Review: Gumshoe Blues

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GUMSHOE BLUES
Paul D. Brazill
Punk Noir Magazine

Blurb:

Following the breakdown of his marriage, in a booze addled flash of inspiration, Peter Ord decides to become a private investigator. However, is Seatown ready for him? More to the point is he ready for the Seatown’s cast of ne’er do wells, gangsters and lunatics? Peter must tackle many challenging cases, including one involving a legless crooner. When he comes under the radar of local crime lord, has he bitten off more than he can chew? With sidekicks like hack Bryn Laden failure is not an option it’s compulsory.

Review:

There is always reason to rejoice when a new Brazill book hits the streets. The northern setting of Gumshoe Blues offers a laconic pace which suits the humour and makes the stark failures of the impromptu gumshoe Peter Ord a little (dare I say it?) poignant. As Vic & Bob can tell you, Northern doesn’t always travel well down to the sunny climes. Their loss, because there’s much amusement here along with the noir-flavoured escapades. The adventures of this PI ‘feel like they rolled out of a Tom Waits song’ — crime with the feel of a shaggy dog story, complete with running jokes.

Ord’s adventures seem to ramble, but most of the colourful characters (like Tuc, the guy who tattooed his own neck looking in the mirror) and seemingly disparate threads  effortlessly web together in the end. Brazill makes it look easy. After all, the only sin is making it look like work — or playing bad music.

The world of Seatown feels so real that you’ll be sure you’ve walked those streets and heard those songs. Chances are you ran into Ord in some dark pub. He was the one in the corner in the suit beginning to fray, nursing a bad hangover and wondering how he got there. Buy him a drink. He needs it.

Rogue: Paul D. Brazill

Today’s Rogue is Mr B, the godfather of Brit Grit, Paul D. Brazill: readers of this blog will already be familiar with the mastermind behind Roman Dalton, Gumshoe and of course Exiles. It won’t surprise anyone that he’s a Rogue, too…

Who’s your Rogue?

Diggsy in ‘Route 66 And All That’ is a small-town postman who occasionally dips his toes into the dirty and shallow waters of small-time crime.

What crime would you really want to get away with?

I’ve always thought that ‘crimes against humanity’ would sound impressive on a rap sheet. Better to be hung for a herd of sheep etc


What author can’t you do without?

Askey. Sorry, what was that, I’m a bit mutton …


What movie best captures the criminal life?

Wild Bill: Former tough guy Bill returns home to his dreary flat in a London tower block, after 11 years in the nick, only to find out that his wife has done a runner to Spain, leaving their two young sons to fend for themselves. Writer Danny King, director Dexter Fletcher and a collection of great performances turn what could have been merely grim social realism into a splendid, funny and moving film.

Are you a criminal mastermind or just a mild-mannered dreamer?

A criminally minded dreamer.

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Review: Gumshoe

gumshoe

GUMSHOE
Paul D. Brazill
Pulp Metal Fiction

Blurb:

Following the breakdown of his marriage, in a booze addled flash of inspiration, Peter Ord decides to become a private investigator. However, is Seatown ready for him? More to the point is he ready for the Seatown’s cast of ne’er do wells, gangsters and lunatics? Peter must tackle many challenging cases, including one involving a legless crooner, and when he comes under the radar of local crime lord Jack Martin, has he bitten off more than he can chew? With sidekicks like hack Bryn Laden failure is not an option it’s compulsory. – Darren Sant

Review:

I reviewed Brazill’s novella Guns of Brixton recently too; both show his trademark humour and inevitably ramshackle criminal capers mixed with violent shenanigans. Unlike the frantic pace of that London-based knot of intertwined stories, the northern setting of Gumshoe offers a more laconic pace which suits the humour even better and makes the stark failures a little more (dare I say it?) poignant. As Vic & Bob can tell you, Northern doesn’t always travel well down to the sunny climes. Their loss, because there’s much amusement here along with the noirish escapades. The adventures of this PI feel like they rolled out of a Tom Waits song — crime with the feel of a shaggy dog story, complete with running jokes. The world of Seatown feels so real enough that you’re sure you’ve walked those streets — and chances are you ran into Ord somewhere in a dark pub. He was the one in the corner in the suit beginning to fray, nursing a bad hangover and wondering how he got there. Buy him a drink. He needs it.

[reposted from A Knife & A Quill]

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