Monday, 19 December 2011
Sunday, 18 December 2011
Sunday, 4 December 2011
Saturday, 3 December 2011
Friday, 11 November 2011
Friday, 4 November 2011
Tuesday, 1 November 2011
Saturday, 29 October 2011
I rattled through AZC. It’s highly original, witty, laugh out loud at times, thought provoking and sprinkled with cracking dialogue that, I think, is a hallmark of Declan’s writing. AZC is a terrific read.
AZC has been nominated for the Irish Book Awards in the Ireland AM Crime Fiction Award category; a tremendous achievement and many congrats go to Dec. He’s in very good company though - the other nominees are:
Taboo by Casey Hill, A Death in Summer by Benjamin Black, Bloodland by Alan Glynn, The Bloody Meadow by William Ryan and The Reckoning by Jane Casey.
Thursday, 27 October 2011
I’m chuffed to bits this evening and will be for a while. I submitted a story to the upcoming Radgepacket anthology and it’s been accepted.
Radgepacket - Tales from the Inner Cities Volume 6 is due for release in March 2012, published by those wonderful people at Byker Books. I can’t wait.
Many congratulations to the other twenty one writers also accepted; I’m sure I’ll be in good company.
Finally, a huge thank you to Ed and all the folks at Byker Books.
Saturday, 15 October 2011
Sunday, 2 October 2011
I’m a big fan of Layer Cake. The film, which I have watched several times but more so the book from J.J. Connolly. I picked up Layer Cake many moons ago from a long closed and much missed local independent bookshop. This was also many moons before Layer Cake was made into the film.
I’d read here and there that JJC was working on a sequel to Layer Cake but nothing transpired. Until today when I was browsing my local Waterstone’s and came across this cracking looking trade paperback. The Viva La Madness blurb runs like this:
The long-awaited sequel to the cult classic Layer Cake. The authentic voice of British gangster fiction returns with a tour de force in this long-awaited sequel to Layer Cake, the bestselling debut by J.J. Connolly that 'jump-started British crime fiction into the present' (Uncut). More authentic in its language and scene-setting, smarter in its characterisation and plotting than anything that had previously gone by the name of gangster fiction, Layer Cake attracted a big cult following and became a Crime bestseller (it also became the most shop-lifted book in Britain). The Get Carter of the noughties, Layer Cake has also been made into a highly-praised film by Matthew Vaughn, starring Daniel Craig, Michael Gambon and Sienna Miller. Now J. J. Connolly is back with a sequel that sees him on the same stunning form, with his trademark razor-sharp dialogue and quick-fire violence, but also finding dark humour and pathos in the lives of violent men. From the many levels of the London underworld portrayed in Layer Cake, Viva la Madness moves to international crime with trans-Atlantic drug deals, money laundering and high-tech electronic fraud, portrayed with the same uncanny believability. The anonymous hero of Layer Cake is pulled back into the drug game before he can escape to a sunny retirement: in an authentic but dazzling combination of London low-life, Caribbean high-life and Venezuelan drug cartels toting machine-guns in Mayfair. The brilliance and the madness is back: 'Viva la madness!'
So out the window went my promise to only buy new books for my Kindle to save my groaning bookshelves. Well who could resist…
I’ll let you know how the book treats me.
Friday, 16 September 2011
The mysterious Anonymous-9 is an award winning and very classy writer – go on give it a punt.
Wednesday, 24 August 2011
Monday, 22 August 2011
Wednesday, 17 August 2011
Monday, 15 August 2011
Sunday, 7 August 2011
Wednesday, 3 August 2011
Yes, I’m still alive and scribbling my nonsense and flim-flam here and there.
Friday, 18 March 2011
Just a reminder that the fifth volume in our mighty Radgepacket series hits the streets this weekend and we're celebrating the fact that we've got away with it five times now with a little launchy soiree type thing. We've got a guest speaker (Rod Glenn - proper novelist and proper bloke), some booze, some nibbles, and plenty of banter so come along and meet some of the crew, have a drink and a laugh. What else would you do on a Saturday (19th) man? Ikea? Pah!
