Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunset Strip: A Shot of Modern Noir

I've finally gotten around to finishing my latest novelette/novella Sunset Strip, set in L.A.

The story follows a man visiting L.A. on business as he picks up a beautiful Latina in a bar close to his hotel. The two hit it off after some initial foreplay and end up going to his room to get a little more 'comfortable'. What happens next is well.... unusual, to say the least.

Taking cues from the greats and adding a nice twist in the tail, this piece of Modern Noir will keep you guessing to the end.

You can find the book here!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Noir Shot Update... and Killing in print
I've finally gotten around to making Killing a Friend available in print via our good friends at Amazon's Createspace. So if eBooks ain't your thang you can now buy a paperback version. And very nice it is too.

As far as my Hollywood Noir short shot of Noir is concerned I've been a busy wee hack and passed my usual finish line in terms of short story length. So it'll be a long short story or a short novella - maybe a shortella... I like that....

I'm hoping to have it finished, proofed and ready to rock into your Xmas stockings. But knowing me you'll not get it until January when you need something new to read on your Kindle Fire...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Killing a Friend - special winter warmer price for all my friends...

I've knocked down the price on my mainstream literary novel Killing a Friend just to give it a wee nudge forward.

I don't know why (maybe because I haven't used 'sex' or 'serial killer' in the any of the marketing blurb) but it hasn't really moved very well - despite getting a humdinger of a first review a few months back, where I was described as a 'Beautiful Literary Voice' (doesn't get much better for an old Noir Hack like me).

Anyway, I've updated the cover art and dropped the price and I can guarantee sex, death, betrayal, bisexuality, abortion and suicide in fairly ample doses.

Dip your toes in while it's on sale!

It's also a precursor to the second print edition which will be on sale shortly via Amazon and other select sales channels.

Killing a Friend on

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Angel City

I've gotten off my proverbial fat ass and started to write a new shot of Noir, while my ongoing battle with my novel Flesh carries on...

I'll be basing this one in the U.S. - Los Angeles to be precise - the home of Noir in my most humble of opinions...

Given the locale and the history of Noir that the fine city of angles has given birth to, I'll be treading carefully on the hallowed grounds before me.

I've been to L.A. around five times now and I've been taking copious notes and building a story in my head for the last few months. Now the hard work begins... or should I say, now the hard work has BEGUN...

Watch this space for a new Shot of Modern Noir...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

We can see the stars - especially from the gutter...

I've mentioned Out of the Gutter previously - and I couldn't help but mention them again.

In their latest edition we find the US and the UK slugging it out for the world championship in pulp fiction. We see top-grade lowlife writers such as Tony Black slugging it out with the likes of E.E. Howard and Julie Morgan.

If you like your fiction hard, heavy and a little on the moist side, Out of the Gutter will serve up a right hook, followed by a jab that will leave you with a grin that stretches from ear to ear, much like the type you might get in an old Glasgow pub on displaying the wrong attitude on a cool October Saturday night.

Keep smiling.., and click here...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Whatever happened to humanity?

I'm sitting here scratching my head in-between typing these words. I have no idea where time has flown, but it has been travelling at the speed of sound, or maybe, perhaps, silence.

My promises to keep up the pace on my work-in-progress have been broken by an overload of work and what people call real life. I know.

I have been doing some more research though, and feel a lot closer to that which I am writing about. I've been doing some reading, and an investigative journalist friend of mine put me in touch with some 'undesirables' that could add more than a passing air of legitimacy to my forthcoming tome....

Let's just say I hope you or your family never meet these people.

The social (perhaps more correct to call it the anti-social) underbelly of this world continues to draw me into its dark corners, where despair, brutality and humanity occupy the same shadows.

Sometimes I question my reasons for doing what I do - exposing myself to the worst side of humanity - when most of the people around me smile and continue to exhibit an openness and trust that I have long-since abandoned.

There is a parallel world. It is dark, disturbing, violent, sickening and all too real.

You can read about some elements of this world in my bestselling short shots collection, Why I Kill. And just remember this - truth is always stranger than fiction. I hope fiction is as close as you get.

Sleep tight.

Monday, August 15, 2011


No - I'm not talking about my curious fascination for home brew, alchemy or all things related to the mixing of chemical compounds to get desired effects... No. I'm talking about Ken Bruen's book, recently released in film format.

