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 

This week down Brit Grit Alley, I give you a few Brit Grit recommended reads.

“Hale knew, before he had been in Brighton three hours, that they meant to murder him” 

From its brilliant opening line,Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock (1938) grabs you by the throat and almost strangles you with its intensity. The lives of fanatstically rich characters, such as big hearted Ida Arnold who is investigating Hale’s murder and Pinkie, the psychotic young gangster, intertwine in a gripping novel that is well-deserved of its classic status. The seaside town of Brighton itself is also one of the book’s strongest characters, as the glitz and grit collide.

Cathi Unsworth‘s marvelously atmospheric Weirdo (2012) also takes place in an English seaside town, the fictitious Ernemouth. Again two sides of the town are contrasted with bright lights hiding dark and dirty corners. A private detective investigates a 20 year old murder and unearths some nasty secrets. Weirdo cleverly takes place in two time periods (2003 and 1983), is populated with great charters and has a vividly, strong sense of time and place.

Detectives Zigic and Ferreira are back, and a welcome return it is, too. As in Eva Dolan‘s marvelous debut novel,Long Way Home, the prickly duo investigate a murder which leads them to dig deeply into Britain’s immigrant communities. The sequel, Tell No Tales, is an engrossing, marvelously well-written and perfectly paced police procedural that takes an uncomfortable look at the lives of those at the bottom of British society. Zigic and Ferreir are strong and very likable protagonists and, like the rest of the characters in Tell No Tales, are completely believable. Tell No Tales confirms Eva Dolan‘s position as one of the the UK’s most powerful social-realist writers.

Richard Godwin’s Confessions Of A Hit Man is the violent and action-packed story of an ex-marine who becomes a globe-trotting contract killer. A marvelously, hard-hitting slice of international crime fiction.

Down Among The Dead by Steve Finbow is the brilliantly breathless, brutal and lyrical story of a retired IRA gunman facing up to his past. Published by the splendid Number Thirteen Press.

Micheal Young’s Of Blonde’s And Bullets is the story of a man in the wrong place at the wrong time. Hard-hitting hardboiled crime fiction. An absolute belter. Published by Number Thirteen Press.

U.v ray‘s brilliant uber-noir Spiral Out opens up with Mark Karzoso on the phone to his father, asking for his help to dispose of a body, and before you know it we’re sharply hauled into Karzoso’s deliriously nihilistic world of misogyny, misanthropy, drugs, booze, bad men and women. Spiral Out is a like a whip-crack. A short and painfully sharp shock to the system. A kick in the eye with a stiletto heel. Spiral Out is limited to only 200 copies so you’d best grab it asap from here, or here.

Published by Pendragon Press, Mark West’s Drive is available as a limited (to 100 copies) edition paperback (which contains an exclusive afterword) and unlimited ebook, across platforms.
“Drive takes you for a journey down the darkest alleyways of human savagery.
A fast paced, high tension thriller that delivers on all fronts….”
- Jim Mcleod, The Ginger Nuts Of Horror

“Drive is a gripping, tense urban noir with prose as tight as a snare drum…”
- Paul D. Brazill, A Case Of Noir, Guns Of Brixton.

“Mark West writes the kind of fiction that gets under the skin where it lies dormant until you turn out the lights …”
- Dave Jeffery, author of the Necropolis Rising series

Get Drive here.

And watch the trailer here.

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

Paul D. Brazill is the author of A Case Of Noir,Guns Of Brixton and The Neon Boneyard. He was born in England and lives in Poland. He is an International Thriller Writers Inc member whose writing has been translated into Italian, Finnish, German and Slovene. He has had writing published in various magazines and anthologies, including The Mammoth Books of Best British Crime. He has edited a few anthologies, including the best-selling True Brit Grit – with Luca Veste. His blog is here.