AJ Reid

Notes from the Paradise Peninsula

Tag: noir

Last Day of Free Amazon Giveaway

A Smaller Hell

A Christmas Brit Grit Black Comedy set in the department store of a dying coastal town where nothing is as it first seems.

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Grey Noise

Grey Noise Rock Aug 21 2015 4

Black Comedy following the misadventures of Patrick, a sound engineer who discovers that the only way he can relieve his crippling tinnitus is by taking revenge on obnoxious musicians.

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Grey Noise: Goldtooth

goldtooth aug 21 2015 5

The sequel to Grey Noise, this follows Patrick further into the underworld as he becomes involved with a local crime family.

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Who is Dianne Doyle?

I used to work in a department store where there was a manager who ruled with something of a manicured iron fist.  She actually used to get kicks out of reprimanding staff and subverting their relationships, which she would achieve in very subtle ways.  She was a maestro of negativity, conducting us like an orchestra and luring us into making mistakes, just so that she could make a show of whichever poor wretch was on her hitlist that day.

She wasn’t without charm, though, which is why I thought that she would make a great villain.  The longer I worked there, the more rumours I heard and the more I saw with my own eyes, the more intriguing she became.  She used the workplace hierarchy and corporate targets for her own ends, none of which were actually concerned with profit margins.

This, and certain other experiences led me to study psychology in a bid to demystify the motives in any kind of cruelty, whereupon I learnt about psychopathy and its causes/effects.  When writing A Smaller Hell, I took an example of a philanthropist in Joseph Williamson, who built the famous tunnels in Liverpool, and summoned him in the founder of the department store: Commander Clarence Tanner.  The idea was to have Dianne Doyle be a personification of slick and shiny corporate psychopathy in contrast to Tanner’s long-standing philosophy of providing work for the families of the town, giving to charity and generally keeping a fire burning for the community to rally round.

I don’t like the fact that business has become all-consuming and all-important.  It’s made me uncomfortable for a long time and the more I learn about the skulduggery that underpins the corporate world, the more I become convinced that my fears are well-founded.  I find it vulgar – even creepy – when people say “it’s good for the economy” about some morally-dubious initiative that our politicians are undertaking, as if the economy is some kind of god or idol that we should all kneel and worship, even at the expense of our own humanity.

Dianne Doyle is the face that I’ve given to those fears.  She is everything that’s dangerous about money and sex.  She’s also the mischievous authoritarian and cruel hedonist, whose greatest act of manipulation and deception is charted in A Smaller Hell and unfolds to reveal that “the Devil can sometimes do a very gentlemanly thing”, as Robert Louis Stevenson said.

 

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A Smaller Hell Only $2.99 For Limited Time

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Goldtooth Free Crime Novelette Giveaway

A sound engineer with a grudge, a gun and a terrifying secret.  Which one of the band is going to get it first in this neo-noir novelette set in Liverpool, home of The Beatles?  Get your copy now FREE.

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Chinatown Sketch

In tribute to one of my favourite films, I thought I’d sketch a scene to try out my new art stuff.  I haven’t drawn or painted anything since my A-levels and even though this is just a quick scrawl, it feels really good to be doing it again.

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Smaller Hell Dummy August 16th7

“AJ Reid’s ‘A Smaller Hell’ is a fable of our time.” – ***** KT Acolyte”An electrifying piece of literature.” – ***** Whim”The author takes you on a trip through the underworld and keeps the reader captivated throughout the book and wanting to learn more about the sordid secrets of Ms Doyle.” – ***** Iain Bennett”A highly enjoyable tale with a bit of everything; love, crime, black humour and magic.” – ***** -“A tale of love, hate, fear and deceit that truly captivates your imagination and drags you head first into a world where things are not always as they seem, a plot which has your heart racing as you eagerly turn page after page, unable to put the book down!” – ***** Richard MortimoreDianne Doyle is a forty-something widow who likes to play games. Her fellow pillars of the community would say that she’s just a businesswoman trying to make the best of her inheritance, but those who know her best know that her interest in profit margins ran out a long time ago. Her pampered, flawless appearance belies a dark history of perversion and violence … and the worst is yet to come for Tony Black: Tanner’s Department Store’s newest employee, and Dianne Doyle’s chosen playmate for her most enigmatic and dangerous game yet in this grim, northern dystopia.A Smaller Hell is a darkly-comic tale of collisions between the normal and the perverted; the workaday and the surreal; the logical and the absurd; and of course, good and evil. This neo-noir thriller will keep you guessing as Black negotiates his way through the darkest alleys of this once-splendid shipbuilding town, right up until the shocking climax at the Christmas party.This adventure was inspired by Franz Kafka, three stripes, J.G. Ballard, cheap cider, Dennis Lehane, sovereign rings, Rockports, greasy spoon cafes, street violence, spit and sawdust boxing clubs, working in a fancy department store at Christmas, psychopathy, Irvine Welsh, Iain Banks, true love, nymphomaniacs, consumerism, Martin Amis, Aldous Huxley, corporatocracy, hierarchy, cruelty and the stickiest, smokiest, most dangerous pubs known to mankind.

 

A Smaller Hell is available FREE from August 13th – August 17th 2015 on Amazon.

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