Recommended Read: Satan’s Sorority by Graham Wynd

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In 1950’s America, Sandra’s parents send her off to a small town university in order to keep her out of trouble. While there she encounters Trixie Faust and the rest of the Sigma Tau Nu sorority. Blood, sex and satanism quickly ensure.In spades!

Satan’s Sorority by Graham Wynd is a smart, witty and marvelously well written slice of pulp fiction. Full of great lines and clever asides, Satan’s Sorority is another winner from Fahrenheit 13 and Fahrenheit Press.

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David Nolan Author Visit in Lees Library, Oldham.

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David Nolan

‘Join multi award-winning author, television producer and crime reporter, David Nolan, to discuss his latest book Black Moss (set in Oldham!). Includes a talk, Q&A and book signing. (Books will be available to purchase on the evening).

David is a multi award-winning author, television producer and crime reporter. He has written a dozen books including Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil, the true story of the largest historic abuse case ever mounted by Greater Manchester Police. He presented a BBC Radio 4 documentary based on the book called The Abuse Trial. It won both the Rose D’Or and the New York International radio awards in 2016. Officers involved in the case helped David with the police procedures featured in Black Moss, particularly the way the system deals with missing children.

‘It’s set against the backdrop of the Strangeways riot because that’s a story I know very well,’ says David, who won a Royal Television Society award for his documentary about the riot, the biggest prison disturbance Britain has ever seen. ‘I spent three and a half weeks outside the jail covering the story in 1990. It was an astonishing experience.’

Find out more here.

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Recommended Reads: Abide With Me and April Skies by Ian Ayris.

Brit Grit, Fahrenheit 13, Fahrenheit Press, Ian Ayris, London, Paul D. Brazill, Punk Noir Magazine, Recommended Reads, True Brit Grit

In American fiction, the lines of genre are regularly blurred so that characters in the writings of ‘dirty realists’ like Nelson Algren, Harry Crews, John Fante and Charles Bukowski can comfortably inhabit the same world as those of crime fiction writers such as James M Cain, Jim Thompson and Charles Wilford.  This, of course, is a very good thing.

With British fiction, perhaps because of the yoke of the class system and prissy academia, that doesn’t seem to happen so much. But within the recent sub-genre of Brit Grit, things are changing. A lot of these new hard-hitting writers have as much in common with Irvine Welsh and Allan Sillitoe as they do with Ted Lewis and Derek Raymond. This, of course, is a very good thing.

Which brings me to Ian Ayris’ brilliant John Sissons novels, Abide With Me and April Skies. These are books with balls and brains and heart.

In Abide With Me – set in 1975Johnny Sissons is a young boy from the East End of London. Johnny’s family are normal, very likeable and very close. And they are getting by as best they can in sometimes difficult times.  Johnny, like his father, has an exhilarating love of West Ham football club, a passion that beats throughout the novel like a heartbeat.

Johnny’s neighbour, Kenny, however, doesn’t have such luck – his home-life his heartbreakingly grim. Abide With Me is a book about their friendship. About loyalty, family, poverty. It’s about doing the right thing. And about making mistakes and facing up to them.

It is an incredibly involving book. As we watch Johnny and Kenny grow up and head toward a life of crime like dishwater down a plughole, we are with them all the way. Ayris’ gripping, gritty, beautiful novel is full of warmth, wit, excitement, comedy and tragedy. An uncompromised chunk of social realism,

Its sequel, April Skies, is set in ’90s London. John Sissons is out of the slammer and trying to get by, working at a market stall. When he loses his job, he gets a job at a door production factory and his luck starts to change. But is it for the better? April Skies is marvellous. Full of realistic, well-drawn characters, great dialogue, sharp twists and turns, and with a strong sense of place and time. Nerve-wracking and heart-breaking, tense and touching – April Skies is a Brit Grit classic.

Both books are now available in various formats from Fahrenheit Press.

Ian Ayris books

Recommended Reads: Nolan, Gadsby.

