Sunday, 31 July 2011

Fear the Night by Julia Madeleine

This review first appeared as a guest blog post HERE

A Roman Dalton story from Paul D. Brazill’s Drunk on the Moon Series

In the second instalment of the Drunk on the Moon Series - Fear the Night Roman Dalton travels to L’Isle-Verte near Quebec City in order to help a father find his missing daughter.  Despite his initial reluctance to take on the case Roman finds he is soon swayed when a thick wad of cash is promised. Of course, as is usually the case, nothing is ever quite so simple or straightforward as it appears to be and Roman is soon up to his neck in trouble. He is tested to the limit by uncooperative locals, a town full of secrets and creatures of the night. As a full moon looms will Roman be able to use his powers to combat the forces of darkness? Will he be strong enough? Can he keep his powers in check until they are needed? What dark secret does the club l’Emotion conceal? Will he have to stop halfway through for a drink of Jim Beam? You will find answers to all these questions and more within Fear the Night.

An atmospheric, tightly written story and like Drunk on the Moon one to enjoy in a single sitting.  I found that once I started reading I didn’t want to stop until I had reached the conclusion. The author puts the emphasis on the action and there was a real sense of speed and excitement in the fight scenes. Fast becoming a trademark of this excellent series is the snappy dialogue and Julia Madeleine, like Paul D. Brazill before her, had put a lot of thought into this. Here’s a line I particularly enjoyed:
 “Listen here, George is it?” I said, staring at a solitary ice cube floating in my glass like a miniature full moon in a galaxy of alcohol.
The story is liberally spiced with this kind of excellent imagery. So spicy is it that you will be reaching for a glass of chilled beer before the story is out.  Why have a boring korma when you can have a vindaloo? Fear the Night is a vindaloo. If you enjoyed Roman’s exploits in the first story you will not be disappointed by this second chronicle of the PI-come-Werewolf.   An enjoyable and fun hard-boiled action romp that you will find hugely entertaining.
Download it HERE

Saturday, 30 July 2011

ePocalypse: emails at the end by Pill Hill Press

It's the end of the world... but there's still time to send out a quick email. This collection features 33 apocalyptic collaborative short stories, written entirely in email format. The end is near, so you better read while you can!

Featuring the author of this blog and his good friend Nick Boldock (Nick's website here)

Download the book HERE

Friday, 29 July 2011

Drunk on the Moon by Paul D.Brazill

This post first appeared as a guest post on the blog Gelati's Scoop HERE

The very first thing that strikes you about this book is the excellent cover designed by Giovanni Gelati of Trestle press and the author of the blog that has published this post. The author describes the concept of Drunk on the Moon as something he came up with after a few beers. However, those that know, Spinetingler award nominee, Paul D. Brazill’s work will know there is no need to worry about the quality of the story. Many people out there will recognise the title as a Tom Waits song and what an apt title for a tale in which the PI, who is an ex-cop, is also a werewolf.

The author describes the PI as a metaphor for the perhaps clichéd idea of the “lone wolf” battling diversity yada yada. Paul has fun with this idea & makes it flesh, so to speak, and werewolf PI Roman Dalton is born. This of course works out as a great device, where you have werewolves you can have other fantastic creatures inhabiting the same universe. This of course also allows for some genre crossing. Some might have tried to put a horror slant on this but Paul, who favours noir, is cannier than that. He pokes fun at the whole PI and hard-boiled scene by using humour. A trademark of Paul's writing is his great sense of humour and you must keep up with the gags, which at times is tricky as they come in thick and fast, like bites from a rabid werewolf. An enjoyable romp that pokes fun at several of the genres clichés: The beautiful babe with a problem that sends our hero on a thankless errand and is quite likely to (I ain’t telling) have her own secret agenda. There is the evil big boss with his goons, in this case zombies. Then there is the boozy dive where the characters meet up, get drunk and generally cause mayhem which is of course also a must.

I have a lot of reading on the go at the moment so I told myself I would get around to reading Drunk on the Moon in a week or two. No chance - as soon as I read the first few lines and chuckled to myself I was hooked and read it in a single sitting. An immensely enjoyable romp. Go on buy it and let Roman Dalton go for your jugular. Look out for other books in this series coming soon from Trestle Press featuring a glittering array of guest authors including Jason Michel, Frank Duffy, Cormac Brown, Richard Goodwin and others.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

I Have Chrome Balls Don’t You? (In Between the Collaborations) by Giovanni Gelati

A short story set during a Beach Bocce tournament. Will Giovanni “The G-Man” Gelatti the reining champ defeat “Big Balls” Cannoli in the grand final?

I was in a pretty upbeat mood when I read this short story. However, had I not been this would have been just the tonic to pick me up.  Actually as I laughed out loud at a couple of the double entendres cunningly woven in by the author I thanked god that I was not sat on the bus. This is just the kind of humour that floats my boat and I’d have laughed out loud and the old lady that seems to always sit next me would have shuffled away with that look on her face. Again.

Well written, descriptive and above all fun.  Go on read it and put a smile on your face. Reading this story has also made me to play Beach Bocce. I’m going to go buy some shiny balls from eBay right now!

