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 

A round up of some recent BRIT GRIT recommendations for your delectation.

The Motel Whore by Paul Heatley.

Paul Heatley’s The Motel Whore is a short, sharp look at a day in the life of Joanie, who works as a prostitute in room 16 of a sleazy motel, somewhere in the middle of nowhere.

Rich with great characters, The Motel Whore is sad, brutal and completely enthralling.

The Pure and The Hated by Richard Godwin

Family man Shepherd Butler is mourning the death of his son when he decides to take in a homeless man who has also suffered a violent tragedy. Things then quickly spiral violently out of control.

Richard Godwin’s The Pure And The Hated starts as an atmospheric tale of loss, then twists into a graphic cross between Cape Fear and Grande Guignol horror.

Marwick’s Reckoning by Gareth Spark

Marwick is a broken man. Broken but not shattered. Marwick is a violent London gangster, an enforcer who has moved to Spain for a quieter life and who is eventually embroiled in drug smuggling, murder and more.

Published by Near To The Knuckle, Marwick’s Reckoning by Gareth Spark is fantastic. Like a Brit Grit Graham Greene it’s full of doomed romanticism, longing and shocking violence.

Beautifully, vividly and powerfully written Marwick’s Reckoning is very highly recommended indeed.

Dark Heavy, Heavy Soul by Keith Nixon

Konstantin Boryakov is back!

In Dark Heart, Heavy Soul, the former KGB anti-hero is reluctantly dragged into taking part in a heist which soon spirals out of his control.

Keith Nixon’s Dark Heart, Heavy Soul is the best Konstantin Boryakov novel yet. Nixon smoothly blends high-octane thrills with gritty crime fiction. Dark Heart, Heavy Soul is packed full of tension, action, humour, great characters, sharp dialogue and a hell of a lot of warmth too.

Raise The Blade by Tess Makovesky

When Brian Warren first tells his probation officer Jo Jackson about finding a body, she doesn’t believe him but as she digs deeper into his story she uncovers a chilling and grisly truth.

A serial killer and six unconnected victims are trapped in a web of violence in Tess Makovesky‘s cracking debut Raise The Blade, a brutal slice of Brit Grit crime fiction.

The Death Of Three Colours by Jason Michel

Jonah H. Williams is cyber- crook, a wheeler and dealer on the dark web. He awakes from a typically heavy boozing session to find that his precious crucifix has been stolen by the previous night’s pick-up. And things spiral on down from then on as we encounter Bill – a bent ex-copper, drug smugglers, AK-47s, Ukrainian bikers, suicide, paranoia, betrayal, lust, love, loyalty, friendship, romance, nihilism, more paranoia, The Second Law Of Thermodynamics, Santa Muerte – Our Lady Of Last Resorts, an owl, and a cat called Vlad The Bastard. And then there’s Milton …

Jason Michel’s The Death of Three Colours is just great. It’s a richly written, gripping, noir-tinged crime thriller that is full of lyricism, flights of dark fancy and cruel humour. His best book yet.

Paper Gods and Iron Men by Kevin Cowdall.

North Africa, World War 2. An airplane is shot down. The two survivors – a prisoner and a war hero -set off across the desert with limited supplies. Paper Gods and Iron Men by Kevin Cowdall is gripping and atmospheric, with rich, vivid writing and strong characterization.

The accompanying story, Flanagan’s Mule, is set in South America during the 1950s. It too tells the story of a dangerous trek and is also involving and really well-written. Marvellous stuff.

It Never Leaves You by Luca Veste.

While on surveillance, Liverpool policeman, Detective Inspector Murphy tells Detective Sergeant Rossi about one of his first cases. A case that still haunts him.

It Never Leaves You is a gripping, realistic and very touching short story that acts as a great introduction to Luca Veste‘s cracking series of crime fiction novels.

Quite remarkably, it still seems to be FREE!

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

Paul D. Brazill's books include The Last Laugh, 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 even edited a few anthologies, including the best-selling True Brit Grit – with Luca Veste. His blog is here.