Brit Grit, Crime Fiction, David Nolan, Fahrenheit 13, Fahrenheit Press, London, London Noir, Manchester, Paul D. Brazill, Paul Gadsby, Punk Noir Magazine, Recommended Reads

black moss

Black Moss by David Nolan.

In 1990, Manchester radio journalist Danny Johnston looks into the murder of a child while the eyes of the world are on the Strangeways prison riot. More than a quarter of a century later, he again takes up the investigation.  Black Moss is gripping, fast paced, moving, authentic, and funny, too! Very highly recommended.

Back Door To Hell

Back Door To Hell by Paul Gadsby

Jen and Nate work in a Snooker Club and decided to rip off their gangster boss. A desperate chase across the UK quickly ensues, with violent consequences. Back Door To Hell is a realistic and riveting slice of Brit Grit with marvellous, well-drawn characters and sharp twists and turns.  Great stuff.

 

Funny Little Frog by Graham Wynd

Crime Fiction, Fahrenheit 13, Fahrenheit Press, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Graham Wynd, K A Laity, Noir, Noir Songs, post punk, Punk Noir Magazine

The row of houses stood much the same as he stepped down from the train. They had browned, as if muddy showers from passing busses had caked in the sun, baking to a tobacco stain of the pub floor. Unintentional outcomes of the smoking ban, eh?

 

Sebastian wondered if she changed the locks, but his key fit and turned and he stepped inside. The afternoon light cut through the frosted window, lending a sparkle to some dust motes in the gloom. The flat still smelled like boiled onions. His parka hung by the door, no doubt full of two year’s dust.

 

‘Who’s that?’ Her voice sounded thin but angry, more brittle than before.

 

‘It’s me,’ he answered unthinkingly like a thousand times before, unprepared for how loud his words sounded in the stillness. Sebastian dropped his bag and crossed to the sitting room door.

 

She stared at him, remote in hand. ‘I thought it was Davy.’

 

‘Hello, mum.’

 

‘So you’re out.’

 

‘I wrote you.’

 

‘I know.’ Her lower lip thrust out like a child’s pout. If this was the worst he could bear it. ‘I suppose you want to be staying here?’

 

He shrugged. ‘If I can. Until I get settled.’ He noticed the stripe of captions across the bottom of the screen. Was she losing her hearing?

 

‘I’ve had a hard time of it. No one in my family ever spent time inside.’ The emphasis cast aspersions on her absent partner. He would have brought up Uncle Frank, but he hadn’t actually been jailed, had he? Knifed on the way to the court house.

 

But all he said was, ‘I know, mum.’

 

Despite her grumbling, she heaved herself out of the chair and put the kettle on. Buttering some bread for them both, she caught him up on news for their street: who died, who worked, who moved away—why she kept the sound low and the captions on because that dirty pair on the corner would bring their yappy little mutt to do its business on her front and she wasn’t having that.

 

‘And Renee?’ He couldn’t bear the suspense any longer.

 

His mother snorted. ‘Working at Marks and Sparks that one. Taking classes at the business school too, I hear. Quite the little entrepreneur.’

 

For the first time since he got out, Sebastian smiled.

 

‘Have you got it out of your system now?’ his mother asked as she shook a few fingers of shortbread onto a plate.

 

‘Got what?’

 

‘This violence! You know I can’t stand violence.’ Her mouth drew up into a little bow of disapproval. He tried not to think of all the times she’d screamed for Tyson Fury to beat his opponent to a bloody pulp. But sure, violence was bad.

 

‘Yes, mum.’ He wasn’t sure it was true. Sebastian knew he had it in him, but for the two years he’d been away, nothing had provoked him. Some quiet midnights it all ran through his brain like a film, that Saturday in the club. That bloody bruiser Cunningham—scourge of the town, or at least the east side. Normally everyone just gave him a wide berth, especially when he’d had a pint or ten.

 

But that night Cunningham had fixed on Renee.

