Get it on your local Amazon for nowt all this week (just change .com to whatever your region is): a twisty-turny noir tale of dishonour among thieves in a small city.
Two stories just out this month, both inspired by my travels in Slovenia. ‘These Toys Are For Tough Boys’ was the title Renato Bratkovič gave me as I was treated with great food, Lasko Noir and Alibi wine at Bar Grega and Gora pod lipo. Want a story from me? Fly me to an alpine location and give me good stuff to eat and drink. Boom! 6K story in a day.
‘Somewhere in Slovenia’ over at Near to the Knuckle looks at the potential problems of being unilingual in post-Brexit EU. Footie fans beware 😉 heh. Also a song by Slovenia’s premiere punk band, Res Nullius.
BUILD MY GALLOWS HIGH
Geoffrey Homes (1946)
Probably best known as the text for Out of the Past, the classic noir film with Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer and Kirk Douglas (and how much better a title is the book than that?), this novel written under a pseudonym by screenwriter Daniel Mainwaring, who also worked on the script for Invasion of the Body Snatchers and dozens of others, has much less cultural currency than the film it led to (I’d forgotten Against All Odds was a remake: I just cringe automatically on hearing in my head the Phil Collins theme song).
It’s a tight little book that feels very much like an adapted screenplay. There’s no wasted words in this slim volume though it fleshes out the backstory of the novel quite a bit more. The action pretty much hurls through the events non-stop. Nonetheless Homes/Mainwaring offers some moments worth lingering over, throwing in scraps of poetry (‘When I am dead and over me bright April shakes down her rain-drenched hair’) and some description that offers a bit of poetry of its own:
Lloyd Eels was a tall man who hadn’t come off the assembly line.Somebody had found some spare parts lying around and had put them together carelessly, not bothering to get the bolts tight so that they seemed almost ready to come apart. He had black, sad eyes and a black mustache like an untrimmed hedge. No amount of combing would help his shock of hair.
‘You’re getting fat,’ Red said. ‘It doesn’t become you.’
‘You come up here to tell me that?’
‘No, I hate to see a man let himself go. They’ll get you back in shape in Alcatraz.’
‘Always the jester,’ Whit said acidly.
‘But the cap is getting pretty shabby and the bells lose their merry tinkle.’
Jim Caldwell’s eyes saw nothing in the drab domestic scene to wonder at, nothing to make him consider even momentarily the thought that people got old and people took each other for granted and presently there was no magic in the world. Jesus, she was beautiful standing under the hard, white light, her head tilted a little, her cheeks flushed, her dark eyes full of stars.
See all the overlooked books over at Patti’s blog.
Those devilish girls of Sigma Tau Nu — here’s a few portraits of ones who are new!
Joccelina van de Chuff
Many thanks to the multi-talented Chloë Yates who swings a fine pen herself: check out her many publications here.
This Halloween pledge Sigma Tau Nu! Never mind black cats — you don’t want once of these sisters to cross your path. Sexy, violent and a little bit mad, this racy crime novella is for adults only!
See this #AmazonGiveaway for a chance to win: Satan’s Sorority. https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/98596c22807400fd NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends the earlier of Oct 25, 2016 11:59 PM PDT, or when all prizes are claimed. See Official Rules http://amzn.to/GArules.
From the wild guys at Near to the Knuckle, Close to the Bone comes a compendium of tales featured on the site in 2012. A great idea! Thanks, Craig Douglas. Includes my tale ‘Just Waiting’ but look at the full line up:
Erik Arneson – Swing and A Miss
Stuart Ayris – Heads or Tails
Bill Baber – Turn Me Loose
David Barber – Monster
Jack Bates – Sleep Tight
Eric Beetner – Gutshot
Paul D Brazill – Killing Mr Cornflakes
Joe Clifford – The Banyan Tree
Cheryl Anne Gardner – Victoria’s Even Bigger Secret
Candy Green Gustavson – California Dying
Ruth Jacobs – Protection
Dana C Kabel – Drinkin’ on the Job
Rob Kitchin – Target Practice
Len Kuntz – The Haters Club
Chris Leek – Reno
Benoit Lelievre – The Devil’s Shinbone
Finley J MacDonald – Blood Magic
Tom Pitts – Vigil
Ryan Sales – Douche
Andy Scorah – Shaka’s Fall
Graham Smith – The Morning After
Gareth Spark – Rundown Dog
BR Stateham – Vengeance is a Cruel Mistress
Liam Sweeney – All I Need is a Day
Aidan Thorn – The Clean Up
Edward Vaughan – Not in the Cards
Charlie Wade – Friday Night Fun
Townsend Walker – Cold Beer
Eileen Wharton – The Hollow Man
Graham Wynd – Just Waiting
Click to Buy
And yes, another swiped title from The Fall: