My name is J David Osborne, the author of LOW DOWN DEATH RIGHT EASY and the Wonderland Award-winning BY THE TIME WE LEAVE HERE, WE'LL BE FRIENDS. As an avid reader of all things noir, I decided to start my own small press specializing in crime fiction. Crime fiction is a window to the human condition, and the best work in the genre not only explores the fates and environments of the perpetually doomed dealers and PIs, but makes you feel like these low-lifes are family.
The novels I received exceeded my wildest expectations. I'd like to launch all five books at once, and I think each title is awesome enough to get any crime-fiction fan worth their salt drooling over their keyboard.
THE LEAST OF MY SCARS by Stephen Graham Jones
One of the most disturbing and satisfying books I've ever read. If you're a Stephen Graham Jones fan, then you know what you're going to get here: a feverishly written, obsessive work of genius. A serial killer is kidnapped by a vengeful mobster and force-fed hapless marks from the confines of an abandoned apartment building. William Colton Hughes is completely unhinged, a character that I'm convinced will one day stand in the pantheon of literary psychopaths.
“A grim, funny, stylish hallucination of a book -- murderous insanity seen from the inside out. You'll be revolted by this guy, but he'll fascinate you too.” - Jack Ketchum
“The Least of My Scars shows how a serial killer's paradise and a serial killer's hell are really the same place. A dark and steady noir which pulls the rug painfully out from under your feet at the end.” - Brian Evenson
Check an early review here.
PECKERWOOD by Jedidiah Ayres
There isn't a man alive with more noir in his blood than Jedidiah Ayres. The Christian Mingle of crime fiction himself sent me a tight, twisted backwoods classic. The mind behind Noir at the Bar (and their subsequent anthologies) and such titles as FIERCE BITCHES and A FUCKLOAD OF SHORTS gave me the similarly-offensively titled PECKERWOOD, and I'm tickled to pass it on to you. It's the story of rural Missouri thugs, a meth dealer and a crooked cop and a lowlife penny ante douchebag. It is laugh-out-loud funny, dark, irreverent, but more than that, it expresses a deep empathy for the human side of these characters that is just totally missing from most contemporary noir fiction. I got choked up twice, and one of those times it was the late-hitting punchline to a much earlier, at-the-time hilarious set up. This is a book that I will fight you over.
"Peckerwood is intensely original and harrowing country noir. Ayres delivers sharp-edged prose that lands like a knife under the ribs." – Dennis Tafoya
"A masterpiece of dirty, down-low rural noir. Read it and sink a little further into the muck." – Scott Phillips
"Some people find comfort in religion, booze, sex, drugs. I don’t judge. But I find comfort in Jedidiah Ayres." – Benjamin Whitmer
"Jedidiah Ayres combines a crooked world view and a dark turn of mind with a genuine, increasingly rare pulse of humanity to create stories that stand apart." – Sean Doolittle
"One of the most innovative crime fiction writers currently on the scene." - LitReactor
Check out an early review here.
Interview with Jed here.
STREET RAISED by Pearce Hansen
Hansen is noir royalty, so of course it's my pleasure to re-issue a revamped, even-more-stripped, nightmarish edition of the evil-as-hell STREET RAISED.
Skinheads and crackheads and dangerous drug dealers. Sawed-off shotguns and howling desperation. This is a gut-punch of a novel, quick and dirty and in-your-face. Oh, and there's a wraith of a man who sees messages in bloody rat footprints.
"Street Raised is a scar of a book, but it's a beautifully healed scar. Gutsy, fast-paced, written in an electric style. Recommended.” - Joe Lansdale
“One of the best writers I know. Imagine James Ellroy coupled with George R. R. Martin and overseen by Charles Willeford. But Pearce really needs no comparison to any other writer; he’s created his own compelling dark universe that ratchets up noir to an astonishing level.” - Ken Bruen
"Street Raised is a full-tilt, dead-on descent into the Bay Area underworld, with lovably flawed characters and stunning dialogue. Every page, it seems, has something to marvel at. This is literary crime of the highest order, on par with the work of the great Eddie Bunker. Pearce Hansen is a major new talent." - Jason Starr
"I'm one jaded fella when it comes to shocks in literature, and I was gratified at how many moments Street Raised raised my hackles or caused me to reread a paragraph because I couldn't quite accept that I'd seen what I'd seen. Hansen's delivery is nothing like Cormac McCarthy's, but this novel possessed a few visceral and nasty surprises that put it in the same territory of viciousness and macabre grandeur as Blood Meridian." - Laird Barron
GRAVESEND by William Boyle
GRAVESEND is a revenge story done the right way. Ray Boy Calabrese is released from prison 16 years after his actions led to the death of a young man. The victim's brother, Conway D'Innocenzio, is a middle-aged Brooklynite wasting away at a local Rite-Aid, stuck in the past and still howling for Ray Boy's blood. Add to that a failed actress caring for her widowed father and Ray Boy's hellbound nephew, and you have a complicated, character-centric noir story that echoes the best of George Pelecanos. Boyle has written for the L.A. Review of Books, Salon, The Rumpus, Hobart, Plots with Guns, Thuglit, Out of the Gutter, and Grift, among other places. This is his debut novel. It's about crushed dreams and stilted lives. It's about the places we come up in and how they keep us there. This bastard turns the genre on its head and steps all over your heart. I think it's one of the best books I've read in a long time, and I'm proud to have it on BRB.
XXX SHAMUS by Red Hammond
"Red Hammond was a lifelong Pentecostal minister who, on his sixtieth birthday, quit preaching, left his wife, disowned his kids, and moved to L.A. so he could write porno scripts. Once there, however, he was told over and over that his scripts were too dark even for *that* sort of porn. So he wrote a novel, and once he was done, it left him in a coma from which he still hasn't recovered. This is that novel...
Although rumor has it that he's really just this boring guy who lives with a dog."
I asked a favorite author of mine if he had anything for Broken River. He said 'yes,' but that it was too raw to put his name on. The novel that landed on my desktop, XXX SHAMUS, floored me. The book's protagonist, a PI searching for a missing pregnant girl, is one of the most unique, human antiheroes since Bruce Robertson in Irvine Welsh's FILTH. His increasingly frequent and depraved sex feels as desperate and doomed as the goings-on of the best Selby novels. I felt sick after I read it. This novel is pitch black, pornographic, and an absolute masterpiece of noir.
You'll love it, you sick fuckers, you.
"XXX Shamus is the most transgressive PI novel ever written. It's also
one of the best." - Allan Guthrie
Risks and challenges
I need ISBNS and the funding to get these books to press. Beyond that, I'd like to see Broken River Books continue and flourish. With this money, I can afford to promote: I can put out advanced reading copies, take the books to conventions, and get them into reader's hands directly.
If the project is funded successfully, the only thing that could stop me is myself. Editing and designing these books is hard work, but it's the work that I am meant to do. It's my passion and I will not stop until I'm either dead or making a life out of it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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