 

She had been looking good. Sebastian marveled at the way her hair bounced above the glittery eyes. He didn’t know how women got their eye brows to look like doll perfection but she was a living doll that night in a knock out of a dress. Not red but darker—burgundy maybe. Sebastian was just up at the bar to order when he heard Cunningham go off on all the things he was going to do to her, his lascivious tongue hanging out as he bragged.

 

Sebastian didn’t recall punching him. He did see the teeth later, in dreams. He remembered the blood. There was just so much of it. It wasn’t his fault, the court decided later, that Cunningham had stepped back into that bar stool, tangled his legs, fell and snapped his neck. Misadventure, sure—but he started it. Sebastian didn’t really notice his broken hand until it had already been bandaged up. He didn’t protest as they read the sentence.

 

Renee was safe. That was all that mattered. They ought to have given him a medal.

 

He couldn’t resist very long. Out the door and down into the centre where more shops had closed. The empty windows multiplied like shadows of a plague. The big block letters of M&S defied the darkness and he pushed through the double doors, eyes eager to find her.

 

She was folding jumpers for a display. It was like magic how the rumpled knits smoothed under her hands, lining up in a neat pile. ‘Hey, Renee.’

 

Her smile warmed him. All those nights he’d gone to bed with her smile before him, that photo cut from the paper—having one-sided conversations. Thoughts of her got him through the long two years. Anticipating this moment had given him life.

 

‘Hello.’ Her look was expectant. ‘Can I help you?’

 

‘It’s Sebastian.’

 

She stared and then a spark of recognition. ‘Oh, from number 12. Not seen you in a while.’

 

‘No.’ He wanted to say so much, but the words jammed in his throat as if he had swallowed something living, struggling and choking him. Everything in his mouth sounded so stupid. You saved my life.

 

‘Renee! Lunch!’ A voice behind him sounded matronly—kind but firm.

 

‘That’s my break,’ Renee said apologetically. ‘Do you want me to get someone else for you? They’re real sticklers about being timely on our breaks.’

 

‘No. Just looking.’

 

‘See you round.’ She patted the stack of jumpers and then turned away. For a moment Sebastian thought to chase after her, to explain everything, but he let her just walk away.

 

As Sebastian stood on the empty street, the rain began to fall. It was funny, but he felt like a ghost. Was he even real?

Bio: A writer of bleakly noirish tales with a bit of grim humour, Graham Wynd can be found in Dundee but would prefer you didn’t come looking. An English professor by day, Wynd grinds out darkly noir prose between trips to the local pub. Publications include LOVE IS A GRIFT and EXTRICATE from Fox Spirit Books, SATAN’S SORORITY from Fahrenheit 13 Press,  as well as tales in the 2016 Anthony Award-winning anthology Murder Under the Oaks and the Anthony Award-nominated Protectors 2: Heroes . Wynd’s stories have been translated into German, Italian, Polish and Slovene. See a full list of stories (including free reads) here. Find Wynd on Facebook and Twitter.

love-is-a-grift

Recommended Reads: Rausch, Kalteis, Morr.

Andy Rausch, Close To The Bone, Dietrich Kalteis, Fahrenheit 13, Fahrenheit Press, Indie, Paul D. Brazill, Punk Noir Magazine, Recommended Reads, Todd Morr

 

Bloody Sheets

Bloody Sheets by Andy Rausch

Mob enforcer Coke’s son is murdered by the Ku Klux Klan and Coke heads off to redneck country to extract his bloody revenge. Bloody Sheets is a violent and powerful crime drama choc-full of great characters and crackling dialogue.

PoughkeepsieShuffleCover

Poughkeepsie Shuffle by Dietrich Kalteis

In ’80s Toronto, an ex-con trying to go straight gets involved with gun running and violence ensues. Poughkeepsie Shuffle is a fast-moving combination of crime caper and convincing character studies that are worthy of peak period Elmore Leonard.

if you're not 1 percent

If You’re Not One Percent by Todd Morr

A man with a dark past hides out in a small town but is dragged into a world of violence by a group of local psychopaths.  If You’re Not One Percent is brilliant, blistering, hardboiled, grindhouse action. A belter. I loved it.

