Review: Kill Me Quick by Paul D. Brazil from Fahrenheit Thirteen

Fast paced Brit noir. Down and dirty violent pulp, paced to within an inch of its life. Sex, Drugs, band rock n roll at the English seaside.

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Kill me quick

In Kill Me Quick, Paul D. Brazil has crafted a fantastic story of rival gangsters, drugs wars and a washed up musician down on his luck. Mark Hammonds has returned to his ancestral home of Seatown, to try and escape his troubles elsewhere, only to find himself caught in the middle of local gang warfare. Mark is the classic fish out of water, trying to navigate what is happening to him with no real experience and a drive to just get out in one piece. Mark isn’t a gangster or a career criminal of any sort, he’s a musician who made some bad choices.

Without being maudlin, Brazil has also captured the extent of deprivation that exists in some parts of northern England, and the often maligned attempts to regenerate with new housing which most locals can’t afford, driven by a lack of support from central government. There are a couple of English towns I can see in the inspiration for the fictional Seatown. All this, whilst somehow still managing to be really very funny. Going from one misstep to another, usually via the pub, Marks experiences are darkly comic. And he seems to be able to take more beatings than Deadpool.

Fast paced and gripping, the story moves from one disastrous encounter to another at an almost dizzying speed, taking in a wonderful cast of colorful characters as we go. The writing is of a classically pulp style that keeps the reader interested and develops compelling characters without giving too much away about them, you find yourself imagining their history and wondering how they ended up in Seatown and a part of this escapade of mistiming and misunderstanding.

At its close, Kill Me Quick has a rather unexpected ending and another thought-provoking point to make about the nature of death. I won’t say any more for risk of spoilers, but it’s a close I didn’t see coming. It’s a testament to Paul’s skills as a writer that as well as being provocative its also an original approach to tying up the ends of the story, bringing a rapidly escalating situation to a smart conclusion without resorting to cliché.

Fast paced, gritty, with a beating heart of pulp noir, Kill Me Quick is an example of Brit crime writing at its strongest.

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