Right - first things first. I LOVED the book. My kinda stuff exactly. Hurleys, psychos, alcos, narkos - well, you get the picture.

The film then I hear you ask... was the film any good?


Now apart from having 'hardman Statham' in the lead as Brant, the venerable Aidan Gillen plays the off-kilter serial killer 'Blitz' with a penchant for offing coppers. Excellently.

It must be said that I am insanely jealous that Sir Ken got to have both Jason and Aidan in the celluloid adaptation of his book (especially Gillen - I have him marked for Frank Costello if Ganglands ever gets threatened with a movie version) - but I will say this much. I preferred Ken's ending to the story. As usual the film version of a book gets a few artistic changes applied and in all they were very well executed. But the book ending was better. Much better. And less predictable. It is still a great film though.

Having gotten that off my hairy Irish chest I will say something else. Our beloved Mr. Bruen makes a cameo in the film dressed as a priest performing the 'whatever they call that religious stuff when they put you in the ground thing' and he was excellent. Visually fleeting, but his voice carries well.

I hope we get to see more of Ken Bruen's work in film format.

The world feels curiously soft-boiled for the most part. When you need someone to turn up the heat and finish the job - you can do no better than Ken Bruen. He's a master.

Nice one Ken!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Bestsellers list again... The Republican

The Republican: An Irish Civil War Story has gone to number 5 in the bestsellers list under Irish History on

I've had some great reviews for this book and I'm very happy to see it climbing the charts.

A lot of American buyers love this educational yet entertaining and easy read around a rather difficult subject matter. The story was originally prompted by a letter that my father gave me from an IRA man who was executed for his part in the Irish Civil War in 1923.

Some proof :)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Absolute Zero Cool

Our buddy in all things criminal, literary and comical, Declan 'Crime Always Pays' Burke is in the throes of setting his latest work free.

Declan is one of the crime genre's leading lights in the blogosphere (click on the link above for further proof) and his writing is terse, twisty, technically precise and turbulently talented. But enough alliteration for now... below please find the blurb of the mysterious book elves that Declan keeps fed and relatively secure under his desk.

by Declan Burke

“A genuinely original take on noir, inventive and funny. Imagine, if you can, a cross between Flann O’Brien and Raymond Chandler.” – John Banville, author of THE SEA

Who in their right mind would want to blow up a hospital?
            “Close it down, blow it up – what’s the difference?”
            Billy Karlsson needs to get real. Literally. A hospital porter with a sideline in euthanasia, Billy is a character trapped in the purgatory of an abandoned novel. Deranged by logic, driven beyond sanity, Billy makes his final stand: if killing old people won’t cut the mustard, the whole hospital will have to go up in flames.
            Only his creator can stop him now, the author who abandoned Billy to his half-life limbo, in which Billy schemes to do whatever it takes to get himself published, or be damned . . .

“ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL is unlike anything else you’ll read this year … Laugh-out-loud funny … This is writing at its dazzling, cleverest zenith. Think John Fowles, via Paul Auster and Rolling Stone … a feat of extraordinary alchemy.” – Ken Bruen, author of AMERICAN SKIN

And if that was not enough to get your proverbial juices flowing.... more stars from our criminal fraternity have been heaping praise on Dec's new novel.  Here's a few to whet your whistle...

“Stop waiting for Godot – he’s here. Declan Burke takes the existential dilemma of characters writing themselves and turns it on its ear, and then some. He gives it body and soul … an Irish soul.” - Reed Farrel Coleman, author of EMPTY EVER AFTER

“Declan Burke has broken the mould with ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL, which is actually very cool indeed. Funny, inventive and hugely entertaining crime fiction - I guarantee you’ll love it.” - Melissa Hill, author of SOMETHING FROM TIFFANY’S

“If you want to find something new and challenging, comic crime fiction is now the place to go … Declan Burke [is] at the vanguard of a new wave of young writers kicking against the clichés and producing ambitious, challenging, genre-bending works.” - Colin Bateman, author of NINE INCHES

“ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL is a surreal rollercoaster of a read, full of the blackest humour, and yet poignant. An outrageously funny novel ... The joy is in the writing itself, all sparky dialogue and wry observation, so smooth that when it cuts, it’s like finding razor blades in honey.” - Deborah Lawrenson, author of THE LANTERN

“Burke has written a deep, lyrical and moving crime novel … an intoxicating and exciting novel of which the master himself, Flann O’Brien, would be proud.” - Adrian McKinty, author of FIFTY GRAND

‘Absolute Zero Cool’ gets its official launch on August 10th at the Gutter Bookshop, Temple Bar, Dublin. It is being published by Liberties Press.

