Browse our noir ebooks….

The genre of literary noir fiction often touches upon some of the same territory as that of crime fiction. The protagonists are often damaged in some way and can include detectives, criminals, victims and the dispossessed. In our noir short stories there is often an atmosphere of nihilism and loneliness throughout the work. The characters tend to be cynical, corrupt in some way, and motivated by base instincts such as lust and greed. Dark psychological motivations are often explored in these short stories, and a sense of doom is never far away.

Sand
Kate Mitchell
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"I killed my little brother. When he was two, and I was six, I crept into his bedroom and suffocated him with a pillow while he slept. ‘No you didn’t, Nadine,’ said my mother, ‘It’s a dream.’ ‘It’s a dream about guilt,’ my psychiatrist said, patting me on the knee. ‘You mustn’t blame yourself, my dear, it wasn’t your fault.’ On Tuesdays, I go to the Community Clinic for my weekly meeting with parents who are thought to present a risk to their children. Publicly, it’s called a ‘parents’ support group’ so they have a cover story when they come into reception. But these mums and dads are under no illusions; they watch me scribbling notes and know my risk assessment will dictate their future. If they give the right response, the courts may grant them a family life; the wrong answers and they won’t see their children again; something in between and they could get one afternoon a fortnight at a contact centre where, corralled by cuddly toys, they will try to engage their little strangers in a parody of play, under the watchful eye and busy pen of a social worker. While this process grinds slowly forward, the children who are being protected will metamorphose into sullen teenagers with unmet needs who will probably follow the pattern of their parents, having children of their own who will be in need of protection; and the cycle will start again..."
Eclipsed
Kate Mitchell
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Dan has persuaded Amanda to accompany him on a cruise of the Faro Islands, to see the eclipse. But are they being followed? In this chilling tale, we find Dan must make hard decisions, in order to safeguard his marriage. "It’s our first night on board so we dress for the occasion: me in my best bib and tucker, and Amanda wearing her plungiest neckline with the white gold pendant I bought her for Christmas. We’ve barely sat down to dinner when I hear, ‘I don’t believe it!’ which makes me think of that character on TV, but the chap bouncing towards us looks too young to remember the sitcom. He stops in front of our table and smiles at Amanda. When she doesn’t speak I look at her and see she’s staring down at the table. The skin on her neck is a mottled pink. Perhaps she’s seasick; but we’ve barely left Newcastle and the North Sea is like a millpond. Thinking this must be an acquaintance of hers, I stand up and hold out my hand. He grabs at it with a sort of damp, two fingered slide, saying, ‘Felix, you must be Dan,’ while his eyes slip over me and back to Amanda..."
Final Accounts
Brindley Hallam Dennis
£1.99 Added
Ten flash fictions of last words, last actions, and last loves...... "Wilson didn’t know he had only one week to live, whereas Seymour had been warned that he would die within the year. He was already too ill to drive, so he asked Wilson to take him to see her. Wilson was reluctant, but they had been friends for decades. