Tag Archives: Peter Corris

The books that hooked me on crime fiction

The Neon rainDo you remember what books got you into crime fiction?

When it all comes down to it, I have to credit my late father. Dad loved writers like Carter Brown, Mickey Spillane and Ian Fleming. He passed on his readings tastes to me, particularly his love of dark, pulp influenced crime fiction.

Here are the five books that began my love affair with crime fiction.

What are yours?

From Russia With Love – Ian Fleming I still have my father’s collection of James Bond novels published by Pan Books in the late fifties and sixties, which I saved from my mother’s frequent op shop culls. Published in 1957, From Russia With Love was the fifth Bond book but the first one I read.

It involves a complex plot by Soviet counter intelligence, SMERSH, to kill Bond and discredit British intelligence, using a beautiful Russian cipher clerk and a secret decoding machine as bait. Lashings of action and intrigue, evocative settings such as Istanbul and the Orient Express, characters including the SMERSH executioner, ‘Red Grant’, and the diabolical Colonel Rosa Klebb.

I can still remember reading this in my late teens and my mind going whoooosh with the possibilities.

The Neon Rain – James Lee Burke

The Neon Rain was another of my father’s books.… Read more

Anthologies, my novel and more shameless self-promotion

In over a couple of weeks I will be jetting off to spend a couple of weeks in the US, New York mostly, followed by a few days in Philadelphia to attend Noir Con.

I-can-not-wait.

Several more ‘Noir Con noir bust’ posts are scheduled between now and when I leave, but I just wanted to take a short break from these to do a bit of shameless self-promotion. A lot of writing I’ve been working on for the last year is being released around the same time. By the end of the year it’ll be back to the drawing board, but for now I’ve got some serious pimping to do.

First up, is Crime Factory’s latest publication, Hard Labour, an anthology of 17 noir and hardboiled Australian short crime stories, edited by Cameron Ashley, Liam Jose and myself. We launched this baby last week at Grumpy’s Green in Collingwood.  A fine time was had by all and we managed to sell enough copies on the night to more or less pay the printing bill.

The print version of Hard Labour is now available from our website for $13.99 plus postage. The digital book is available on Amazon here for just $2.99.

It’s a bargain for crime fiction this good.… Read more

Unveiling the cover of Crime Factory’s Hard Labour anthology

Here it is people, the cover of Crime Factory’s all-Australian anthology, Hard Labour, edited by Cameron Ashley, Liam Jose and myself.

It’s by the same artist who did the cover art work for the Australian version of the First Shift anthology we launched earlier this year, the very talented, Erik Lundy.

We are welcoming this beauty into the world October 8 at Grumpy’s Green in Collingwood. We promise you a great night. A number of the authors will be reading from their Hard Labour stories, drinks will be available at the bar and, of course, you’ll be able to buy a copy of Hard Labour. Doors open 7pm, with readings beginning sometime around 8pm.

And if that’s not enough, our special guest on the night will be Iain McIntyre, author of Sticking it to the Man: Pop, Protest and Black Fiction of the Counterculture, 1964-75out through The Leda Tape Organisation. Copies of the book will also be on sale and Iain will be giving a little tour through the lava lamp lit streets of counter cultural pulp fiction.

Hard Labour will set you back just $13.99. The digital book, available soon, will be $2.99.

It’s a bargain for crime fiction this good. If you’re not convinced caste your eyes over the full line up of authors.… Read more

Launch of Crime Factory’s Hard Labour anthology and other crime writing news

There’s a hell of a lot going on crime writing wise for me at the moment.

In addition to the launch of my debut novel, Ghost Money, I have several pieces of short fiction coming out. Things are also busy in regard to Crime Factory Publications, the small press I have stared with two other Melbourne friends, Cameron Ashley and Liam Jose.

On Monday, October 8, Crime Factory Publications is launching its second book, Hard Labour, an all-Australian short crime fiction anthology. I’m one of the editors, along with Jose and Ashley and, as usual, we’ve tried to mix establishing crime writers with talented up and comers. The line up includes Garry Disher (his first Wyatt story, unpublished for over a decade), Adrian McKinty (a Melbourne-based Irish writer, so he counts), Leigh Redhead, Angela Savage, Peter Corris, Helen Fitzgerald, David Whish-Wilson, JJ DeCeglie, Andrez Bergen, Deborah Sheldon, Amanda Wrangles, and many more.

The venue is the same as our first launch in March, Grumpy’s Green, 125 Smith Street, Collingwood. It’s going to be a great night. A selection of the authors will reading from their stories, drinks will be available at the bar and copies of Hard Labour will be on sale for $13.99.

Doors open 7pm, with readings beginning sometime around 8pm.… Read more

Blood Money and other Australian crime films you’ve probably never heard of

MaloneIf you haven’t heard of the 1980 Australian film Bloody Money, don’t worry, you’d be in good company. Clocking in at just over 62 minutes, it’s an unpolished little gem of a heist film and almost completely unavailable.

John Flaus plays Pete Shields, an aging Sydney criminal who experiences an emotional epiphany after a diamond robbery he’s involved in goes violently wrong and his doctor informs him he’s got terminal cancer.

Shields returns to Melbourne, his hometown, where he has family, a little brother Brian (Aussie icon Bryan Brown), having trouble going straight, and Brian’s wife, Jeannie. There’s a lot of unfinished emotional business between them, including Shields’s affair with Jeannie years ago that may mean he is father of her and Brian’s daughter.

Pete also has unfinished criminal business with a gang run by Mister Curtis (Peter Stratford). To make sure his brother doesn’t fall back into their clutches, Pete takes Curtis’s gang apart man by man then kidnaps the crime boss’s daughter for a $50,000 ransom.

Blood Money has a definite Get Carter vibe, including the ending where Shields, having exchanged the daughter for the cash, is gunned in a remote quarry.

It’s not the greatest local crime film ever made, but Director John Ruane (who went on to do Death in Brunswick) gives it a grainy realism that draws the viewer in.… Read more