May Dog Bless all that read this tome!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Some great news - Why I Kill enters the top 100 bestsellers, short stories

Something odd has happened. Anyone that has read this blog more than once might have noted my marked appreciation of the venerable Paul Auster. I think he rocks as a writer. So imagine my sheer astonishment and pure joy upon seeing my works of short fiction, Why I kill (The Confession of a Serial Killer) at number 94 in the top 100 best selling short stories, with Mr. Auster at 91 with his New York Trilogy. I'm a very happy man this day. Let it be known! Click the image to the right for bona fide proof :)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Midsommar, murder, and green streets...

Having spent yet another 'Midsommar' in Sweden (where it was perfected as a celebration of the pagan gods and the summer solstice) I have to wonder about the name. Midsommar (or midsummer, if you are an anglophile) seems to be, well, a little too 'early' for my liking. I'd prefer to see it in mid-July, when one has a slightly better chance of getting some sunshine and blue skies....

But hey - as my previous post on the 'summer sale' declares it is summer - and vacation time will shortly be upon us.

So.... what will you be reading? I got another Paul Auster book that seemed new (the title escapes me right now) and I'm getting a copy of Down These Green Streets (hopefully one of the signed ones) shortly...

But my main effort this summer (and I'm telling you this to remind myself) will be to try to complete the follow-up novel to my first ever crime novel, Ganglands.

Ganglands was written in 1995 while I was holding down a job as editor of three local newspapers in Dublin, Ireland. The papers were a mix of re-hashed press releases, fashion pics, hastily written film reviews, a recipe or two and lots of advertising. I used to write an entire newspaper in one day. I did three (sometimes four) a month and it paid enough to keep me alive, sated and writing.

Ganglands was the result of this intensive effort over the winter of 1995 and early 1996. The book was published and on the shelves by October 1996 and got some pretty good reviews for a first novel in the small circle in which it was released.

The book sold out its first print run by early 1997 and has not been re-printed yet (though curiously there are 'hardback' versions of the book available through some sellers on Amazon - even though it was only ever produced as a paperback). It has been selling quite well in eBook format since it was released last year along with my other works.

I've never quite gotten away from the characters in that book. They're with me all the time, and I know that I have to share them. I don't want to spoil Ganglands for you, but suffice to say, things don't end well. The follow-on novel (let's call it XXX) picks up around 10 years after the end of the first book and the main characters get back into their stride within the first chapter...

Writing this book is odd. It's like meeting up with old friends (though these guys are true-to-form psychos) and everything being just like it was the last time you met them... True friends...

So, if you are in the mood for past and future, grab a copy of Ganglands while it is still on sale (0.99) and get ready for the next chapter in the underbelly of Dublin City.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Candy Says: "Make a Killing, Friend"

For the summer months almost all of my work in eBook format is on special offer.

In the U.S., UK and EU my crime novels and literary works now cost $0.99/£0.99/€0.99

Think of this as a cheap-trick marketing ploy designed to part you from your money, and you'll be right. But as I'm dropping the price of my novels by around $2 for a limited time it is designed to be a gentle kind of crime.

In the spirit of the summer solstice I wish you a very merry vacation and lots of sunshine and fun. Remember to take your kindle on holiday - as they hate being left alone at home.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Cuban Chandler?

When I find something interesting I like to share - unless, of course it is a new beer....

So without any ado whatsoever...

Leonardo Padura - a link to Carto's Library Blog where he disseminates a potential replacement for our dearly departed master Raymond Chandler.

Whilst I'm on a Cuban binge (a glass of rum beside me) - I'd like to draw your attention to Pedro Juan Gutierrez - author of the most Henry Miller-ish tome I've been delighted to stumble across in an age. You can get a flavour for his style and purpose here at Words Beyond Borders. The Dirty Havana Trilogy is the book I'm referring to.

