Sunday, February 10, 2013

Noir Novellas - an OzNoir Book List

Below are some of my favourite noir novellas. Each word is a dagger, the plots so sharp they cut deep into the readers memory keeping the story alive long past the last page turn.

I am sure to have missed many good novellas and welcome any recommendations. In no particular order:

FIERCE BITCHES by Jedidiah Ayres
Fierce Bitches
In my review I wrote that FIERCE BITCHES is 'a haunting and violent slice of noir set amongst a desolate backdrop where ramshackle residents live and die by their vices.' The first novella published through Crime Factory is a winner.
KILLING MUM by Allan Guthrie
Killing Mum
From my review: Guthrie always brings a lot of justifiable violence and relevant brutality to his fiction but in 'Killing Mum' he brings the added element of dark humour and a questionable state of mind to the lead character (think Goodis 'Nightfall').
OLD GHOSTS by Nik Korpon
Old Ghosts
From my review: Lean poetic prose personified by vivid and visceral characterisation. While gory there is a blood crusted beauty to the delivery and style by which Korpon crafts these scenes.
GUN by Ray Banks
From my review: just another bullet leaving the chamber for Banks who continues to deliver time and time again. GUN is a must for fans of Banks.
SMOKE by Nigel Bird
From my review: 'Smoke' is a slick, well defined deft tale which embodies the darker side of every day life.
THE LAST DEEP BREATH by Tom Piccirilli
The Last Deep Breath
From my review: The downtrodden characters and seedy occupation contribute to a feeling of grey (apt name for a protagonist in this setting), you know its not going to end with roses and sunshine yet you’re hopelessly drawn to the conclusion.
 BUTTERFLY POTION by Trent Zelazny
Butterfly Potion
From my review: Trent Zelazny’s novella is a quick fire noir with all the hallmarks you’d expect of the genre.
Ishmael Toffee
From my review: This is a powerful novella. It's noir filled with heart-warming and heartbreaking moments.
R.I.P ROBBIE SILVA by Tony Black
R.I.P Robbie Silva
From my review: Tony Black’s style and story substance is a beautiful mash-up of Ken Bruen, Dave Zeltersman, Alan Guthrie, and Ray Banks.
SHOTGUN GRAVY by Chuck Wendig
Shotgun Gravy
From my review: With a reputation forged by a forgetful past, the protagonist of ‘Shotgun Gravy’ oozes sentiments of Sophie Littlefield’s female vigilante, Stella Hardesty. Atlanta Burns, a YA cult hero in the making accounts for her troubles and those of the class underdog by drawing upon basic human survival instinct – and a can of bear mace.


  1. A fantastic list all right, with a couple for me to tackle (or to tackle me).

    And thanks!

    1. Hi Nigel,

      SMOKE was a fantastic read - well worth the mention.


  2. Cheers, Josh! Flattered to be included in such a list.