The whole Radgepacket series has, over it's short life, attracted praise from various writers and critics - here's a selection of views :-
'Imaginative writing in this collection which offers a sharp critique of the trashy, beer-and-a-kebab culture.' - The Crack
'Top notch stuff. Seriously impressed.' - Ray Banks, Author
'An anthology for those who like their fiction twisted, profane and depraved. Me, I loved it.' - Big Beat from Badsville
'Within these pages you will find gem after gem.' - Sheila Quigley, Author
The launch is at the 'The Back Page' in Newcastle city centre and, for those of you who don’t know it, it's one of Britain’s best (if not the actual best) sports book shops and carries a massive range of books and other sporting paraphernalia, not to mention the friendliest staff you’ll ever meet anywhere…ever!
The full address is:
56 St. Andrews Street
Newcastle upon Tyne,
So come along, have a drink with us, get a copy of the new and improved Radgepacket, get it signed by the contributors in attendance and hear a bit of spiel from my good self – you can even heckle...a little bit. Be nice to see you.
Tuesday, 8 March 2011
I hope Sid, the thirteen-year-old capuchin monkey helper, is behaving but I fear not… Col, only monkey porn and beer will do the trick!
My thanks go to Col for having me over.
Sunday, 27 February 2011
And here's my story:
Priest stood in front of the mirror, flinching at the patchwork of raw slashes.
I really don't mind the scars. It’s betrayal that cuts to the friggin’ bone.
Until this was settled he knew his constant companions would be a junkies craving for revenge and anger in the pit of his stomach burning like a pus filled ulcer.
Razorblade kisses I’ll wear for the rest of my days.
He’d been double crossed after a successful little tickle in leafy Surrey. Beaten senseless and carved up like a greasy kebab by Nick the Nonce and his goons.
Left for dead, amongst the mud and the cow shit.
The sound of car tyres on slick tarmac interrupted his reverie.
Priest snuck into the garage and unscrewed the light bulb. Rain beat a tattoo, cleansing the Saturday night detritus. A torrent of water flushing all the piss and puke and blood from the London gutters.
Could it purify my dark soul?
The garage doors swung up. A BMW saloon edged into the garage; came to a halt and the engine died.
“It’s bloody dark in here, Ernie.”
“Shut it you tart. Where’s the bleedin’ light switch?”
Ernie Bradshaw, the Nonce’s six-foot-six enforcer, got out of the motor.
“Switch the headlights on, Razorblade I can’t see a fuckin’ thing.”
White light blazed. Priest swung the Louisville Slugger; splitting Ernie’s skull down the middle like a walnut.
“Timber!” said Priest, pointing a Glock at Razorblade. “So much as sneeze and I’ll blow your swede clean off. Get out!”
Razorblade got out.
“You’ve got this coming, Razorblade,” Priest said. “Tell me where the Nonce is and I’ll do it quick. Boy Scout's honour.”
“You know the boss don’t like that name.”
Priest threw a hammer of a punch, spreading Razorblade’s nose like strawberry jam and dumping him on the floor.
Razorblade spat claret and, “At the club but he’ll be here later.” A dirty laugh came out as a whimper. “We came ahead with a little something in the car boot.”
“Who’s gonna be with him?” Priest said, pushing the pistol into his waistband.
“Phil the Greek.”
“I’d best get ready then,” Priest said, hefting the Slugger. He beat Razorblade to a pulp and added; “Now that’s what I call a homerun.”
Priest dragged Ernie and then Razorblade through to the utility room, stuffing the two bodies into a chest freezer. Sat down and sparked up a Silk Cut. Puffing hard and wiping sweat from his brow he said, “Blimey, it’s all go around here.”
He made a pot of tea and a cheese and pickle sandwich. Ate half and supped his brew in the dark thinking dark thoughts.
The blade sunk deep. Grazing cheekbone and paring back a long ribbon of stubbly skin; a fat maggot wriggling out from beneath-
Priest jolted awake, sheathed with perspiration. He’d only closed his eyes for a few seconds. But it was enough. He drank deeply from a bottle of Chivas Regal, berating himself for his carelessness.
Razorblade kisses I’ll wear for the rest of my days.
Night was turning to day when he heard the revving of a throaty car engine; a Porsche reversing into a parking space on the other side of the mews.
The gang’s all here.
Five minutes passed. Phil the Greek entered the darkened room. “Boys. You there?”