It really depends upon what you like you fiction served with - crime, death, sex, social realism or all of the above... I'm a gourmand in such respects. Hope you're hungry!

80% Proof

After a heads up from a reader who spotted a couple of typos in my novel Killing a Friend (which was 'professionally' edited) I've had the novel re-proofed and so the eBook version is now as close to perfect as anything I could possibly produce could ever plausibly be....

The print on demand version will also be updated in the coming weeks.

Sincere apologies to those of you that took the time to and effort to buy and read the book.

Every day, in every way I am getting better. The pills help.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Libertine

Having admitted to my past as a tax collector, busker, journalist, motorcycle messenger and general wastrel, I have also decided to out myself as the author of another novel.... one that I have shied away from releasing until today...

The Libertine, which will be available shortly in eBook format, is an exercise in picaresque wastrelism in extremo. A true opus peccatorum, you might say.

The novel was written when I was young, free and very single. When I think back now I do believe that there is more than a passing resemblance to myself in the main character, Don Kehoe - though only a bit...

Yes - Don Kehoe is a play on Don Quixote, Cervantes' knight of old. And The Libertine lends heavily in style from the likes of J.P. Donleavy, Henry Miller, Hunter S. Thompson and Hank Bukowski to name but a few of the latter-day saints that have blessed the lowly picaro with their wit, time and artistic abandon.

The publication of this book takes me back to Kehoe's Bar on Anne Street South, just off Grafton Street in Dublin, wherein I spent many's the dole cheque and butter voucher when I lived hand to mouth, scraping by selling photocopied collections of my short stories, busking, or blagging pints from unsuspecting acquaintances. The good old days, when the result of a horse race would decide if I'd eat for the next four days.

The story follows the story of Don Kehoe as his life descends into chaos, all thanks to the usual culprits that face a man of thirst.

Ladies and Gentlemen I give you The Libertine. Click here to buy it!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Out of the Gutter Magazine

Here's another wee gem...

Out of the Gutter Magazine

Lots of good stuff and some quite enjoyable FREE Noir fiction.... Some short, some flash, some frenzied...

Behold some reviews from the site to make you salivate...

"Out of the Gutter is not just some punk zine ... This filth is well-executed, tightly edited and focused on story construction."
—The UT Daily Texan
"GUTTER is the bastard child of Blue Murder . . . it's profane, lewd, violent, and frequently funny. Despite its low-rent origins, it's also a nice looking package."
"Matthew Louis has thrown down the gauntlet, set a new standard for unflinching, deliciously dirty, exploitative tough-ass fiction."
—Victor Gischler, Edgar-nominated author of Gun MonkeysSuicide Squeeze andShotgun Opera
“While it’s great to see indie guys taking a chance on such a project, it’s even greater to see that project work. The boys residing in THE GUTTER are to be commended for pulling it off ... Buy one, read it in public, raise eyebrows and be proud.”
"[Out of the Gutteris] even a little harder than Stories are nicely separated into sections of 10-minute and 20-minute reads. I keep Issue One in the bathroom and Issue Two in the livingroom. Highly entertaining for those with a strong stomach. Very well written."
—Jason Thibault,founding editor ofOptimum Wound Comics

International Noir Fiction

I'm a little slow on the uptake, that's all... that's why I keep finding new stuff that isn't really all that new to everyone else, but it's new to me and you can never have too many links to good stuff, can you?

I just discovered the International Noir Fiction blog and I thought you'd like it...

It's chock-full of interesting reviews, views and other stuff all relevant to and pursuant of a love of all things Noir.

So there...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Killing a Friend - a rave first review!!!

Below you'll find the word for word review of my literary fiction novel, Killing a Friend. It doesn't get much better than this.... Thank you MJL in Florida!

It's available in both print and eBook format.

5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful literary voice, May 10, 2011
MJL (Florida, USA) - See all my reviews

Amazon Verified Purchase
(What's this?)
This review is from: Killing a Friend (Kindle Edition)
I found this gem mentioned in the literary fiction community on Amazon, read a sample and couldn't resist the purchase.

Briefly: The narrator, Jack McCormack, is an Irish writer living in Sweden who is befriended by a local artist named Wolf. Jack is slowly drawn into Wolf's inner circle and, eventually, into the depths of Wolf's private life. Jack is inspired by the creative success that Wolf is able to achieve. He professes to crave the intimacy of love and friendship that is available to him for the first time in his life.

That's the premise but - as with all good literary works - the real story takes place below the surface. Suffice it to say that the narrator - more of a casual observer of life than an actual participant - eventually achieves the emotional maturity that his past once kept him insulated from. And because T.S. O'Rourke is such a skilled writer, Jack takes the reader with him every step of the way.

O'Rourke claims that this is his first foray into literary fiction but it seems as if he was born to the medium. I was drawn into the story from the first sentence, read it in one day and it is still resonating. I suspect it will be for a long time to come - in my humble opinion, the true measure of a novel.

*For those to whom this matters: the ebook edition is well edited and formatted.*

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Three Short Shots... for the price of one...

In order to provide a better bang for buck for the readers of my bestselling short story, Why I Kill (The Confession of a Serial Killer), I've added two more shots to the publication. The price, however, remains the same.

The main story is a first person confession of a killer, and it has done really well, being in the top 10 under the Forensic Psychology section of since it was published last year.

To this I've added Groucho Riley: (The Birth of a Serial Killer) and Mirror, Mirror (The Naked Truth of Being Alone).

When the cover resembles this one to the right, then you know you've got the bonus material included!

Why I Kill (The Confession of a Serial Killer)

If you like what you read, then take a gamble on my other recent publications: Candy Says Kill (A Shot of Modern Noir) and Killing a Friend.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Bukowski's Beat - a rhythm I love

Any of you idiots got a corkscrew?
It's not every day you find a wee gem on the Net - though Dog knows there's plenty of them. But I came across Bukowski's Basement and I just had to share it with you.

My first foray into writing was called Tax Office. It never saw the light of day, thankfully, but it was written based on the premise that if Hank could scribble about the Post Office I could find some degree of justification to chronicle my wasted years as a Tax Collector. The difference between my book and Hank's was quite stark. His was great. Mine sucked supreme.

So I was delighted to be reminded of my old drinking buddy Hank...(never met the guy, unfortunately) at this great site that not only reminds one of the style and sentiment that Hank brought to the page, but has a lot of writers aiming to stagger in a similar direction.

There's Flash Fiction and Poems galore. Great stuff! Please click here and enjoy....
Bukowski's Basement

Friday, April 22, 2011

Ken Bruen, synchronicity, and cosmic wellbeing stuff... and me...

I used to be a hippy. I was also a Tax Collector in King's Cross (London, not Sydney) in the late 1980s. But I've always been the kinda guy that reads signs. Take traffic lights for example. If you are at one with the world your traffic lights should be consistently green.

Anyway... before I ramble off on a tangent, as is my natural wont, I'd like to share with you a small incident of the above mentioned synchronicity that I was referring to.

Before I type another word I must tell you I'm currently re-reading Ken Bruen's 'Blitz' and loving his main character, Brant more with every utterance, every page...

Last night I was unable to sleep and doing a little recreational surfing and I Googled Ken Bruen, as I've loved everything he's written that I've so far read (and have no doubts that I'd like the rest either, truth be told), and I stumbled across a Blog call Murderati (the name of the blog spoke to me - and it wasn't the dark rum I was drinking).

So I click on the Ken Bruen Murderati link and start reading...

Turns out Ken Bruen, 'the main man' of Irish crime writing recently celebrated his birthday and wrote a wee note to the editors of the Murderati blog... and lo and behold whose name should crop up in the first paragraph? You got it... none other than yours truly. Odd, eh? Gratifying? Most definitely.

I'm still not quite sure if I remember the grand old days that Ken refers to (living in a crummy bedsit and writing Big Issues articles on drug lords and junkies had its high points though between dole cheques).... but what grabbed me most in this post was the emotion, the flow, the honesty the 'feeling'. Kinda got me to wondering if Ken has ever written anything other than crime novels (though he best not stop doing that).

Anyhow... that's all... it felt all warm and fuzzy for a bit. I like that feeling. Excuse me now... must go and write some crime, some more modern noir....

I'd gladly share a fifth with Sir Ken.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Future Noir?