What can be more noir than February? – #Fahrenbruary by Aidan Thorn

Aidan Thorn, Chris Black, Fahrenheit 13, Fahrenheit Press, Graham Wynd, Noir, Non-fiction, Number 13 Press, Paul D. Brazill, Pulp, punk, Punk Noir Magazine, Shotgun Honey, Writing

rival sons

If you’re a reader of these pages I imagine you like your entertainment dripping in noir and with the spirit of punk running right through its core. So, I probably don’t need to introduce you to Fahrenheit Press and its hard-boiled and experimental imprint, Fahrenheit 13. But you may not be aware of the levels of dedication Fahrenheit readers have for what this wonderful small press is doing. Next month is February, and I know I didn’t need to tell you that because if you’re like me you’ll dread its arrival every year. It’s just far enough away from Christmas that it feels like a distant memory and the green shoots of spring and summer feel like they’ll never arrive. But this year the fans of Fahrenheit Press have decided to brighten things up with a celebration of dark, disturbing, funny, experimental, engaging, sad, heartfelt and just plain brilliant fiction. Yes, for fans of great fiction from this year forward February has been re-branded – .

The brain-child of two book bloggers, The Beardy Book Blogger (https://beardybookblogger.wordpress.com) himself (a man I only know as Mart) and Matt Keyes from It’s an Indie Book Blog – (https://itsanindiebookblog.com), will be a month-long celebration of some incredible books and authors that perhaps fly under your radar, but really shouldn’t. I was a fan of Fahrenheit Press before I ended up on their author list and so I’d have been supporting this initiative regardless of personal interest. But with Fahrenbruary nearly upon us I would like to highlight a format that’s much overlooked in literature that the likes of Farhenheit Press (through Fahrenheit 13) and Shotgun Honey are helping to give a voice to again, the novella. OK, so I do have to declare an interest – I write novellas (I may even have just shamelessly plugged both of my publishers in the last sentence), but I was a fan first, and I reckon if you’re reading these pages you might be too – but there’s a chance you don’t even know it yet.

when the music's overBetween 2013-15 an incredible project popped up called Number 13 Press. The mission, publish 13 novellas in 13 months. It was run by Chris Black and fuck did he achieve that mission. He published 13 brilliant individual pieces of fiction that found wide critical acclaim and gave readers new voices to read. I was lucky enough to be the tenth ‘Thirteener’ and I found myself amongst some truly astonishing company, the likes of Matt Phillips, Grant Nicol, Paul Brazill, Graham Wynd, B. R. Stateham, Robert White, Mark Ramsden, Richard Godwin, Ariana D. Den Bleyker, Steve Finbow, Michael Young and Turlough Delaney.  All unique voices bringing something different to the shorter form of writing. And, having recognised what a great and diverse collection of books Chris Black had put out, at the start of 2018 Fahrenheit Press took Number 13 Press under its wing and Fahrenheit 13 was born. So, this post is not only here to make you aware of the wonderful reader led initiative that is Fahrenbruary but also to make a pitch that if you want to take part – and you should – you consider taking a look at these atmospheric noir novellas, I don’t believe you’ll regret a moment.

For me the novella is the perfect form and the Fahrenheit 13 collection are the perfect example of it. We constantly hear that people don’t read anymore, I get it, we’re all busy – I know I am and that’s why I discovered the novella. I found novels that I used to be able to read in a week were taking me a month or more to get through – I was forgetting what had happened at the start by the time I got to the end! Step up the novella. For me this form is so gripping, let’s take the Fahrenheit 13 releases as an example of why. The author has to quickly pull the reader into the story with atmosphere and a hook, just look at the opening of Stateham’s A Killing Kiss. Fans of Stateham will be familiar with his Smitty character and here the reader is dragged into a criminal underworld with our hero. The characters have to be so well formed that the reader will instantly understand and form a connection with them – you don’t have to like them, or even be like them but they have to be well drawn so you go with them. Take Phillips’ title character Calvin Redbone in the pressure cooker piece that is Redbone, the reader feels every injustice, every emotion and every bit of pain along the way – we feel the book. In novellas we have to be quickly emerged into the world and therefore the setting is equally important, take Finbow’s Down Among the Dead where during its short length we move between modern day London and twenty years before in Belfast, both locations and time periods are described vividly and yet not a word is wasted. Then of course there’s perfect plotting – perhaps the most important element of all, whether it’s the unfolding in front of your eyes unknown even to the lead character plot of Young’s Of Blondes and Bullets or the manipulative and seductively brilliant rise of Sandra Delites in Satan’s Sorority these novellas are plotted to the nth degree.

