Monday, June 4, 2012

True Brit Grit - Paul D Brazill and Luca Veste (eds.)

Where to start?

Well okay, let's start with some of the big hitters. Tony Black and Ray Banks weigh in with typically top-notch writing. Allan Guthrie does what Allan Guthrie does best - you know what that is and you know how well he does it - and Nigel Bird, Paul Brazill and Richard Godwin all show, again, that they have what it takes. The stories and styles are diverse but class is class, and these guys have it in spades.

Any more? Well if I said that Victoria Watson's Cry Baby was one of the best stories you'll read in a year, or that Ian Ayris has pulled another gem out of the bag, you wouldn't be too surprised, I'm sure. At least you shouldn't be. At 45 stories long, there may be a couple of writers you haven't come across before. Do yourself a favour and get introduced, because talent oozes from every blood-soaked, tobacco-stained, booze-addled page. But I'm sure you already know what people like Veste, Bury, Sant, Morrigan, Hogan and Williams can do, and so you hardly need me to tell you that this is a fantastic collection. It's seedy, gritty, humorous, shot through with music and violence and very little hope for this collection of lowlifes, scumbags, junkies and losers.

And that's just the occasional policeman who shows up.

Brit-grit is black and bleak, sometimes funny, always honest, and doesn't give a fuck who you think you are. This collection showcases the incredible breadth of talent working in Britain today, with no let up from start to finish. For anyone who enjoys the rougher side of the crime-fiction tracks, it is utterly essential.

And it's for charity. Did I mention that?