I like the old stuff. I write the modern stuff - but what is 'Future Noir'? Well, take a dash of Dashiel, a bucket of Bruen, an egg-cup of Ellroy a shot of Vachss and a snifter of the Jetsons and you get creepily close. Blade Runner is modern popular 'Future Noir' at its best - as far as I'm aware.... but you try Googling Future Noir and see what turns up....

A wonderful mixture of rather risque femme fatale types, some Judge Dredd wannabes, Harrison Ford and that's more or less it.

Somewhat surprising from my perspective.

Where is the future of Future Noir? Who is the king or queen of this genre?
I'm looking for Sam Spade with a laser zip gun, electric knuckle dusters and a nuclear-powered car-trans whatzit that makes a cool sound as it glides through the city's ripped backside....

I suppose William Gibson fits the picture perfectly. I've read his Neuromancer and enjoyed it throughly, but I must have missed an entire sub-genre in this area... I'll have to do some more investigating... nothing like new things (even if they're old) to cheer one up...

But in the meantime some latex and superheros will have to suffice...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Back at work....

"OK... enough messing around already.... What exactly are you doing O'Rourke? What's in the pipeline? You jiggling your giblets or frying your sausage all day long? You got some poor lady all doe-eyed and breathless? Perhaps you got some 'job' lined up and you need the time to plan your escape? Maybe that guy you dissed last week has finally shown up on your doorstep to teach you a thing or two about how to hammer a nail into a guy's hand with just the one blow?"
"I'm writing."
"Ahhh.. writing again you say? And what might you be writing this time?"
"A Gangland Tale."
"Ganglands? A follow-up to Ganglands? With the same characters and the same mayhem? With a dose of sex and murder, of the Russian mob, of drugs and deception of gay serial killers and black whores? Tell me more...."
"No. It's a secret."
"When will it be ready?"
"When it's ready...."
"But you promise lots of blood and guys and sex and stuff... steamy seamy stormy stuff?"
"I promise."
"Will I be scared or revolted? Aroused or ashamed?"
"Yes. All of the above. And more."
"What will this book be called - it is a book, isn't it?"
"Yes it is a book - a novel - a crime novel - another shot of Modern Noir. Two fingers of noir, if you like."
"I'm hungry...."
"Like a bit of sausage, lady?"
"You're disgusting."
"I know. So?"
"Okay then... you got any chilli sauce?"
"Hot-stuff baby"
"This is getting weird."
"I know."
"Best stop writing now before you end up exceeding my expectations."
"Not so much chilli sauce you insane witch!"
"You love it really...."

Nice review for Candy....

Just had a very nice review for my new novella/long short over on Amazon... so I thought I'd share it... :)

4.0 out of 5 stars Rusting quietlyMarch 29, 2011
David H Fears - See all my reviews 
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Candy Says Kill: A Shot of Modern Noir (Kindle Edition)
This is a fast-paced, powerful short story that turns on a coincidence--a man who has killed before for money stops in a small Alabama town and the bartender's young and gorgeous wife takes him for the contract killer she ordered. His lust and experience lead him to take advantage of the situation, with some chilling and realistic dialog and action. They say every good short story could be a novel and every bad novel might be a short story. This is a good one, and God knows it's harder to write a good short story than a novel. I write hardboiled stuff and this one fits the bill nicely in a more modern setting. Well worth the price.

You can find Candy Says Kill by clicking here....

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Ed McBain and the 87th Precinct

I remember scavenging through the detritus of secondhand bookstores for those priceless gems that meant so much to me in my late teens and early 20s.

At that time the gems were a mixture of dog-eared Donleavy titles from the 60s and 70s, Henry Miller, Hemingway and Ed McBain....

You might think this is an odd mixture. I don't. What you have here is wit, pathos, pace, prose and perfection. It suited my sensibilities back then. It still does.

Ed McBain's Steve Carella and his cohorts mean a lot to me. These books taught me about police procedurals, taught me how to keep the dialogue sharp and moving and how to profile my characters in a realistic manner. They were always one or two-sitting books - hard to put down, hard to forget.

I read over on the official Ed McBain site that the 87th Precinct novels might be turned into a TV series by Stanley Tucci and Steve Buscemi of Lion's Gate Productions. This would be great news. I had slightly higher hopes for the Blue Bloods series that just began recently. I'm hoping that Lion's Gate could do the right kind of magic with McBain's works - do his novels justice, for want of a better pun...

