Coming at ya on a rare Saturday with a crime fiction review that just can’t wait. This week, I’m serving up Paul D. Brazill’s “Small Time Crimes,”a hard-hitting, fast paced, and darkly comic collection of short tales that go down easy as your favorite ale!
Brazill’s pace and quick to the draw style are an entertaining way to spend an evening. Outlandish yarns spun like nobody’s business! A real one-two knock-down drag em’ out tone, his characters are like cowboys in the wild-wild west…rebels, without anyone’s cause but their own.
Take 7 Minutes to Midnight.
Compelling, chilling prose puts the reader in the story right away. I just knew something bad was gonna happen soon, and Brazill’s narrative cuts right to the chase:
“It’s seven minutes to midnight and the brothers will be here at the witching hour, for sure. Same as last night and the previous night. The motel room is dark except for the faint light from an old transistor radio that is tuned to a classical music station. Hinkson sits in an old rocking chair, eyes closed. A sawn– off shotgun across his lap. A half– empty bottle of whisky on the table beside him….”
And you got to luv the protag’s final way down:
Hinkson lights fire to a toilet roll and grabs his shotgun, shouting “bring it on.” What a way to go out!
A man of sophisticated tastes has its own charms, and could have you up late nights, worrying about the last burger you downed:
“ He ran a butcher’s shop and me ma worked at the old people’s home. Times were ‘ard after that Thatcher snatched the mines. And the oldies were droppin’ like flies. So, it just seemed like … well … an opportunity. It was just recycling, really. Very ecological.”
A Big Payoff is wicked funny.A dude hacks up people he doesn’t like, then cuts em up and sells em for dog food on the street! Then, for good measure, spikes their heads:
“It’s all about revenge. Impure and simple. Same as it ever was. The turban idea came to me after I saw a documentary on The History Channel about Vlad The Impaler. You know him? He’s the bloke that they say Dracula was based on? Anyway, he was a right nasty cunt and that was one his ways of showing everyone who was boss. And I was inspired,”
And Gareth and Fiona remind me of the young couple in “Pulp Fiction” who try to rob the diner before the two hit men intervene. These guys are a little more successful, and actually rob a postmaster, but not before Fiona takes out a blindsided teenager in the process who happens to wander in at the wrong moment! They’re violent, guilt-less, and all about the cash grab!
Go on out and grab yourself a copy. Just don’t forget the popcorn!
Paul D. Brazill was born in Hartlepool, England and now lives in Bydgoszcz, Poland, where he’s been TEFL teaching for more than a decade.
His books include Last Year’s Man, A Case Of Noir, Guns Of Brixton, Small Time Crimes, and Kill Me Quick. He’s had stories published in various magazines and anthologies, including The Mammoth Book Of Best British Crime 8, 10 and 11, and his writing has been translated in Italian, Polish, Finnish, German and Slovenian.
You can usually find him on Twitter @PaulDBrazill and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pauldavidbrazill/
Ciao for now,