Frankenrabbits a novella by John Tait

A scientist performs illegal experiments with human and rabbit genetic material under the thinly veiled guise of IVF research with surprising results. Set against the backdrop of a downbeat London in the midst of a recession John Tait's interesting tale of the Frankenrabbits or "mixies" is a fascinating read. As the structure of London’s society starts to change the main characters life starts to fall apart.

The title is, perhaps arguably, a little misleading. I wouldn't consider this a horror tale and I suspect neither does John. It came across very well indeed as a social commentary. John's insights into what might happen if a hybrid race were to be integrated into our society were both thoughtful and in depth.

An interesting, enjoyable and very thoughtful dark tale with flashes of humour. There may be a moral message about our meddling science within the story but the author doesn't put it across in a preachy way. I liked that about it. John turned what could easily have been a quite daft suspension of disbelief into a thought provoking tale that asks WHAT IF? In bold letters. If you fancy a break from anything that is set within a specific genre you could do a lot worse than download Frankenrabbits.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Bad Moon Rising by Sheila Quigley

In the second Seahills novel we see DI Lorraine Hunt and her team pushed to the limit with a serial killer on the loose. Due to the imminent Houghton feast resources are already at breaking point. Lorraine soon finds there is another serious crime to deal with coupled with some worrying family news. Could this all be too much for Lorraine?

In this novel Quigley further develops not only her Seahills setting but also the characters. We see a return of some of the Lumsden's and their upbeat friend Mickey. A well developed plot and a breakneck final few chapters make for a riveting read.

I am now seriously hooked on this series. Once more Quigley's down to earth setting and interesting characters hold great appeal to the reader.

Close to the Bone: Weddings All they're cracked up to be?

New blog by guest blogger Victoria Watson over at Close to the Bone.

Weddings: All they're cracked up to be?

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Two-Way Split by Allan Guthrie

There’s a good reason this novel won the 2007 Old Peculier Crime Novel of the year award. The reason being that it has everything. You have Robin Greaves a man who believes his wife has been cheating on him and hires a PI to confirm it. The interaction between the PI and his assistant Kennedy adds a lot of humour into the novel. There is Pearce the ex-con who dotes on his mother forced to work as a debt collector to pay off his own debt. Guthrie adds a large dash of mental illness, a heavy dose of violence. He masterfully blends all these ingredients together with fast paced and gritty descriptive writing. He simmers several plot lines until boiling and mixes them all together to create a fantastically enjoyable novel. Another great creation from one of Scotland’s finest crime writers.

Buy it here (Kindle Edition

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Ice Age by Iain Rowan

Iain Rowan brings together an excellent mix of eclectic stories in Ice Age. He is a master of the short tale, an art form that is under appreciated by some of the big publishers. Iain's work here is enough to make you fall in love all over again with short stories.

All eight stories bring something different to the collection. Iain manages to drag you kicking and screaming into the worlds he crafts. His moody and atmospheric descriptive writing immerses you deeply into the dark tales he weaves.
In some stories, such as the title story, Ice Age, he conveys a deep sense of melancholy that is so tangible you can almost feel it. In tales such as Sighted you are given a glimpse into a city torn about by war where one man takes his revenge one bullet at a time. His endings will often leave you asking questions, as a good short story should.

You can read each tale at a single sitting on a bus or a train journey but don't expect these stories to leave your head that quickly. You will be thinking about some of these tales a while after you finish them. An immensely enjoyable and thought provoking read.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Drunk on the Moon by Paul D. Brazill - Available NOW on Kindle

A funky tale about a werewolf PI....

Mr Brazill steps up to the plate with murderous intention like a slighted prize fighter. He comes out of his corner swinging blows and you know you're in for one hell of a fight. Armed with wit and humour he pounds you with this deadly combo. He jabs away at convention. He delivers a knockout blow to mediocrity. He upper cuts tradition and has irony down on the canvas and out for the count.

Slicker than a bag full of snails. More hard boiled than a bon bon factory. Grittier than a gravel sandwich. Darker than the heart of a politician.

Hugely enjoyable, massively entertaining.

Reviews for Drunk on the Moon can be found here

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Sinema 2 by Rod Glenn - Kindle Version

The Yin & the Han.

This is a sequel novel to Rod Glenn's 2007 novel Sinema: The Northumberland Massacre. I'd recommend you read that prior to reading Sinema 2.  Although the two books can be read seperately it'll give you a better insight into the character of Han Whitman.  Not to mention that fact that it is also a great book.

Han Whitman returns! He shows a duality to his nature that is deliciously orchestrated by the author. There's a little something in here for everyone. I enjoyed spotting the film lines amongst the grisly deeds. There was even a red dwarf reference included if I’m not mistaken. There is no doubt that the author manages to create a fast paced story, with several plot strands leading into one another. He also manages to do it with humour and heart.  This is not just another soulless serial killer novel.

 The chapter headings all had quotes and adapted film covers making it the most illustrated kindle novel I have read.  The end result is a very slick and polished novel indeed. A greatly enjoyable read that I would recommend to anyone.  I read this one quickly because I simply could not put it down.