For a very interesting read on Ed's life and times, click here.

R.I.P. Salvatore Lombino, a.k.a. Evan Hunter, a.k.a. Ed McBain.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Carroll & Grant Collection

The cover art for the Carroll & Grant Collection (two London-based police detective novels in one book) has just been updated.

Death Call, the first novel goes something like this:
It was all he could do to stop his hangover from spilling out onto the victim as he studied her neck and what he made out to be the initial puncture wound in her abdomen. From that point, he thought, she had been opened like an envelope with a paper knife, revealing a mess of entrails and blood.

With a deranged serial killer on the loose, Detective Sergeant Dan Carroll and his new partner Detective Constable Samuel Grant find themselves trawling the seedy side of London in search of a brutal killer that preys on prostitutes.

Declan Burke, over on Crime Always Pays, my favourite Crime Novel Blog, described the book like this:

"As blunt and effective as the average anvil, TS O'Rourke's prose in Death Call was hardboiled, pickled and left out to dry under a post-apocalyptic sun." --Crime Always Pays

The second novel, Damned Nation, follows the same two detectives on another case - this time in search of some crazy satanists intent on performing some ghastly rituals including human sacrifice.... It ends up as a race against time to find a missing person....

The collection is now available via

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Candy Says Kill: A Shot of Modern Noir

My new novella, Candy Says Kill: A Shot of Modern Noir, is now available in eBook format.

It's a genre piece that includes all the best elements of a noir experience - mistaken identities, confusion, sex, deceit and of course, murder.

It's a long short story, or a short novella - which ever you prefer...around 7,000 words in length - perfect for the Kindle.

Here's the cover art...  a Beretta 92A1 being the metal in question, capable of holding a magazine with seventeen rounds... more than enough for any serious killer....

The earlier post with an excerpt from the work is still to be found below if you want an early sample...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Eight Ball Boogie

I've just learned that Eight Ball Boogie by Declan Burke is now also available in eBook format.

I read Declan's book The Big O recently and I have to say it was a wonderfully refreshing mix of crime and comedy with a dash of attitude. I haven't read Eight Ball Boogie yet, but if Ken Bruen likes (he gives it a big thumbs up) it then it must be good...
Here's a bit of the blurb from the book:
When the wife of a politician keeping the government in power is murdered, Sligo journalist Harry Rigby is one of the first on the scene. He very quickly discovers that he’s in out of his depth when it transpires that the woman’s murder is linked to an ex-paramilitary gang’s attempt to seize control of the burgeoning cocaine market in the Irish Northwest. Harry’s ongoing feud with his ex-partner Denise over their young son’s future doesn’t help matters; and then there’s Harry’s ex-con brother Gonzo, back on the streets and mean as a jilted shark .

Eight Ball Boogie is on sale for the ridiculously low price of US$0.99 cents at the moment - so strike while the proverbial iron is still hot... The print version would otherwise set you back £26.95...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Back Alley Webzine - for more modern noir....

I love finding new sites, blogs and whatnot on the Net. And I also love spreading the word when I find something cool, good or just plain sassy.

My latest 'find' might not be a find for some of you more intrepid readers, but for me it was great...

Back Alley Webzine contains a load of moderns noir shorts for you to savour. It's Edited by PWA Shamus Award Nominee and Two-Time SMFS Derringer Award Winner Richard Helms and contains a nice history of noir for your pleasure, served with a full helping of the moderns stuff...

Check it out for yourself!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Killing A Friend: once again and with feeling....

After some technical difficulties (proofing work) Killing A Friend is live in electronic format. The print version will follow in a week or so...

For those of you that missed it the first time, here's the cover blurb:

Familiarity brings destruction. Temptation leads us into extraordinary circumstances.

Set in Göteborg, Sweden, Killing a Friend is a novel about people that love each other, about friends, acquaintances and life partners.

Lost souls in lost lands - far from home and clinging to the familiar, despite their better judgment - a story that takes normal life one step further.

Two friends, two artists, two men that love the same woman - a tragedy, an unforgivable able deception and a chance to begin again. An examination of what love is and what love could be.

Killing a Friend is a book of love, lust and morals. It is an examination of the self, a questioning of social mores, a valley of personal grief and a ray of light for those that suffer.

