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Meat Bubbles and other stories: The Paignton Noir Case Files

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"Tom Leins' Paignton is close to Hell on earth. His battle-scarred PI Joe Rey is navigating every circle of it here - hookers, pimps, pornographers, killers, crooked cops, and every other grotesque you could care (or not) to imagine make up the colourful characters in this grim collection of noir from one of the premier writers of gut-wrenching dark fiction currently at wo "Tom Leins' Paignton is close to Hell on earth. His battle-scarred PI Joe Rey is navigating every circle of it here - hookers, pimps, pornographers, killers, crooked cops, and every other grotesque you could care (or not) to imagine make up the colourful characters in this grim collection of noir from one of the premier writers of gut-wrenching dark fiction currently at work. One day people will talk about the fiction of Tom Leins the same way they talk about Derek Raymond's – get on board now and when that day comes you'll be able to brag you were round at the start." — Paul Heatley, author of An Eye For An Eye (Near To The Knuckle and Fatboy (All Due Respect). ”If you had to kill someone with a book, you’d use this one. Cracked skulls. Bruised knuckles. Wounds in the shape of unnameable body parts. Characters as broken and misshapen as the populace of a violent noir hell-scape. Tom Leins writes like a man skinned by jackals and doused in lighter fluid. Meat Bubbles & Other Stories is a new paradigm in noir – Paignton noir, an aesthetic built on images that’d make a seasoned leg-breaker squeal like a school girl.” — Matt Phillips, author of Bad Luck City (Near To The Knuckle and Accidental Outlaws (All Due Respect). "Welcome to the nightmare factory - there's dark and then there's Tom Leins' Paignton... By parts a mix of the brutality of Hubert Selby Jr and the pure noir-ish banter of Ray Banks with more than a dash of the good old ultra-violence. Thirteen brutal shorts and then the extended nightmare of Snuff Racket. You'd have to go a long way to beat the sheer violence, brutality, humour and brilliance of Meat Bubbles." — Benedict J. Jones, author of Pennies For Charon and The Devil’s Brew (Crime Wave Press). Still licking his wounds after the brutal events of SKULL MEAT, Paignton private investigator Joe Rey is reluctant to take on another case that could have violent repercussions. However, a lucrative pay-day from a soon-to-retire cop tests his resolve, and Rey quickly finds himself on the trail of a deranged plastic surgeon with a queasy line in body modification procedures. Over the course of a long, bloody summer, Rey tangles with rogue ex-cops, suburban hitmen, neo-Nazi scumbags and even Paignton’s richest man – a notorious hoarder of unknown horrors. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it…


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"Tom Leins' Paignton is close to Hell on earth. His battle-scarred PI Joe Rey is navigating every circle of it here - hookers, pimps, pornographers, killers, crooked cops, and every other grotesque you could care (or not) to imagine make up the colourful characters in this grim collection of noir from one of the premier writers of gut-wrenching dark fiction currently at wo "Tom Leins' Paignton is close to Hell on earth. His battle-scarred PI Joe Rey is navigating every circle of it here - hookers, pimps, pornographers, killers, crooked cops, and every other grotesque you could care (or not) to imagine make up the colourful characters in this grim collection of noir from one of the premier writers of gut-wrenching dark fiction currently at work. One day people will talk about the fiction of Tom Leins the same way they talk about Derek Raymond's – get on board now and when that day comes you'll be able to brag you were round at the start." — Paul Heatley, author of An Eye For An Eye (Near To The Knuckle and Fatboy (All Due Respect). ”If you had to kill someone with a book, you’d use this one. Cracked skulls. Bruised knuckles. Wounds in the shape of unnameable body parts. Characters as broken and misshapen as the populace of a violent noir hell-scape. Tom Leins writes like a man skinned by jackals and doused in lighter fluid. Meat Bubbles & Other Stories is a new paradigm in noir – Paignton noir, an aesthetic built on images that’d make a seasoned leg-breaker squeal like a school girl.” — Matt Phillips, author of Bad Luck City (Near To The Knuckle and Accidental Outlaws (All Due Respect). "Welcome to the nightmare factory - there's dark and then there's Tom Leins' Paignton... By parts a mix of the brutality of Hubert Selby Jr and the pure noir-ish banter of Ray Banks with more than a dash of the good old ultra-violence. Thirteen brutal shorts and then the extended nightmare of Snuff Racket. You'd have to go a long way to beat the sheer violence, brutality, humour and brilliance of Meat Bubbles." — Benedict J. Jones, author of Pennies For Charon and The Devil’s Brew (Crime Wave Press). Still licking his wounds after the brutal events of SKULL MEAT, Paignton private investigator Joe Rey is reluctant to take on another case that could have violent repercussions. However, a lucrative pay-day from a soon-to-retire cop tests his resolve, and Rey quickly finds himself on the trail of a deranged plastic surgeon with a queasy line in body modification procedures. Over the course of a long, bloody summer, Rey tangles with rogue ex-cops, suburban hitmen, neo-Nazi scumbags and even Paignton’s richest man – a notorious hoarder of unknown horrors. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it…

