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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 Heatley

Recommended Read: LastYear’s Man - Paul D Brazill

If you’re reading this column, chances are you’re more than familiar with the man I took it over from, one Paul D Brazill.

Yes, lookit, I know you all miss him but you’ve got me now, okay? At least our first names are the same, right?

Let’s talk about his new book, Last Year’s Man, published June 22nd by All Due Respect. This, man, this is one hell of a book. Honestly, I feel like I can’t say enough good things about it, but since I’m recommending you all read it, I’m gonna give it a try.

Here’s my blurb:

‘It’s all here, everything you’ve come to expect from a Paul D. Brazill caper - the fast pace, the witty banter, the grim humour and the classic tunes - except this time he’s REALLY outdone himself. Unlike the lament in the song the title takes its name from, Paul’s best years are surely still ahead of him.’

We find ourselves in the company of an ageing hitman, opening with a scene that reminded me of Elmore Leonard’s Killshot (so we’re already off to a good start). After something of a botch in this job, our hero heads north east, to his hometown, whereupon we encounter a wild cast of colourful characters (the protagonist’s mother being a standout). Moments of surrealism are peppered throughout, with just a hint of paranormal activity. As stated in my blurb above, the song choices are a cut above, with Roxy Music featuring heavily.

Having grown up in a north east seaside town, maybe that’s why this book resonates with me so much. But you know what? I don’t think so. I think it resonates cos it’s so well-written, because it’s a damn good story, and because it’s so much FUN.

I think this may well be Mr Brazill’s best book yet, and that’s saying a lot. But, as Les Edgerton states:

‘Paul D. Brazill is the Crown Prince of Noir.’

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

Paul Heatley lives in the north east of England. His books include Fatboy, The Motel Whore, and  An Eye For An Eye. His short stories have appeared online and in print for publications such as Thuglit, Horror Sleaze Trash, Spelk, Near to the Knuckle, Shotgun Honey,the Pink Factory, and the Flash Fiction Offensive, among others. He also contributes music reviews to R2 magazine, sometimes.