There... I feel better now...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Another Paul Auster book... what does this mean?

I just finished reading 'Invisible' by Paul Auster.

Excellent book. Full of life, lust, lies and love. And there's death (by knife) and murder... by well I'll not tell you... But overall, apart from being a stylistic tour de force, Invisible is also a crime novel at heart, just throbbing to break free from its literary chains.

Auster apparently cut his teeth on writing crime novels under a "nom de plume". I wish he'd take another serious look at the genre and give us a full-on crime novel. I can almost feel the invisible chains that he's using to stop himself releasing his noir side...

Come on Paul, get the knuckle dusters on and give us some more sex, greed, death and mayhem - crime style....

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Russian Crime Fiction

I'd never really thought about Dostoevsky as a crime writer - even though he wrote Crime & Punishment - it always somehow seemed to be literature and not crime... but I came across this short piece on a site called Fictiondb and it made me rethink my view on what constitutes a crime, mystery, or thriller/suspense novel.

The site lists the following Russian authors as the literal godfathers of Russian crime writing...Anton Chekhov, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Nicolai Gogol, Maxim Gorky, Vladimir Nabokov, Vil Lipitov, Alexander Pushkin, Lev Sheinen, Boris Sokoloff and Leo Tolstoy

I haven't picked up a Russian writer in anger for years.... maybe it's time I revisited these guys... My last connection to Russia was a 1989 Dnepr Mt-11, which was produced in Kiev - which was then a part of the Soviet Union... but not quite Russia.... Think of it as a Ural, but with more character and less moving parts...

I digress...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hats off to hats...

Call me predictable, old-fashioned and irascible (which I occasionally am) if you will, but I've always loved hats. Nothing to do with my beloved shiny pate - more, methinks, to do with their connection to times gone by and a memory of my grandfather, who nearly always wore a hat, like most men of his generation.

I've been wearing 'real' hats for many years. I think I started as a tax collector in London in the 80s. The publicity shots for my first novel, Ganglands, saw me in a black trilby looking fresh-faced and eager.

Maybe, I thought, it's time for a new hat. My old one seems to have shrunk and my son is now using it as a cowboy hat... just like I did, I'm reliably told, as a lad.

I'm tired of baseball caps and army styled caps, though I still have a penchant for flat caps...

Village Hats in the UK, have just delivered my order... and I'm back in hat business.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Canadian Crime Fiction

I spent a lovely week in Toronto once. I had great fun there and had a constant smile on my face when listening to the local accent. I know that Canadians and Americans do the same when they come to Ireland so I should really be forgiven - but I had this constant feeling that I was in an episode of 'Northern Exposure' that quirky Cohen-brothers-style series that was around maybe a decade ago...


I spent an afternoon in a bookshop on Front Street there - Nicholas Hoare's to be precise - and found a wonderful smattering of Irish and British thrillers and mysteries. It was just delightful to find books by both well-known and lesser-known Irish and British authors. I didn't see any of my old out of print stuff there, sadly, but my ego survived the event in any case...

So, Canadian bookstore memories apart, and acknowleding the wonderful works of Peter Robinson, that displaced (or rather well placed) Geordie now a resident Canuck, I was wondering what Canadian Crime has to offer these days...

To the right here you'll see C.B. Forrest's Slow Recoil, which follows Detective Charlie McKelvey from Toronto's version of 'The Sweeney' or Flying Squad.

In this tome, his follow-up to The Weight of Stones, Forrest takes us on a melting pot tour of Toronto with a wee sojourn in the Balkans as he investigates the death of an immigrant.

Well worth a gamble in my humble and dark opinion...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The New York Trilogy

I keep coming back to Paul Auster's work. Perhaps it's a desire to elevate my writing to a more literary level, or perhaps it's just that he's such a good storyteller. I think it's both, and his seeming obsession with chance that appeals to my sense of chaos in our confused little world.

Auster has written everything from postmodern noir in the New York Trilogy, to introspective personal memoirs, but in all he manages to construct a pace and rhythm that keeps the pages turning.

Now, as this is 'Crime Time' I'll not side track you with a discussion on modern mainstream literary mores... but rather point you in the direction of something relevant to your self-admitted taste...

Read the New York Trilogy. You'll like it a lot.