Shots Of Polski Noir by Paul D. Brazill

Noir, Polski Noir, Uncategorized, Writing

katarzyna BondaFor a country with such a relatively low crime rate, crime fiction is more than somewhat popular in Poland. Polish television is as cluttered with corpses as its British and US counterparts and if you walk into Empik, or any of the country’s many book shops, you immediately spot the kryminał and sensacja sections. The shelves are choc-full of police procedurals, cozies, thrillers, and their various hybrids. There are lots of books by foreign authors there, of course, especially the ubiquitous Nordic noirs. But there’s plenty of home-grown talent, too. Most of whom have yet to be translated into English – though not for long, I suspect.

Here are a few shots of Polski Noir to give you a taster:

k bondaKatarzyna Bonda is a journalist and scriptwriter whose novels have all become best-sellers in Poland. Her books include the Hubert Meyer trilogy (The Case of Nina Frank, Only the Dead Don’t Lie, The Florist), the true crime books Polish Murderesses, and An Imperfect Crime, as well as a textbook entitled The Writing Machine. However, her most successful novel series stars the female profiler Sasza Załuska: Girl at MidnightThe White Mercedes, and Lanterns. Girl at Midnight received the Audience Award at the 2015 International Crime Festival, while The White Mercedes won the 2015 Empik Bestseller Award. Foreign rights to the books have been purchased by the likes of Hodder & Stoughton and Random House.

sandra b

S. M. Borowiecky has been compared to Dan Brown, James Patterson, Paula Hawkins and Stephen King. She followed up her bestselling debut Ani Żadnej Rzeczy (Or Anything) with Która Jego Jest (Who is he?), which has also been a great success.

23232010_1873248142988990_1721123989_n

Mary Sue Ann was born in a small town in Silesia. In the dark evenings she writes dark novels. Zabójcza podświadomość (The Murderous Subconscious) is a paranormal crime novel. The action takes places in Los Angeles where a serial killer targets woman who are in advanced stages of pregnancy. Real estate agent Laura Kovalsky one day receives a strange phone call that shakes her stable world. Will a little boy with paranormal abilities be able to help Laura, the police and the FBI catch the killer?

23140438_1134969006634123_107251585_nJacek Ostrowski AKA Jack Sharp is a Polish writer who specializes in dark fantasy noir with a strong gothic atmosphere.

His best known books are Posiadlosc w Portovenere (The Mansion In Portovenere), UT, Transplantacja (Transplantation) and Mezczyzna z tatuazem (The Man With The Tattoo).23158006_1134968249967532_1631462797_o

His most recent novel Ostatnia wizyta (The Very Last Visit) is based on the true story of an unsolved kidnapping that took place in communist Poland.

It shouldn’t be long before all of these authors are translated in English so keep a beady, bloodshot eye out for them.

Shots In The Dark by Paul D. Brazill

Films, Noir, Non-fiction, Paul D. Brazill, Uncategorized, Writing

PhotoFunia-1590227713

Crime fiction is easily and readily sliced up into sub-genres, especially these days. We have the cozy, the murder- mystery, the detective story, the police procedural, the hardboiled. Or the social realism of Brit Grit, which wears its dark heart on its blood-stained sleeve like a call to arms to the dispossessed, disenfranchised and desperate.

And it’s also categorised by country too – Scandinavian crime, for example, is expected to have a very different flavour to the Italian or French variety.

Noir, though, to quote Spinetingler Magazine’s Brian Lindenmuth is ‘more like a style of fiction’. More elusive, perhaps. Like a murder glimpsed from the steamy window of a passing train.

The origins of ‘noir’ as a definition of a sharp sliver of crime fiction goes back to the mid-1940s when the French publisher Marcel Duhamel cleverly packaged American pulp fiction – from the likes of Raymond Chandler, James M Cain, Jim Thompson, Cornell Woolrich – in black covers, as the imprint Série noire. And since then it has also been tied like a noose to the cinematic versions of those books. Films that painted the world with light and pitch black shadows.

Ostensibly crime fiction – or skirting its razor edge – noir is a taste that’s as black and bitter as an espresso or a shot of moonshine-whisky. Noir, for me, is all about mood. And a dark mood at that because, as Otto Penzler once said, ‘noir is about losers’. For writers and fans of noir, we are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the abyss between the stars.

© Paul D Brazill.

This is the introduction to the crime anthology ‘Maybe I Should Just Shot You In The Face?’

Paul D. Brazill is the author of Man of the World, Last Year’s Man, A Case Of Noir, and Kill Me Quick. He was born in England and lives in Poland. He has had writing published in various magazines and anthologies, including The Mammoth Books of Best British Crime 8, 10 and 11.