So here ends my brief love letter to the novella, with their cinematic length, rich characters, atmospheric writing and page turning plot there’s really nothing a fan of great fiction shouldn’t love. In this time pressured world, where everything and everyone is screaming for our attention why not spend a few hours each week in the company of a good short book – and I promise there’s no better place to start than at Fahrenheit 13. This Fahrenbruary, pick up a novella or two (fuck it, buy the lot) directly from the Fahrenheit Press website and fall in love with reading all over again.

a tYou can keep up with what’s going on and tell others about your experiences this Fahrenbruary across social media by searching and using .

Bio: Aidan Thorn writes dark fiction about families and conflict. His short stories have been widely published across various anthologies and web mags.

His novellas When the Music’s Over and Rival Sons are available to buy now.

Recommended Reads:Nick Quantrill’s Joe Geraghty Novels

Brit Grit, Crime Fiction, Fahrenheit Press, Nick Quantrill, Non-fiction, Paul D. Brazill, Punk Noir Magazine, Recommended Reads

joe geraghty

Broken Dreams.

Nick Quantrill’s  debut novel Broken Dreams is a cracking book.  A big shot local businessman asks PI Joe Geraghty to investigate an employee’s absenteeism and the Private Investigator is soon following a muddy and bloodstained trail through the battle scarred northern city of Hull. Geraghty, like his hometown, has taken many a good kicking and is trying to get back on his feet. Broken Dreams is realistic and romantic. It takes you by the lapels and drags you along on a gritty, gripping journey.

The Late Greats.

In The Late Greats, Joe Geraghty is hired by an overbearing musical ‘entrepreneur’, Kent Major, to babysit his possible cash cow – the band New Holland. Once upon a time, New Holland were the bee’s knees, the cat’s whiskers. Imagine, if you will, Hull’s version of Oasis, surfing the crest of the Britpop wave and then, in the blink of an eye,stagnating and self- destructing. But now they’re back together having, apparently, forgotten their creative and personal differences and are about to embark on a lucrative comeback tour. So, with his eyes on the prize, Kent Major hires Geraghty to keep an eye on the boys, so that all runs smoothly. But, of course, it doesn’t and all quickly goes pear shaped when the singer , Greg Tasker, disappears. And, inevitably,Geraghty is despatched to find him.

The Late Greats is a fast paced, page-turner, the weight of which rests heavily on Geraghty’s broad shoulders. Geraghty, unlike many of crime fiction’s messed up PIs, is an Everyman – a decent and likeable bloke just trying to get on with his life after the death of his wife. Trying to adapt to change. Something many of the characters in The Late Greats are trying to avoid.

In Quantrill’s  Broken Dreams, Joe Geraghty’s investigations allowed him to to dig into the city’s past and address its changes- both good and bad. In this follow up novel, however, Geraghty is forced to look at how people change. How some people grow up,and not always for the better, and others never do. The Late Greats, is a splendid, character driven piece of social realist storytelling which cements Nick Quantrill’s position as a crime writer with something to say

The Crooked Beat.

P I Joe Geraghty steps up to help out his brother who is in dire financial straits.However,Joe is soon under the radar of Hull’s underworld and subsequently digs up some of the city’s dark secrets. This is the third of Nick Quantrill’s Joe Geraghty novels and the best yet with perfect pacing and a great sense of place and history.

All three books are now available from Fahrenheit Press.