Tuesday, 22 November 2011

3 FROM THE TOP: Nigel Bird

PULP PUSHER asks writer Nigel Bird to shout about three of his top recent reads...

I’ve just finished the novella ‘The Point’ by Gerard Brennan. It didn’t have to stay on the TBR pile for long as the cover’s amazing and I’ve read a couple of his short stories and they were great appetizers for this main course. A couple of brothers are chased from Belfast and head for a small town on the coast. Far from finding a quiet life, Paul becomes tangled up with the local mob and his brother Brian with the local psycho-woman. It’s a thrilling read from start to finish, it’s Batemanesque and very sharp.

2__ The Cold Kiss by John Rector is one hell of a book for a debut novel. It follows a young couple heading for Reno to get married. Unfortunately, they bump into a dying cop on the way who happens to have a head-full of bad attitude and bags full of cash. When the snow comes and they are forced to stop at a motel, they realize they have a dead passenger on their hands and set about concealing the body. The confined setting is claustrophobic and this is used to maximum effect. You can practically feel the cold as the weather front hits and the heat as the tension rises. It also has an excellent ending which Mr Rector deserves praise for including. Great work.

I know there’ll be people wondering how I missed this when it came out or at any point since, but I finally did get around to reading Liza Cody’s Bucket Nut and was completely bowled over by it. It follows the life of wrestler/security/runner Eva Wylie as she tries to earn enough money to fix her teeth and to locate her estranged sister. Eva’s one of the most well-written characters you’ll come across and the supporting cast are perfectly crafted. The plot really hurtles as Eva gets stuck in the middle of a turf war and somehow becomes the enemy of both sides. The emotional depth and the back-story are tremendous and if there’s anyone out there who hasn’t read it, don’t wait any longer.


NIGEL BIRD is the author of the novella Smoke and the critically acclaimed collection Dirty Old Town (and other stories). A nominee for the Spinetingler ‘Best Story On The Web’ award this year and the winner of the Watery Grave Invitational in 2010, he co-edited the collection Pulp Ink with Chirs ‘Rat-a-tat’ Rhatigan of Death By Killing. He runs the blog Sea Minor and is the juggler of many (often glued back together) plates.