“They’re both on ice,” Priest said, cutting Phil’s throat from behind with a bread knife as easily as slicing a peach.
The Nonce was coming up the stairs talking into a mobile phone. Priest’s smile was wolverine. “Hello, Nonce. You’ve got something of mine,” he said and swung a steel toe cap. “And I want it back.”
The Nonce came to, bound to one of his Georgian dining room chairs. Naked save a pair of soiled budgie smugglers.
“A fine morning for it, Nonce,” Priest said.
The Nonce spat broken teeth and, “For what you fuckin’ hooligan?”
“A spot of pruning,” Priest said, snipping off the Nonce’s left little pinky with a pair of wire cutters.
The Nonce roared curses; wailing like a tight fan belt.
“Swallow the pain you pussy and grow yourself a pair,” Priest said, shredding the Nonce’s discarded shirt. “You’re gonna take this like a man and then you’ll tell me where those gems are hidden.” Stuffing cotton strips between the Nonce’s swollen lips he added; “So cowboy up partner.”
Whistling ‘This Little Piggy’ tunelessly, Priest trimmed the right pinky at the knuckle. The Nonce bucking and squirming did his best to swallow the gag, passing out as his bloody thumbs fell onto the shag-pile.
Priest sucked a Silk Cut down to the filter then slapped the Nonce around until he revived.
“Now for the tiny todger,” Priest said.
The Nonce peed his pants and started to blub. When he was finished Priest said, “Back in a jiffy.”
The jewellery was in the safe along with a pile of cash. “It’s all gravy,” Priest said, scooping the lot into a holdall. He poured a large glass of whisky to celebrate and ate the rest of his sandwich.
Sated and with the swag counted Priest returned to the dining room.
“Nice doing business, Nonce,” Priest said. “I’d shake on it but you’re all fingers and thumbs.”
The Nonce croaked, “You can’t leave me like this you fuckin’ psychopath.”
“Too right,” Priest said, and in a heartbeat put a bullet into the Nonce’s canister. “No loose ends or happy ending.”
On the way out Priest heard muffled sounds coming from the garage. He popped the boot of the Beamer with the ignition fob, pointing the semi-automatic.
Trussed up like a Christmas turkey a young girl stared up at him with big, teary eyes.
Just like my own precious daughter.
Cracking what he hoped was a warm smile he gently helped her out. Looking up to the heavens Priest said, “Okay, just this friggin’ once.”
(c) Alan Griffiths 2011
Friday, 25 February 2011
How the devil are you? 2011 getting on your nerves yet? Well I’ve got just the thing…the launch date and venue for the latest edition in our short story collections - the mighty ‘Radgepacket 5’.
Now then, the previous four 'Radgepacket' collections have shaken up the established literary order and this one will be no exception. With twenty different stories of madness, murder and mayhem Radgepacket Volume Five will be launched on Saturday 19th March at ‘The Back Page’ in Newcastle upon Tyne between the hours of 15:00 and 17:00.
We’ve tweaked the format slightly from the first four volumes and have made the last story something of a novella (‘The Estate’ a cracking read from Danny Hill) yet Radge5 is still very cheap at only £5.99. It features contributions from 'up and comers' like Ian Ayris, Carol Fenlon and Paul Brazill and, of course, our usual mix of the unsigned and the unhinged!
As you know (or maybe you don’t!) Radgepacket was conceived and set up to promote those authors who write 'industrial strength fiction' but who never get a look in because they haven't been on Big Brother or had their bits out in the paper but we also want to produce a quality publication that gives the reader value for money and we think we've done that. In fact in this austere day and age it’s probably a crime not to buy something that works out at about 30p per story – it’s for nowt man!
For those of you who don’t know it ‘The Back Page’ is one of Britain’s best (if not the actual best) sports book shops and carries a massive range of books and other sporting paraphernalia, not to mention the friendliest staff you’ll ever meet anywhere…ever!
The full address is:
56 St. Andrews Street
Newcastle upon Tyne,
So come along, have a drink with us (might even get some nibbles – I said might…) get a copy of the new and improved Radgepacket, get it signed by the contributors in attendance and hear a bit of spiel from my good self – and hopefully a mystery guest speaker - what’s not to like?
