LAST YEAR’S MAN – Paul D. Brazill
A troubled, ageing hit man leaves London and returns to his hometown in the north east of England hoping for peace. But the ghosts of his past return to haunt him.
Last Year’s Man is a violent and blackly comic slice of Brit Grit noir. PRE-ORDER NOW! Available 06/22/2018
Praise for LAST YEAR’S MAN:
“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.” —Paul Heatley, author of Fatboy
I was chuffed to receive a pre-publication ARC of the latest from Mr B. Always a pleasure to read one of my favourite contemporary authors. Rest assured this is exactly the kind of mordantly witty caper you expect. From blood-soaked shenanigans to effortlessly clever banter, there’s everything you’d expect and more. The motif of the hitman haunted by his past gets a fresh angle as disgraced Tommy Bennett returns to Seatown, the northern coastal city where his past awaits him. A wild mix of musical and pop culture references come at you thick and fast. I was chortling by the end of the first page.
But under the laughter there are a few dark threads (as with all great comedy). There’s a serious undercurrent dealing with age and regrets, of finding hope — but don’t let that put you off, crime fans. There’s plenty of mayhem gone wrong, drugs and drink, plus a pale gangster named Drella (who manages to be both ruthless and hen-pecked) and a wealth of murderous mistakes. The Hancock-esque hitman Bennett (he even wears a Homburg!) seems ready to shuffle off this mortal coil just give up the life of crime, but there’s a cockroach persistence to Brazill’s characters, who have the curiosity worthy of a cat to know what will happen next.
Some great lines:
I watched dark clouds spread across the sky like a cancer.
I placed a bottle of London Pride on the grave. My wife hated flowers because of her hay fever.
‘Then the world is your oyster.’ ‘Yeah, but I’m a vegetarian,’ I said.
‘We all have our own double-cross to bear.’
I woke up when someone stabbed me.
The carriage shook like a junkie in rehab and dragged me painfully awake.
The church clock struck thirteen as I crossed the road.
Patsy, the pasty-faced barmaid…
‘Sartre got it wrong, I tell you,’ he said. ‘Hell is IKEA.’
My advice to you is pre-order this and get your London Pride in now for some summer reading. I think I might just read it again. Now where’s that audio book version?