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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 Brit Grit reads for your delectation:

Jack Striker is former teenage hoodlum turned cop who is called in to investigate a murder, which he eventually considers to be the work of a vigilante killer.

Col Bury’s My Kind Of Justice is a fantastic blend of social realism and gripping thriller action.

There are some great characters – Bardsley is a favourite, of course- , plenty of humour and a genuinely touching ending. A belter!

The police investigation into the murder of Lorna Spence digs up some dirty secrets in Alison Bruce’s Cambridge Blue.

An engrossing murder mystery, Cambridge Blue is stylish written, with a great sense of place and characters. And DC Goodhew is one of the most interesting crime fiction coppers I’ve encountered for a long time. Top stuff.

Claude, a divorcee with a dark past, holidays in the Caribbean where he meets Maxine, a beautiful woman who is out of his league. A night of passion leads to a dangerous obsession as Godwin twists and turns the story like a corkscrew and we encounter low rent thugs, London gangsters, psychopathic Russian mobsters, art theft and a great deal of violence.

There is a great sense of the grotesque about the characters in Richard Godwin's Wrong Crowd, and an almost Dickensian feel for London, with its low life bubbling just below the surface of all the glitter and glitz.

Wrong Crowd by Richard Godwin is a tense slice of international noir that oozes atmosphere and is his best novel yet.

Santy is fresh out of the slammer but is more than ready to wreak violent havoc, along with his drinking cronies Leo and Dean.

Delaney tells this smart tale of revenge by moving backwards and forwards in time and from different characters points of view.

More than the sum of each brilliant part,The Pact is a brutal, funny and cleverly weaved together slice of hard-boiled crime. A time bomb of tension.

Revenge is bittersweet for failed musician Benny Gower.

Gower murders Birmingham drug-dealer Harry Weir and goes on the run.

Retired enforcer Wynn McDonald is reluctantly sent to track down Gower.

What ensues is a lethal cocktail of hardboiled crime fiction as well as a touching study of regret and disappointment. The action is brutal, the characters are vividly drawn, the pacing is gripping.

Aidan Thorn’s When The Music’s Over is a powerful slice of Brit Grit crime fiction that is highly recommended.

In Graham Smith‘s debut crime novel, Snatched From Home, Nicholas Foulkes’ gambling debts lead to the kidnapping of his children. Meanwhile, unorthodox DI Harry Evans is due to retire and is showing the ropes to his priggish replacement. The two strands then cleverly intertwine.

Smith smartly leads us into the book through the point of view of the victims before introducing Harry Evans, who is a great creation. Smith balances tension and humour perfectly in this fast-paced and frequently hilarious novel.

Gripping and gritty but never grim, Graham Smith’s Snatched From Home is an immensely enjoyable crime thriller that is highly recommended.

Portland private eye Tess Grey is hired to go to Louisiana and track down a missing police witness. She enlists Po, an ex-con who is familiar with the locale, to help her. Blood Tracks is the first of a new action-thriller series from Matt Hilton, creator of Joe Hunter, and it kicks off this great new series with aplomb.

Blood Tracks is a tense, tightly-paced, action-packed thriller with some great characters, and very likable protagonists. Highly recommended.

Georgina Mckenzie is a precocious young criminology student who is caught up in the police investigation when a bomb explodes at her Amsterdam university. The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die is Marnie Riches debut novel and it’s an absolute belter. A gripping, breathless, twisting and turning crime thriller that grabs by your lapels from its opening and never lets go. The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die is the first in what looks like an addictive new crime fiction series.

  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, 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.