31 review for Meat Bubbles and other stories: The Paignton Noir Case Files

  1. 5 out of 5

    Col

    Synopsis/blurb.... Still licking his wounds after the brutal events of SKULL MEAT, Paignton private investigator Joe Rey is reluctant to take on another case that could have violent repercussions. However, a lucrative pay-day from a soon-to-retire cop tests his resolve, and Rey quickly finds himself on the trail of a deranged plastic surgeon with a queasy line in body modification procedures. Over the course of a long, bloody summer, Rey tangles with rogue ex-cops, suburban hitmen, neo-Nazi scumb Synopsis/blurb.... Still licking his wounds after the brutal events of SKULL MEAT, Paignton private investigator Joe Rey is reluctant to take on another case that could have violent repercussions. However, a lucrative pay-day from a soon-to-retire cop tests his resolve, and Rey quickly finds himself on the trail of a deranged plastic surgeon with a queasy line in body modification procedures. Over the course of a long, bloody summer, Rey tangles with rogue ex-cops, suburban hitmen, neo-Nazi scumbags and even Paignton’s richest man – a notorious hoarder of unknown horrors. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it… "Welcome to the nightmare factory - there's dark and then there's Tom Leins' Paignton... By parts a mix of the brutality of Hubert Selby Jr and the pure noir-ish banter of Ray Banks with more than a dash of the good old ultra-violence. Thirteen brutal shorts and then the extended nightmare of Snuff Racket. You'd have to go a long way to beat the sheer violence, brutality, humour and brilliance of Meat Bubbles." — Benedict J. Jones, author of Pennies For Charon and The Devil’s Brew (Crime Wave Press). ----------------- My take.... A book I really enjoyed, but which I'd struggle to recommend to any mainstream reader. I can't see myself buying a copy for my mum or my sister, though it would be interesting to be a fly on the wall to try and gauge their reaction to Leins' prose and his skewed presentation of the good folk of Paignton. I know far better than to present one to my wife. I think what really stands out for me is the lack of normal people in his books. They just don't figure. Pretty much everyone is damaged, or hurting, downtrodden and for the most part emotionally broken and crushed. Those that aren't are the abusers, the ones in power, the kings of the dirty castle, the moneyed, the corrupt and the morally bankrupt. A few are survivors - enter Joe Rey - the linchpin of our connected shorts and episodes and our main focus. Rey's the go to guy if you want something found - a missing person, or a rare snuff film. He's the closest thing Paignton has to a moral compass and the best hope it possesses for if not justice, some form of violent restitution. Here in our twisted tales, Rey encounters, prostitutes, pimps, deviants, scumbags, demented doctors, lazy corpulent cops, the irrepressible Wet-Look, perverts, barmen, bouncers, pornographers, midgets, film makers, Nazi skinheads and a murderer to mention a few. Several characters encountered in an earlier book from Leins - Skull Meat make a welcome reappearance. I think where it scores for me is that given the material it should be extremely bleak and depressing, but with Leins deft hand at the wheel it isn't. There's a lighter touch at play. Not full blown comedy more nervous laughter, with a certain je ne sais quoi to his prose which elevates it back out of the gutter and gives it a freshness. He definitely has a unique turn of phrase ...a cinderblock cesspool, full of smut-hounds trying to slip a finger into Paignton's ripped backside... ...a Bacardi-based cocktail.....a Clubfoot, and smells like raw sewage.... ...the stain on my pillowcase looks like a shadow on a diseased lung. It's hard to articulate just exactly what I like about these stories.... I'm entertained, I'm thrilled, I'm appalled, I'm amused, I'm disgusted and I'm hooked. 4.5 from 5 Skull Meat was enjoyed previously. Slug Bait and Repetition Kills You sit on the pile waiting. Read in September, 2018 Published - 2018 Page count - 213 Source - review copy received from Henry at publisher Near to the Knuckle Format - PDF * Meat Bubbles and Other Stories includes Snuff Racket also available on it's own. https://col2910.blogspot.com/2018/09/...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Beau Johnson

