Thursday, 7 February 2013

Death on a Hot Afternoon by Paul Brazill - reviewed

The Blurb
In Death On A Hot Afternoon, an English hack encounters an old man with a violent past and a mysterious torch singer, during a scorching and deadly Spanish summer.

After the violent events in the novelette  Red Esperanto, freelance journalist Luke Case, escapes snow smothered Warsaw and heads off  to the heat of Madrid.

The First Paragraph
Nathan Jones made a series of loud grunting sounds and jabbed a podgy finger at the dusty old television set that was stuffed into a cluttered corner of the Bar Sierra y Mar.

The Review
Death on a Hot Afternoon is the second Luke Case story from the pen of noir guru, Paul Brazill. The first story - Red Esperanto - found Case trawling the seedy side of Warsaw. Death on a Hot Afternoon finds him in an equally seedy Madrid, in the company of the squalid Nathan Jones. Nathan Jones is a hack, as is Case. Just that Nathan is a little further along the road to degradation than young Luke.

But only just.

The story opens with Nathan drunkenly holding court on what it is like to kill a man, lecturing Case in the fine old art of bullshit. Brazill manages to write in a way that is both clear and sharp, yet each word oozes dirt and beer and sweat, the scent of illicit sex never far away.

The illicit sex, in this case, being Lena. Luke is smitten. Nathan warns him off. But, like I said, Luke is smitten.

And down he goes, spiralling into the darkness.

Death on a Hot Afternoon is another splendid tale from one of the undoubted talents of the current online noir scene, and is available from Amazon US here and Amazon UK here