We’re all lying in the gutter. But some of us are staring at the spaces between the stars...
Seatown may not have a lot going for it – apart from the Roy Orbison lookalikes and Super
Seventies Special every Thursday night, of course – but it is at least the place Mark Hammonds calls home. And after a decade away, it’s the place he returns to when he has nowhere else to go.
From dead bikers to dodgy drug deals, from one downbeat bar to another, from strippers to gangsters and back again: the luckless former musician bounces from one misdeed to the next along with a litany of old acquaintances, almost as though he never left. And if only he can shake off everybody who wants to kill, maim or otherwise hurt him, maybe he could even think about staying.
After all, there’s no place like home, eh?
Praise for Paul Brazill:
“If you took Ken Bruen's candor, the best of Elmore Leonard's dialogues, sprinkled in some Irvine Welsh, and dragged it all through the dirtiest ditch in South London, the result will be something akin to Brazill's writing.” - Gabino Iglesias (author of Zero Saints and Gutmouth)
“Visceral, foul-mouthed and blisteringly funny, Paul D Brazill creates a sleazy underworld inhabited by dodgy London geezers, Geordie hard men and the occasional shark. Highly recommended.” - Lesley Ann Sharrock (author of The Seventh Magpie)
“A broad range of cultural strands come together in the melting pot and form a delicious stew of criminal adventure... The observations are sharp and the characters create small nuclear explosions as they collide with each other.” - Nigel Bird (author of Southsiders)
“Unashamedly entertains you while sticking two fingers right up in your stupid face.” - Ryan Bracha (author of Strangers Are just Friends You Haven’t Killed Yet)
“The brilliantly named characters, crackling dialogue and dark humour jump out.” - Keith Nixon (author of The Fix and I’m Dead Again)
Number Thirteen Press is publishing 13 crime novellas by 13 top crime authors, from November 2014.
It’s hard to think of anything original to say when it’s pretty much all been said above. Scrub that then – it’s impossible.
Larger than life characters…. Ella the Fella, Tony Trifle, Don Amerigo, Captain Cutlass - to name check a few.
A setting in a run-down seaside town that’s past it’s sell by date. Incidentally I have to congratulate the author for expanding my knowledge at the same time. I’d never heard of sea-coal washing up on a beach and getting dug up.
A slightly absurd plot that sees down on his luck musician, Mark Hammond returning home to his hometown and within days involved in disposing of a dead body from a caravan park after running an errand for Fat Roy. Biker gang Satan’s Souls might be wanting a few answers from Mark as to the demise of their leader Wolfe.
Fantastic humour throughout, peppered one-liners that had me giggling like a little schoolboy….
“Remember that book from school? The Thomas Wolfe one?” he said.
“You can’t go home again, or something” said Craig. “Could send a glass eye to sleep, that one.”
A discussion about a local good time girl, Eileen……
”Had enough cock to make a handrail around the QE2. They don’t call her Come on Eileen for nothing.”
And sometimes there’s a nugget of truth that makes you pause…..
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression, eh?”
Enjoyable, satisfying, entertaining, funny with plenty of cultural references that had me looking back on the music of my youth with fondness. (I haven’t thought of the Leyton Buzzards and Saturday Night Beneath the Plastic Palm Trees in years.)
4.5 from 5
Paul was kind enough to ping me a copy of this one. Check out other reads available from the publisher Number 13 Press here.