    Meat Bubbles and Other Stories is a collection of short stories involving a private investigator named Joe Rey. His story is more than dark. It is more than dirty. It is the underbelly of a cesspool a light is rarely shined upon. Tom Leins not only cutting to the bone in each and every story involving this man, but exposing the muscle and nerve endings that lay beneath with such deftness that I know I'll be coming back for more. As did I, so should you: go forth. Seek out. Purchase and enjoy. Meat Bubbles and Other Stories is a collection of short stories involving a private investigator named Joe Rey. His story is more than dark. It is more than dirty. It is the underbelly of a cesspool a light is rarely shined upon. Tom Leins not only cutting to the bone in each and every story involving this man, but exposing the muscle and nerve endings that lay beneath with such deftness that I know I'll be coming back for more. As did I, so should you: go forth. Seek out. Purchase and enjoy.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Colin Garrow

    Private investigator Joe Rey gets down and dirty in the not-so-picturesque seaside-town of Paignton. Tracking down a disturbed plastic surgeon, he encounters a variety of low-life scumbags, prostitutes, hitmen and bent coppers. If he’s lucky, he might wake up with all his body parts intact, but when almost everyone seems to be toting a gun or a knife, the odds are against it… ‘Not for the faint-hearted’ is a phrase I’ve used a lot, but it really is true in this case. Tom Leins has created a world Private investigator Joe Rey gets down and dirty in the not-so-picturesque seaside-town of Paignton. Tracking down a disturbed plastic surgeon, he encounters a variety of low-life scumbags, prostitutes, hitmen and bent coppers. If he’s lucky, he might wake up with all his body parts intact, but when almost everyone seems to be toting a gun or a knife, the odds are against it… ‘Not for the faint-hearted’ is a phrase I’ve used a lot, but it really is true in this case. Tom Leins has created a world that is so densely populated with horrible people, murder, rape and a generally bleak outlook, you might think it’s going to be hard to enjoy. But enjoy it I did, and though I occasionally got a bit confused about who the good guys were, it all turns out fine in the end. Relatively speaking. Packed with crude language, crude characters and some corking one-liners, this is an interesting and down-to-earth take on the old private detective story.

  4. 4 out of 5

    David Burnham

    Another trip into Paignton's dirty underbelly wit Joe Rey. Remind me to never go anywhere near that place next time in England! Tom Leins' turn of phrase and style hit the right notes with me every time. Great work. Another trip into Paignton's dirty underbelly wit Joe Rey. Remind me to never go anywhere near that place next time in England! Tom Leins' turn of phrase and style hit the right notes with me every time. Great work.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Scott Cumming

    Visit Paignton for: The people: A wonderful array of rheumy-eyed psychos, sickos, perverts, murderous millionaires and scarred up prostitutes of varying genders. The places: The Dirty Lemon with their highly erotic(?) floorshows, Paignton Yards and it's deep history of buried bodies, Paignton Harbour where you can go fishing… for the odd bloated corpse. The weather: "The summer heat has settled over Paignton like a chloroform-soaked rag over the mouth of a snatched child." The cuisine: "When I arriv Visit Paignton for: The people: A wonderful array of rheumy-eyed psychos, sickos, perverts, murderous millionaires and scarred up prostitutes of varying genders. The places: The Dirty Lemon with their highly erotic(?) floorshows, Paignton Yards and it's deep history of buried bodies, Paignton Harbour where you can go fishing… for the odd bloated corpse. The weather: "The summer heat has settled over Paignton like a chloroform-soaked rag over the mouth of a snatched child." The cuisine: "When I arrive at the pub a pair of elderly St. Johns Ambulance-men are carrying a cadaverous middle-aged man out on a canvas stretcher. "Glassing? Knife fight? Pool ball in a sock?" The first medic laughs bitterly. "No. He ordered from the lunchtime specials menu…" The smells: "sour milk and anal mucus." The business opportunities: "The older I get, the more I realise that this town is full of mercenaries. Leftover soldiers from old, messy wars. When the dust settles everyone still wants a pay-day, and they don't care how they get it." Visit Paignton I'm not au fait with the tourist board situation in Devon, but it's highly likely that there is an office somewhere with a dartboard sporting Leins visage in the middle. Meat Bubbles and Other Stories treats us to the short greasy, bloody case files of Paignton's finest PI, Joe Rey. Here he is predominantly taking on various jobs for a disgraced ex-cop known as Wet Look. Be it finding a missing person, as a courier or providing muscle, there isn't much Joe will say no to and he knows as much; "Sometimes I really wish I didn't have principles. They only ever get in the way…" This volume includes Snuff Racket, the second Joe Rey novella, which on initial reading I wasn't a great fan of, but it was the stories I read online that kept me coming back to Rey and Paignton and made me much more a fan of the work. It almost goes without saying that these stories are not for the faint of heart or the prudish and it Is definitely not advisable to eat tomato soup whilst reading.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    Meat Bubbles and other stories by Tom Leins is a hard-hitting book of nasty noir tales told in only a way Tom Leins can write. His writing won't be for everyone and some may find it a bit too graphic, however, Leins has a wonderfully unique way of describing things. The book mostly consists of very short stories involving PI Rey and his encounters in a very nasty Frank Miller-like world. Reading this book is like walking down a dirty, stinking and damp dark alley full of all sorts of denizens of Meat Bubbles and other stories by Tom Leins is a hard-hitting book of nasty noir tales told in only a way Tom Leins can write. His writing won't be for everyone and some may find it a bit too graphic, however, Leins has a wonderfully unique way of describing things. The book mostly consists of very short stories involving PI Rey and his encounters in a very nasty Frank Miller-like world. Reading this book is like walking down a dirty, stinking and damp dark alley full of all sorts of denizens of a world you'd prefer to just avoid. Good stuff for hardcore noir lovers.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Martin Stanley

