Paul Brazill writes some of the grittiest crime fiction. He has a new novel out, A Case Of Noir. It is an international novel, and is a case of Brazill at his hardboiled storytelling best, witty, descriptive, embedded with local culture, and tightly structured. Paul met me at The Slaughterhouse where we talked about his new release and living in Poland.
Tell us about A Case Of Noir.
In snow smothered Warsaw, Luke Case, a boozy English hack with a dark secret, starts a dangerous affair with a gangster’s wife. Case escapes Warsaw to the sweltering Spanish heat where he meets a colourful cast of characters, including a mysterious torch singer and a former East End villain with a criminal business proposition. In stormy Toulouse, he encounters a blast from the past that is positively seismic which forces him to return to England and confront his past. A Case Of Noir is a strong shot of international noir from Paul D. Brazill.
Would you say living in Poland has sharpened your sense of England when writing about it?
A different way of looking at it I’m sure. That’s part of the joy of being an EXILE. As Tom Waits said ‘subsequently bear in mind your transient position allows you a perspective that’s unique’.
How important are the different cities in A Case Of Noir?
Well, I did want to catch the atmosphere of each city. Warsaw is the one I know best, since I lived there for five years. So that was the easiest to write about. The main thing, though, was that Luke Case, the protagonist, is always the outsider, wherever he goes. Like a lot of us he’s one of the eternally discombobulated.
What else is on the cards for you this year?
Caffeine Nights Publishing will be rebooting my comic crime caper Guns Of Brixton in paperback as well as an eBook and there is the possibility of an audio book, The Italian translation of A Case Of Noir should be out this year.
I’ll have a story in Kate Laity’s Drag Noir Anthology and one in Ryan Bracha’s Mad Men anthology. I’ll also have a couple of yarns appearing online. And I should finish a couple of anthologies over the summer, including a follow up to Guns Of Brixton called Holidays In The Sun.
Thank you Paul for an informative and perceptive interview.