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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 

Here are some recent or upcoming BRIT GRIT publications for your delectation.

MY KIND OF JUSTICE BY COL BURY

Newly-appointed DI Jack Striker, of Greater Manchester Police’s Major Incident Team, has a dark secret, one that would land him in prison. Striker’s first case seems a straight-forward gang-on-gang slaying, until a notorious youth is found hanged. Before any chance to investigate, bodies begin stacking up. With the hot breath of the brass burning his neck, including hardfaced DCI Maria Cunningham who’s onto him, Striker knows this case will make or break him. The media-dubbed "Hoodie Hunter" mixes MO’s, leaving few leads, and Striker recognizes the work of a highly-skilled vigilante killer. When Striker’s nephew is put into a coma, it becomes personal. Desperate, he runs an unofficial op with his trusty colleagues, the stunning DC Lauren Collinge and the un-PC DC Eric Bardsley, placed in the line of fire.


The third Kiszka and Kershaw crime thriller. Things are looking up for Janusz Kiszka, big-hearted 'fixer' to London's Poles. His girlfriend/the love of his life, Kasia, is finally leaving her no-good husband to make a new life with him, and he's on the brink of a deal to ensure their financial security for years to come. Then Kasia vanishes - and the big Pole's world is torn apart. Convinced she's been abducted, he must swallow his pride and seek the help of an old contact - maverick cop Natalie Kershaw, who's been suspended following a fatal shooting. But the search swiftly takes an even darker turn...What connects Kasia's disappearance and a string of brutal East End murders? And who is the mysterious and murderous enforcer stalking the streets of London? Meanwhile, time is running out for Kasia. To reach her, Kiszka must confront a gut-wrenching dilemma that will shape the rest of his life.

SNATCHED FROM HOME BY GRAHAM SMITH

Middle-class parents Victoria and Nicholas Foulkes are distraught when their children are kidnapped against Nicholas’s gambling debts. Penniless and desperate, the couple turn to crime as a way to raise the ransom. Hot on their heels is recently bereaved DI Harry Evans and his Major Crimes team. Evans is fighting against enforced retirement, and his replacement, DI John Campbell, is foisted upon him along with other cases. If he must leave the police then he wants one last big case before he goes. In a race against time Victoria and Nicholas must evade the police while continuing to add to the ransom fund. Can they save their children before time runs out?


Not everything that gets buried stays buried... sometimes things have a nasty habit of resurfacing… When the body of a security van driver implicated in an unsolved £1.2 million heist turns up in a shallow grave two years later it’s just the beginning for Detective Inspector Charlotte Granger. She embarks on an investigation that takes her into dangerous territory – a world of dirty cops, dodgy private investigators, local villains and nosy journalists. Meanwhile events from Granger's own past are threatening to come back and haunt her...


A mixture of crime, coming of age and dark humour, 'Daydreams and Devils' is a tale of friendship, viciousness and fine lines.
Vincent, with his sadistic right hand Frankie, seeks to expand his interests with his own brand of gangland psycho terrorism.
James, a young Morrissey obsessive, leaves school determined to do life his way, dreaming of glory in a gang with guitars.
But as two worlds collide will dreams become nightmares?


The gripping follow-up to Sarah Hilary’s acclaimed debut Someone Else’s Skin, No Other Darknessfinds mystery’s “impressive new cop-heroine” (The Times, London) on a case that hauntingly echoes her own family tragedy. Detective InspectorMarnie Rome and her partner Detective Sergeant Noah Jake are investigating the recent discovery of two dead boys in a bunker beneath a London garden. Terry and Beth, under whose garden the bodies were discovered, have two children of their own, and are also fostering a difficult boy named Clancy. Clancy reminds Marnie of her foster brother Stephen, who murdered her parents. Is Marnie’s past blinding her to the truth? Only one thing is certain: when Terry and Beth’s biological children vanish, Marnie can’t waste a moment finding them.


One summer morning, totally unconnected people wake up as somebody else. They have their names, their lives, and their problems. Nobody knows how or why it's happened, and nobody knows if or when they'll ever get their own lives back. They must quickly learn to accept, adapt to, and in some cases embrace their new personas, if they are to survive in a world where the people known as The Switched will do anything to get their old bodies back from others who will desperately do anything to protect their true identity, and hide deep behind their new face.

