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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 

Summer is here, and then some, so here are a few Brit Grit recommendations for your holiday reading:

Skewered: And Other London Cruelties by Benedict J Jones.

In Skewered, the first story in this cracking collection, we are introduced to Charlie Bars who is fresh out of prison and unhappily working in his uncle’s kebab shop.

When Charlie is given the chance to make some fast money he jumps at it but things quickly become, well, skewered.

Charlie Bars also appears in the following story ,Real Estate, which is also a belter.

Another favorite story is the marvelous supernaturally tinged Hungry Is The Dark. But everyone is a gem.

Skewered: And Other London Cruelties is tightly written with strong, realistic characters and a great sense of place.

Classic Brit Grit crime fiction.

The White Flamingo by James A Newman

In James A. Newman’s The White Flamingo, Detective Joe Dylan investigates the gruesome murder of one of Fun City’s many call girls and quickly realizes that there is a serial killer on the loose in Fun City.

The White Flamingo – the third ‘Joe Dylan crime noir book ‘ – is hard-boiled pulp fiction pumped up to the max. It’s a lethal cocktail of graphic violence, booze, drugs and sex. It’s bright lights and dark shadows and it’s certainly not for the fainthearted.

Death Can’t Take A Joke by Anya Lipska


When London based Polish private eye Janusz Kiszka’s close friend is violently murdered, he decides to track down those responsible. Meanwhile, Detective Natalie Kershaw is trying to find out the identity of an apparent suicide victim. As in Lipska’s previous novel, Where The Devil Can’t Go, their investigations collide.

The second Kiszka & Kershaw crime thriller is even better than the first. The plotting is as tight as a snare drum, the characters are realistic and likable, the dialogue is sharp. Gripping, gritty but never grim, Death Can’t Take A Joke is also very funny, the humour coming naturally from the well-drawn characters’ interactions.

Great stuff.

Act Of Contrition by Dominic Milne

When a bag of Class A drugs goes missing, bull-headed DI Eddie Kane is immediately under suspicion.

However. this doesn’t stop him from investigation the murders of of two young women and ruffling the feathers of a particularly nasty London gangster.

Dominic Milne’s Act Of Contrition is a blinder. The pacing is tight, the cast of characters is rich, the plotting is labyrinthine, the dialogue is sharp.

Brutal and breathless, Act Of Contrition is the first in what looks to be a cracking new crime fiction series.

I loved it.

The Dying Place by Luca Veste


When the body of a young man is found on the steps of a church, DI Murphy and DS Rossi – returning from Dead Gone, Luca Veste‘s very enjoyable debut crime novel – are called in to investigate.

Veste’s second novel is very impressive indeed. Mature and tightly written, The Dying Place is a truly humanist piece of crime fiction. Veste smoothly moves from the POVs of the victims, perpetrators and cops, creating a gripping, chilling and very moving piece of work.

Highly recommended.

The Corpse Role by Keith Nixon

A body is discovered in a shallow grave and DI Charlotte Granger quickly sees a connection between the corpse and an unsolved security van robbery years before. And so she digs deeper …

Keith Nixon’s The Corpse Role is a smart and engrossing crime thriller that moves backwards and forward in time and from character to character with ease.

A gripping plot, a cracking cast and a brilliant denouement. A belter.

And I have a yarn over at Spinetingler Magazine if you want to check out The Postman Cometh.



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

Paul D. Brazill is the author of Guns Of Brixton, Cold London Blues, The Neon Boneyard and Kill Me Quick! 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.