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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 

Some recent Brit Grit recommended reads.

SOUTHSIDERS - THAT'S ALL RIGHT BY NIGEL BIRD

Scottish teenager Jesse Garon wakes up one day and finds a note on the fridge from his father saying that he has left home to get work in Belfast.  Later that day, Jesse gets an email from his alcoholic mother telling him that she has also left home. So Jesse is forced to fend for himself.

That’s All Right is the first of Nigel Bird’s Southsidersbooks. There are three novellas in all.  This is a great slice of kitchen sink drama that is full of well-drawn and sympathetic characters. That’s All Right is touching as well as gritty and I look forward to reading the next in the series.
TALES FROM THE UNDERBELLY BY AIDAN THORN
Aidan Thorn’s Tales From The Underbelly is a collection of hard-hitting, interconnected crime stories, and is pure Brit Grit. The collection kicks off with a fistful of short, sharp jabs of flash fiction and ends with a couple of longer pieces which really show Thorn’s strengths.
A Sporting Chance is the story of a local football star who returns to his home town after a stint in the Premier League and has a fateful encounter with local gangster Tony Ricco. The final story, Worst Laid Plans, is a knockout punch telling the tale of a group of young lads whose lives soon spiral out of control after a night out. Worst Laid Plans is an absolute belter of a tale, full of dark humour, sharp twists and turns and great characters.
If you enjoyed Thorn’s cracking novella When the Music’s Overthen you should most certainly grab a copy of Tales From The Underbelly. 
DIG TWO GRAVES BY KEITH NIXON
Detective Sergeant Solomon Grey is a wreck of a man, battered and bruised by personal tragedy. When he investigates the apparent suicide of a sixteen-year-old boy, he is soon embroiled in something much more sinister.
Dig Two Graves by Keith Nixon is a not only a cracking whodunnit, it is also a powerful and gripping crime thriller that twists and turns as tightly as a corkscrew. Highly recommended.
EYE FOR AN EYE BY PAUL HEATLEY
Jasmine Doyle and her friends are messing about in a pub after hours when one of them throws a dart which hits Jasmine in the eye.  Her gangster dad Neil is soon out for revenge, calling in old stalwart Graeme to track down the perpetrator of the crime.
Paul Heatley’s Eye For An Eye is a brilliant and brutal novella with a fantastically drawn cast of characters.  The father-son relationship between Graeme and his reluctant sidekick Tracksuit Tony is particularly marvellous and the book is as touching as it is violent. Very highly recommended. More Please!
SKULL MEAT BY TOM LIENS
Joe Rey is a small town tough-guy-for-hire who digs himself deeper and deeper into the mire when he takes on a job for ageing gangster Marie Andretti.
Tom Leins‘ ‘Skull Meat’ is Brit Grit at its grittiest. Ulra-violent, foul-mouthed, atmospheric, hilarious and choc-full of great lines.  I loved it!
There'll be more carryings on down Brit Grit Alley very soon, sorta kinda thing, like.

Paul D. Brazill's books include A Case Of Noir, The Last Laugh, Guns Of Brixton, Too Many Crooks, 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. His blog is here.