    Violent, fast-moving, gory, depraved, and great fun. Leins' stories featuring scuzzy detective Joe Rey show an ugly Paignton that probably isn't going to be recommended by the Devon tourist board anytime soon, but it does make the town a character in its own right. And a bloody strong one at that (pun intended). Featuring organ harvesters, cops so bent they resemble fusilli, and a diverse cast of strong villains, this collection should be high up the list for all readers of Brit Grit. Top stuff. Violent, fast-moving, gory, depraved, and great fun. Leins' stories featuring scuzzy detective Joe Rey show an ugly Paignton that probably isn't going to be recommended by the Devon tourist board anytime soon, but it does make the town a character in its own right. And a bloody strong one at that (pun intended). Featuring organ harvesters, cops so bent they resemble fusilli, and a diverse cast of strong villains, this collection should be high up the list for all readers of Brit Grit. Top stuff.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Joe Surkiewicz

    Sick but not too sick. Leins is an amazing writer, although I do worry about him.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    A Google search will show Paignton to be a lovely little seaside town on what is known as the English Riviera. Tom Leins will show you that Paignton is a festering cesspool overflowing with filth and debauchery. The only law in Paignton comes in the form of two aged cops named Benson and Hedges, so if you want justice, you call on Joe Rey. Joe is the local PI/fixer/one-man army holding back this wretched tide. Sit back, relax and dig into this collection of Joe's adventures and pray you never fin A Google search will show Paignton to be a lovely little seaside town on what is known as the English Riviera. Tom Leins will show you that Paignton is a festering cesspool overflowing with filth and debauchery. The only law in Paignton comes in the form of two aged cops named Benson and Hedges, so if you want justice, you call on Joe Rey. Joe is the local PI/fixer/one-man army holding back this wretched tide. Sit back, relax and dig into this collection of Joe's adventures and pray you never find yourself in Paignton. If you do, stop in at the Dirty Lemon and have Spacey Tracey pour you a stiff one. You're going to need it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    John Bender

    WHOA. Amazing. Tom Leins has crafted the dirtiest, most corrupt, vile world in Paignton. I want to live there. More of an experience than just reading a book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    David

    It doesn’t get much grittier than this, and I love the seedy world these stories are set in. Fun reading.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Joe Rey, our violent Paignton private investigator, is at it again with his own special way of getting the answers he needs. Full Review On YouTube Here: https://youtu.be/Bjdk2fFqzS8 Don't miss his unique tactics for investigating in this follow up to Skull Meat. Joe Rey, our violent Paignton private investigator, is at it again with his own special way of getting the answers he needs. Full Review On YouTube Here: https://youtu.be/Bjdk2fFqzS8 Don't miss his unique tactics for investigating in this follow up to Skull Meat.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Gary Duncan

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mathew

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rowena Hoseason

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lorenzo Nicodemo

  17. 4 out of 5

    Liam

  18. 5 out of 5

    John Bowie

  19. 5 out of 5

    Editor

  20. 5 out of 5

    João

  21. 4 out of 5

    Judy Beasley

  22. 5 out of 5

    FabulousRaye

  23. 5 out of 5

    Deb Letourneau

  24. 4 out of 5

    bill johnson

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

  26. 5 out of 5

    Phil

  27. 5 out of 5

    Blake Johnson

  28. 5 out of 5

    Poppy

  29. 5 out of 5

    Abby Turner

  30. 4 out of 5

    Still

  31. 4 out of 5

    Adam Carroll

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