I’m thrilled to be one of the unsigned and the unhinged!
Thursday, 24 February 2011
Saturday, 12 February 2011
The cover is terrific and I’m looking forward to finding out where Tony Black takes a police procedural. Tony is an author I admire tremendously. His Gus Dury novels are brilliant; Tartan Noir at its very best.
Have you treated yourself to a good book lately?
Enjoy the weekend folks!
Sunday, 6 February 2011
Check out the terrific looking Pulp Carnivale HERE.
My congratulations go to the Editor in Chief, Tracy Austin. I hope Tracy gets all the support needed to make a success of this fine project – knowing the online writing community I’m sure Tracy will.
There are a couple of nasty but nice pieces of flash by Ian Ayris and Charlie Wade over there, which you really need to read.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend folks!
Saturday, 22 January 2011
Check it out HERE.
And stay a while over there folks; chill out, make a nice cuppa something and take your time checking out some cracking stuff.
Have a great weekend all.
Thursday, 20 January 2011
A double digit tap and I held my breath.
My story, Say Hello Wave Goodbye, had been accepted for Radgepacket - Tales from the Inner Cities Volume 5.
I was over the blooming moon. I read it twice to make sure.
I’m thrilled, honoured and privileged to be accepted into this anthology. The planned release date is March/April…ish. As soon as I get more news I’ll let you know.
I’ll be interested to see the full list of contributors. I’m sure I’ll be in good company doing what I do best; holding onto the coattails of a talented bunch of authors - all with terrific stories. Congratulations to you all.
If you are not familiar with the books then please check out the last Radgepacket HERE. Go on treat yourself!
As Ed says (and Ed knows best):
“Byker Books will use profits from sales to fund basic operations and new titles (including the Radgepacket series). We’re not evil millionaires. We’re people trying to get good books and new authors out in to the market and we need your help to do that.”
Says it all, Ed.
Byker Books has exciting plans to launch the Radgepacket series as well as their other novels (old and new) in ebook form.
So, great news all round.
I can’t wait to see a story of mine in print for the first time. What a blast that will be. What an inspiration to keep scribbling down the nonsense that is inside my head.
Right-O, I’m off for a celebratory drink or three.
Take good care folks.
Saturday, 8 January 2011
I’d picked the book up several times and browsed it. Each time, although very tempted to buy a copy, I’d put it back saying to myself, “No! You already have too many books on that darned TBR pile.”
Then I read Keith Rawson’s top five books of 2010 and Cold Kiss was his number one pick. Well, Keith’s review did the trick and I picked up a copy last weekend.
Was I glad I did? Hell yes!
I blasted through the book in five days, which is exceptionally fast for me. I could have cracked it in much less time if it was not a working week and my reading time was limited.
I was also trying to take my time and savour it.
Cold Kiss is Nate and Sara’s story: A young couple who are broke and on the run from the past. A shady hitchhiker offers cold hard cash for a lift. They can’t afford to say no.
As the front cover blurb says: Fear never travels alone...
So, what is it about this book that, in my opinion, makes it so exceptionally good and John Rector so talented?
The narrative is fast paced, tightly plotted and full of suspense with an air of claustrophobic menace. Simon Kernick’s quote on the back cover captures the essence of the story: “You know something bad’s going to happen and just have to keep reading.”
But for me it is also John Rector’s writing style. Clean, hardboiled prose, pared to the bone so that not one gritty word is wasted and dialogue that is sparse and authentic.
Noir with a capital N!
From reading John’s blog it comes as no surprise that Cold Kiss has been optioned for film.
Cold Kiss is a terrific debut and John’s second novel, The Grove, is available in Kindle format – also to shortly be published in paperback.
So, my thanks go to Keith for a fine recommendation and to John for writing a superb book.
I’d recommend Cold Kiss in the blink of an eye and I’m sure Mr Rector will soon be a huge name and bestselling author.
Now, back to that darned TBR pile...
Monday, 3 January 2011
If you have not read the other fine pieces of writing then please spend a while over there and check them all out – the standard has been absolutely terrific. It’s a thrill and an honour to be part of it and a great start to the New Year.
My thanks go to the DSD crew who run a super blog all year round.
Finally, a belated Happy New Year to you all!