air. He could smell the lust, the sin and the decay.

A shard of sunlight sliced through the blinds, picking out specks of dust that floated in the air. An old electric kettle boiled in another room. A refrigerator hummed. A dishwasher chugged dully. A mangy black and white cat strolled across the newly polished bar before curling up on a wooden bar stool and going to sleep.’

Updates! An Interview, A Review, and Tony Hancock

too-many-crooks
Too Many Crooks

Over at SOLARCIDE I’m interviewed by NATHAN PETTIGREW and talk about TOO MANY CROOKS, London, boozing and more.

Pubs and alcohol are main characters in your work. When an idea for a story comes to you, does it already start in that setting? Are your characters already there having drinks when they are first conceived?

Ah. Well, as someone who has spent far too much of his life in pubs it seems a natural setting. It’s not a great stretch. Also, when people go to pubs they usually talk- or they did before WiFi Hotspots- and they usually talk rubbish, which can be pretty funny. I like to think I write absurdist fiction and most people in pubs are absurd or say something absurd at some part of the night.

Read the rest here.

TOM LIENS has a new feature at his blog where writers talk about their influences.  I plump for TONY HANCOCK. hancock460.jpg

Tony Hancock – the easiest comedian for charades – and I share the same birthday, May 12th. Whether or not we share the same death day remains to be seen, of course, and let’s just hope we can put that little fact-finding mission on hold for a while, eh?

Read the rest here.

And Tom also gives TOO MANY CROOKS  a tidy review.

If you can imagine a Guy Ritchie film re-cast with Carry On actors, you will come close to understanding this book’s offbeat charm!

Read the rest here.

Susan Hampson Reviews A Case Of Noir

a-case-of-noir-n2tk
A Case Of Noir

Over at BOOKS FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, Susan Hampson says:

‘This is just the second Paul Brazill book that I have read but I have already gone on to buy another two. Absolutely brilliant writing. I really am loving these books. So very highly recommended and addictive.’

Read the rest here. 

 

Ray Foster Reviews Too Many Crooks

too-many-crooks
Too Many Crooks

Over at Amazon.co.uk , ace western writer Ray Foster says:

This is pure, solid Paul D Brazill. With the action switching from London to Warsaw and back it is a dark humoured journey laced with death and double-dealing. An experience.

David Nemeth Reviews A Case Of Noir

a-case-of-noir-n2tk
A Case Of Noir

And says:

‘Reading Brazill gave me the same sort of enjoyment I get when reading Jim Thompson, characters filling their desperation with alcohol, fornication, and crime. As with Thompson, Brazill knows that the human condition is weak and is punctuated with violence and/or death.’

Read the rest here.

 

More 5 STAR Reviews For Too Many Crooks

too-many-crooks
Too Many Crooks

Over at Amazon.com, Hector Duarte Jr says:

on March 7, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition

Paul Brazill gives us another slice of Brit Grit in the unique style only he can wield. With characters ranging the class, (and moral), spectrum, Too Many Crooks is just that. A tale of too many people chasing the wrong kind of loot. Think, it’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad World but with a couple more of those adjectives thrown in there.

Settle in, pour yourself a couple of pints, and get ready for a mad, fun dash through Europe’s seedy– and oft-times funny–underbelly.

 

And Chris Rhatigan says:

on March 7, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
Plenty of gallows humor and dive bars in this short, sharp read that alternates between London and Poland. Another winner from Brazill.

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 

Pat McDonald Reviews Too Many Crooks

too-many-crooks
Too Many Crooks

Over at the Amazons, crime writer Pat McDonald says:

on February 20, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
Cherchez the valuable and original Nazi Totenkopfring a death head ring purported to be owned by Himmler whom it is reputed gave away copies to his SS favourites. The search to find the genuine article swings back and forth from London to Warsaw, and is interspersed with violent vendettas to be settled in a way only Mr Brazill can imagine. The characters are straight out of the ‘essential guide to the underworld’ making you wonder how they survived for so long.
Another noir comedy (more tongue in cheek than slapstick) where the women are beautiful but dangerous – you just have to love that – and Boots or Rimmell would love to sponsor their own range of red lipstick! An explosive ending that you just can’t miss. Nice one, keep them coming! Pat McDonald British Crime Author.

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.

Martin Stanley Reviews Kill Me Quick!

kill me quick cover
Kill Me Quick

Over at Amazon.co.uk, Martin Stanley reviews Kill Me Quick!

‘5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining crime caper
By M Stanley on 6 Feb. 2017

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

You can always rely on Paul Brazill for a nifty turn of phrase, a superb one-liner, or a nice piece of description. He also delivers cool plots and memorable characters and Kill Me Quick is no exception. When an aging two-hit wonder musician gets his hand busted in London he returns to a seedy town on the northeast coast (basically Hartlepool in everything but name) and gets caught up in all manner of nefarious hijinks. It’s short tale with plenty of meat on its bones and more entertainment per page than many writers in an entire book. If you haven’t read Brazill yet then what the hell are you waiting for. A cracking comic thriller from a master of the form.’

Warren Stalley Reviews Too Many Crooks

too-many-crooksOver at Amazon.co.uk Warren Stalley says:

5.0 out of 5 starsSeven Dollars on the Red

Right from the start of Too Many Crooks there’s a blast of violence and gallows humour which sets the tone for the latest novel by talented Brit Grit author Paul D Brazill. The narrative follows various dubious criminals caught up in the search for the valuable Nazi Totenkopfring. Can amnesiac victim McGuffin stay alive long enough in Poland to recover his memory and find the ring? What connection does he have to Leslie Hawkins and her husband Sydney back in England who are also looking for the ring? Too Many Crooks is littered with the usual Brazill razor sharp one liners honed to perfection, as the eccentric characters’ weave in and out of trouble in England and Poland. To summarise this is another polished winner and one of the very best pieces of work from Paul D Brazill.’

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.’

Pat McDonald Reviews The Gumshoe

the gumshoe and other brit grit yarns.Over at Amazon.co.uk , Pat McDonald gives The Gumshoe, and Other Brit Grit Yarns 5 stars and says:

‘Another collection of short pieces with the Brazill flare for one liners, wonderfully named characters and a selection of violent and sometimes unusual terminations of life. Taking some from historical evidence i.e Vlad the Impaler just lends itself to modern day equipment like the Claw Hammer and very large nails! Sometimes it’s a straight choice between laughing out loud or a wincing groan. But there is one thing I am pleased about, not eating meat (especially pork products from specially fed pigs) and barbecued meat, means I won’t have to give it up after reading some of Mr Brazill’s disposal of corpses. And I thought I had it taped!
Wonderfully amusing as usual; where description and deadpan is worked to perfection. I especially like the ladies in his work, even though to meet one would be quite frightening I imagine, they are tough, beautiful and have many skills! Don’t we all? Pat McDonald British Crime Writer’