Brit Grit Alley

Brit Grit Alley features interviews, news and updates on what's happening down British crime fiction's booze and blood soaked alleyways.

By Paul D. Brazill 

Down Brit Grit Alley this week we have a great guest column from debut horror author Martin Murphy:

Horror At The End Of The Line.

I felt when setting out to write my horror novel, Soul Lifter, that I had two key aims. The first was to steer clear, as best I could, of tales involving vampires, werewolves, zombies and the like. Not that I had anything against these sub-genres, but I was wary of the narrowing scope to be original.

In the end, I suppose one of the biggest inspirations for me was H.P. Lovecraft, and the idea that monstrous entities lurk behind the fragile curtain of what we understand to be reality. Here, I saw two opportunities: One was the future freedom to inflict an almost limitless number of terrors on the unsuspecting victims in my stories. Second – and perhaps most exciting – was that it created a window to have a go at creating my own monsters. The being that makes an appearance in Soul Lifter is the first, and I hope to bring to life a few more yet. With this supernatural element set against a series of murders, the police investigation and a journalist’s ordeal which unfold around it, I felt I had my main ingredients.

Next up was choosing the right location. And for that I looked to Hull, the city in which I was born. Just as the likes of Nick Quantrill, David Mark and Russ Litten have drawn on industrial decay and the toughness of its people in crafting an impressive and increasingly healthy body of crime fiction in the soon-to-be city of culture, I saw a prospective home for horror. 

I wondered at what could lurk in some of the ramshackle, derelict buildings found among its once-vibrant docks, in the corners of the abandoned old fruit warehouses and mills. And there was the fact that it lies on the coast. In this time of flash flooding, I knew there would be scope to build on a worsening undercurrent of fear – play on that sense of a city under siege. And, just as Dracula’s Russian ship, the Demeter, was said to have come ashore fifty miles or so to the north at Whitby, I saw the future potential to import something horrific into Hull from the Humber estuary.

Meanwhile, its location means it is at the end of a line on the rail network. I’m just starting out on my trip, and on the lookout for travelling companions. I hope you’ll join me.

Soul Lifter, UK link:

US link: 


  There'll be more carryings on down Brit Grit Alley very soon, sorta kinda thing, like.

Paul D. Brazill is the author of Gumshoe, Guns Of Brixton and Roman Dalton - Werewolf PI. He was born in England and lives in Poland. He is an International Thriller Writers Inc member whose writing has been translated into Italian, Polish and Slovene. He has had writing published in various magazines and anthologies, including The Mammoth Books of Best British Crime 8,10 and 11, alongside the likes of Ian Rankin, Neil Gaiman and Lee Child. He has edited a few anthologies, including the best-selling True Brit Grit – with Luca Veste. HE BLOGS HERE.