Tag Archives: Julie Morrigan

Recommended: Three Collections

raysleep

I’ve been busy. The good kind of busy—writing and submitting shorts, revising a novella. But I thought I’d take a minute to recommend three short story collections you should own.

SLEEPWALKING, by Ray Nayler

When I started to read crime fiction online, I encountered the work of Ray Nayler. Haunting. Timeless. How I felt it should be done. Ray’s stories first drove me to submit my own work online. He is the author of the novel American Graveyards, has had stories in a variety of magazines, including Ellery Queen, Cemetary Dance, Crimewave, Handheld Crime, Blue Murder, and hand-printed a few volumes of his stories that I treasure. “Man in the Dark” and “The Bat House” both received the honor of Distinguished Mystery Story in Best American Mystery Stories.

Sleepwalking at Amazon

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WATCH YOU DROWN, by Chris Rhatigan

Watch You Drown is an excellent book of noir shorts and flash fiction. Told in a unique, compelling voice that rings true throughout. Stories often end on notes that cause you to explore the implications of what you’ve read. The flash pieces, which read like poetry, are no less thought-provoking. It’s that good. And it’s free. Download it, already.

Chris is the author of the novella The Kind of Friends Who Murder Each Other and edits All Due Respect and Pulp Ink, which was shortlisted for a Spinetingler Award.

Download Watch You Drown

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BAD TIMES, by Julie Morrigan

Bad Times is comprised of three previous collections by Julie: Gone Bad, Show No Mercy and Wired. Wired was my introduction to Julie’s work and grabbed me by the literary collar. Her Byker Books novella, Cutter’s Deal, furthered my admiration. Morrigan’s writing is like Charlie Watts’ drumming: no need to flail around and toss sticks through the air, when you can lay down such a tight, badass and irresistible groove. In addition to having short stories all over the place, Julie is the author of the novels Heartbreaker, Convictions (voted as one of the top five books of the year by crime and thriller fans at the Crime Fiction Lover website) and Darke: The Devil, The Magician and The Fool.

Bad Times at Amazon

WRC

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Two Reviews: Guns of Brixton and Cutter’s Deal

by Walter Conley

This month, I’ve had the pleasure of reading two new kindle offerings from Byker’s “Best of British” line: Guns of Brixton, by Paul D. Brazill and Cutter’s Deal, by Julie Morrigan. I’ve been very impressed by this imprint so far–to the extent that I may fake British citizenship to submit something to them.

GUNS OF BRIXTON, by Paul D. Brazill

The moment I saw Guns of Brixton advertised, I knew I had to buy it. I’ve been a fan of Paul’s short stories for years and read this in a single day. It was nice to see him flex his literary muscle in a lenghthier format. All of the trademark Brazill qualities are present: the stripped-down narrative, cinematic visuals, sharp characterization, laugh out loud dialogue, nods to pop culture and noir influences. GOB moves quickly, pinging back and forth between characters, locations and events. It was a joy to read and, as always, I look forward to whatever the author has coming out next.

Guns of Brixton is available from Amazon HERE.

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CUTTER’S DEAL, by Julie Morrigan

Cutter’s Deal, by Julie Morrigan, is a bad dream of a book. I mean that in the best way possible. It is a dark, tragic story from a universe where nothing and nobody can be trusted, not even one’s self; where the value of a life is determined solely by what another can reap off it; where a glimmer of hope is maintained despite the all-but-certain knowledge that it will prove futile; where evil is not a concept, but an all-encompassing and infusive spell that binds everything together.

The author does a fantastic job of shifting viewpoints, through brisk first-person chapters that feel as intimate as mouth-to-ear confessions. The characterization is superb. It is the cast, in fact, with their varying strengths and weaknesses, who drive this tale.

Morrigan doesn’t need a bag of tricks. She is a first-rate storyteller. You don’t notice how adept she is because you’re riveted to what is happening. I like how she just sets this up and lets it play to its true and inevitable conclusion. Throughout the book, I had a growing sense of unease, of fate closing in on the protagonists–but still couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.

I am a lifelone fan of Noir. Too often, I think, the label is misused as a blanket term for all things related to crime. Julie Morrigan not only gets it, but writes Noir as finely as anyone since the genre’s inception.

Cutter’s Deal is available from Amazon HERE.