This review contains violence, language, substance abuse, nudity, and sexual content. Do not proceed if you would find any of this offensive.
Stepping into a Tom Leins’s Paignton Noir story is like immersing yourself in a vat of feces, vomit, and blood. With “Slug Bait”, the fifth installment of his Paignton Noir series, Leins guides the willing and unwilling into his hyper-violent world. This is a book that, if read by the authorities, could quite possibly get Leins sectioned. Think of some of the most gruesome scenes you’ve ever seen on film and TV; Leins says, “Hold my beer.”
Here’s the other thing, Leins can write. The action moves along at a blistering pace and his fight scenes are brief and savage. His descriptions are like Chandler without worrying about decency and decorum. For example, the opening paragraph:
The sky above the Dirty Lemon is the colour of diseased lungs. Fat clouds swirl above the pub, and the bronchial sky erupts as I push through the double-doors – bullets of rain thudding into the wheelchair ramp behind me.
As good as that is, Leins’s writing would make Tipper Gore convulse and collapse into a puddle of her own urine and drool. A few paragraphs later, Leins writes:
Remy makes half-hearted speech-marks in the air with his sausage-like fingers as he tells me that his “niece” – Claudette – is missing. Wants me to find her. He passes me a photograph. It’s a typical small-town glamour shot: badly lit and barely legal. She is a toothy brunette with small, uneven breasts. She doesn’t so much have blowjob lips as gob-job gums. I feel my cock twitch, take Remy’s money and finish my pint. In that order.
My only misgiving about “Slug Bait” is the ebook formatting, but that is something that can be easily fixed. Also, make sure you have a UK dictionary installed when reading. If not from England, you’ll most likely need it.
I cannot think of a better way to spend .99¢. So instead of binging on “Friends” or some equally lame-ass shit on Netflix, purchase “Slug Bait” by Leins and be happy you don’t live next door to this sick motherfucker.