Hired by mobster Marie Andretti to ransack the office of morbidly obese local nightclub owner 'Swollen' Roland Smart, Paignton private investigator Joe Rey quickly finds himself plunged into a dangerous cat and mouse game - which leaves him fighting for his life. His quest for answers - and vengeance - sees him plunge headfirst into the queasy underbelly of the grubby little seaside town he calls home. Rey is a man with a dark past, and, it seems, very little future. Welcome to Paignton Noir.
Years ago I spent a week on holiday in Paignton with the wife and kids. After reading this one I doubt we’ll be returning.
When you see the sun rise in Paignton it looks like a collapsed lung filling up with blood.
Low life characters, grimy watering holes, seedy nightclubs and dingy brothels, a private investigator or two, a midget and a pornographer, teenage strippers and prostitutes, a beating, a stabbing and lots more. Joe Rey is on a case and plenty of blood is going to get spilled.
Wet-Look, a disgraced ex-cop and the other PI in town offers Joe some sage advice……….
“Paignton’s a selfish, dirty town……The only way to survive in this town is to corrupt yourself.”
Fantastic writing, brutal imagery, tremendous turns of phrase with an interesting story – Joe doing some dirty work and travelling from A to B to C, with casualties every step of the way. I did get a tad confused at the plethora of low lives we encountered in such a short book – is there no-one decent in Paignton? But overall an enjoyable journey. 44 gritty pages of prose – my kind of book, even if I did need to shower afterwards to try and rid some of the Paignton grime from my pores.
I’m looking forward to reading more from Tom Leins in the future.
4.5 from 5

Tom Leins has his website here. He’s on Facebook here.
Read in July 2017
Published – 2017
Page count – 44
Source – review copy received from author
Format - kindle

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