Tuesday, 12 January 2016

When the Music's Over by Aidan Thorn

I've been a fan of Aidan Thorn's writing ever since I saw a story of his in an anthology from Byker Books. I've been following his work since then. What I like about When the Music's Over is that it is unashamedly British. I've seen so many English author's trying to replicate the high quality U.S. noir fiction they've obviously read and love. The author knows his roots and it comes across better because of it.

Another thing I like about this novella is that we get to see a large part of it from the perspective of the hit man that has been hired to take out our hero. The killer is a well-drawn character who acts tough and talks tough but has some very human failings. He's confronted with his own mortality in the form of an illness and he finds that this is changing his perspective on things and hampering his ability to do his job. Given his failing health will he be able to close the hit and take his pay out? This is question I asked myself a lot as I read this story.

The story flow smoothly and the imagery the author created was effective and compelling. A thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining short read that was told from a refreshing perspective.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Number 13 Press have done an excellent job in assembling top quality novellas in this series and Paul Brazill's offering is no exception. They say home is where the heart is....if you're a character in a novella by Paul D. Brazill that heart will probably soon be removed and by a gangster with vicious intent! However, home is where Mark Hammonds, former member of the briefly famous band, Blue Coronet, heads when his chips are down. In this case Seatown is home a place described by the author as being awash with kebab shops and seventies theme bars.

If you've read any of the author's work before you'll know what to expect and that is a motley cast of characters with crazy nicknames such as Bryn Laden, Tuc Plenty and Captain Cutlass. You'll be expecting dry humour and jokes to come flying at you like bullets from a gun.

Brazill delights in torturing his main characters and Mark Hammonds is no exception. He gets beaten, threatened, chased by bikers and generally abused throughout the course of the story as he heads blindy from one disastrous scenario to another all in pursuit of the green folding stuff. As always with all of this author's stories it's entertaining, witty and always a fun read. A great crime caper that is a steal at the price. Five stars.