Against the backdrop of a nationwide search for popular television presenter Francesca O’Reilly, whose very public breakdown and disappearance sparks chaos on social media, it quickly becomes apparent that the switching phenomenon is far more widespread than anybody could have known, and The Switched become the most famous people in the country


London during the long, dark days of the Blitz: a city outwardly in ruins, weakened by exhaustion and rationing. But behind the blackout, the old way of life continues: in the music halls, pubs and cafes, soldiers mix with petty crooks, stage magicians with lonely wives, scandal-hungry reporters with good-time girls - and DCI Edward Greenaway keeps a careful eye on everyone.

Out on the streets, something nastier is stirring: London's prostitutes are being murdered, their bodies left mutilated to taunt the police. And in the shadows Greenaway's old adversaries in organised crime are active again, lured in by rich pickings on the black market. As he follows a bloody trail through backstreets and boudoirs, Greenaway must use all his skill - and everything he knows about the city's underworld - to stop the slaughter.


Accepting the task of protecting Billie Womack is a no-brainer for ex-counterterrorist soldier Joe Hunter, but it comes with its own set of complications.

Billie's husband, Richard, stole thirty million dollars from some violent people. He apparently died in a car crash with Billie's daughter, Nicola, during a desperate attempt to elude his pursuers. But his enemies don't believe him dead. They think he escaped the plunge into the icy river that killed Nicola and has now decided to come back for the money. If he's alive, they believe he'll contact Billie.

It doesn't take long for the bad guys to arrive at her remote farmhouse. Soon she and Joe are fugitives. Dead or alive, Richard's fate means nothing to Hunter, but he promises to do everything in his power to protect the grieving mother. Even if it means taking a bullet for her, it's a price he'll pay.

It's a pledge he will come to regret, as he learns that killers are forged on the Devil's anvil

IN BITTER CHILL BY SARAH WARD

Bampton, Derbyshire, January 1978. Two girls go missing: Rachel Jones returns, Sophie Jenkins is never found. Thirty years later: Sophie Jenkins's mother commits suicide.

Rachel Jones has tried to put the past behind her and move on with her life. But news of the suicide re-opens old wounds and Rachel realises that the only way she can have a future is to finally discover what really happened all those years ago.

This is a story about loss and family secrets, and how often the very darkest secrets are those that are closest to you.

URBAN DECAY BY AIDAN THORN

Urban Decay is an apt description for this collection of crime tales. Brought to you by Gritfiction – the guys behind the Near to the Knuckle fiction site.

Following on from his 2013 release Criminal Thoughts Urban Decay will satisfy those who wanted more. Aidan Thorn is very much at the top of his game and we are proud to bring you this outstanding collection of crime fiction.


Cain Moran wanted Jenny Riley more than he had ever wanted anyone or anything before in his life. But loving Jenny Riley was the easy part; it was telling his wife he wanted a divorce that was going to be the killer. Jenny is not just any girl. She cares nothing for Cain's hard-man reputation—she just wants to be with him. But Cain is not a free man. And he's about to find out that when his wife Caroline said 'til death us do part, she meant it. When Cain is sentenced to life in prison it seems that Caroline might have got her wish. All Cain and Jenny know is that if their love can survive such separation, then one day they will have a chance at the Good Life together again. But there are greater trials ahead than either can foresee. They're about to learn the hardest lesson of all: live the good life, pay the price.


HE’S WATCHING HER. SHE DOESN’T KNOW IT…YET

When a bomb explodes at the University of Amsterdam, aspiring criminologist Georgina McKenzie is asked by the police to help flush out the killer. But the bomb is part of a much bigger, more sinister plot that will have the entire city quaking in fear. And the killer has a very special part for George to play… A thrilling race against time with a heroine you’ll be rooting for, this book will keep you up all night!



  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, Cold London Blues, and The Gumshoe, and Other Brit Grit Yarns. He was born in England and lives in Poland. He is an International Thriller Writers Inc member whose writing has been translated into Italian, 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.