Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Gumshoe by Paul D.Brazill

Gumshoe is the story of part time Private Eye (full time alcoholic) Peter Ord.  Gumshoe is a collection cases artfully woven together with humour as the bedrock. You have to be sharper than a filleting knife to catch all the jokes and puns. Like a child with a pointed stick Paul D. Brazill stands beneath the hornet’s nest that is the noir genre and prods it until something drops out.

Gumshoe sees the author at his most playful as Ord shambles from one interconnected case to the next. I suppose the words “crime caper” spring to mind when thinking of this kind of fiction. There are two things you can be sure of with Paul’s writing: It will make you laugh and it will entertain you. Gumshoe does both of these effortlessly.

A great read that once more had those on the bus looking at me nervously as I laugh out loud. Yet another winner from Paul D. Brazill. I can’t wait for the next one.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Cutter's Deal (Best of British) by Julie Morrigan

Julie Morrigan's addition to the Byker Books Best of British series is a gangster's tale. Gordon Cutter is a gangster whose star is rising. He gets results through brutal methods and ruthlessness. When a rival firm is in trouble Cutter sees an opportunity and his power grows still further.

The story is told from an interesting variety of first person perspectives. We get Cutter's perspective which at times is utterly chilling. People are there to be used, a means to an end. We also get the viewpoint from a brother and sister who are drawn into his spiders web by his charisma and generosity. However, like a spoiled child Gordon Cutter soon tires of his toys and his pets. 

A word of warning - if you want a cosy read look elsewhere. No fancy prose here. This tale is written simply and starkly. Morrigan has never sugar coated her writing and she has always been bold when it comes to telling it like it is. An excellent and compelling read that I read in just two sittings.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Guns of Brixton (Best of British) by Paul D. Brazill

I look forward eagerly to each new release in the Byker Books Best of British series. All the novellas have been among the best work of the authors participating and Guns of Brixton is no exception. Paul D. Brazill's stories are populated by larger than life characters that come bouncing out of the page at you. He has something in common with Tarantino in that the stories he crafts are almost secondary, what makes them interesting are the characters and the dialogue. The wit is razor sharp and the gags come thick and fast. The author packs in so many musical and film references that I guarantee you won't spot them all. What all of this adds up to is a uniquely entertaining style that only he can pull off with such aplomb.

Guns of Brixton is a cleverly woven tapestry of characters that all interact with each other at some point during the story. Big Jim Lawson has an unfortunate accident involving Half-Pint Harry and a shotgun. Richard is sick to death of his wife Camilla's moaning. Lynne and Gorgeous George are bored and hungover at work. Marty and Father Tim are chewing the fat over a fry up. How will their lives intersect? And with what consequences?

So if murderous priests, jewel robbers in drag and has been gangsters are your thing you will love Guns of Brixton. However, pay attention as you read as there are a lot of characters in this novella and you will miss some of the subtler references if you don't keep up with who is doing what to whom. A great read that I highly recommend.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Sinema 3 by Rod Glenn

I've read the Sinema series since it was first released. Each of the three books has a very different flavour. The first book was pure slasher horror thrills and a brave piece of writing that earned the author almost as much criticism as it did acclaim. The second book was equally as bloody but saw Han killing murderous criminals as opposed to innocents.

In this, the third, novel we see Han employed by the shadowy Troy Consortium to kill only selected targets in the interests of national security. However, all is not well within the organisation and Han must face a killer as accomplished as himself. Rod Glenn knows how to write a gripping page turner. I tend to read his novels quickly as they are difficult to put down. Sinema 3 is all action and Han becomes something of a Bruce Willis type action hero as he is forced to face life threatening situations. As usual the banter is excellent and Glenn tests your film knowledge with several references. Han is still haunted by the ghosts of Haydon but will he be able to lay them to rest?

Rod Glenn has brought us another great read that I recommend highly