Sharp Knives & Loud Guns is the brand-new collection of Paignton Noir Case Files from cult crime writer Tom Leins, featuring the novelettes Slug Bait, Smut Loop and Sweating Blood.
Traumatised and brutalised after a grisly encounter with a warped sex killer, Slug Bait finds cut-price private investigator Joe Rey licking his wounds at a decrepit caravan park on the cliff path high above Paignton. Violence has a way of finding Rey, however, and an altercation involving local amusement arcade tycoon Raymond Coody sees him dragged back into town—where his name is now on all of the wrong people’s lips. Rey’s reckless disregard for his own safety quickly wins Coody’s trust, but his new associate harbours some dark secrets, and things are about to get very bloody, very quickly.
Joe Rey has been hired by so many queasy middle-aged men in his time, an assignment from Frank ‘The Wank’ Farris barely registers. In Smut Loop Rey is forced to get reacquainted with Cherry, a middle-aged sex worker who has more unsavoury connections than he does. When she proposes an elaborate blackmail scheme, Rey is suckered in, but the job quickly spirals out of control—and they are forced to perform an unhinged job for an extremely powerful man. Rey is out of luck, and out of his depth. With friends like this, who needs enemies?
After a series of violent misadventures, Joe Rey has blood on his hands and murder on his mind. Now working as a security guard at Paignton Cliffs Caravan Park, Rey finds himself dogged by unhinged cop Carver, who is desperate to know where the bodies are buried. When a sinister figure from Rey’s past re-emerges, determined to force him to participate in a sick new game, Rey is forced to confront his past—if he still wants to have a future. As the temperature rises, so does the body-count, and Rey finds himself Sweating Blood. Will he see it through to the bitter end, or has his luck finally run out?
Praise for SHARP KNIVES & LOUD GUNS:
“Imagine Jim Thompson and Edward Lee had a baby and that baby did a bunch of steroids and meth. That’s what Tom Leins’ powerful pulp is like. Nobody, and I mean nobody, writes like Leins. He is the master of his own genre.” —Andy Rausch, author of American Trash and Bloody Sheets
“For hammer-to-face smashing, nothing could be better than Sharp Knives and Loud Guns. Viciously brutal and wickedly funny, to my mind this is the best Tom Leins book yet.” —Rob Pierce, author of the Uncle Dust trilogy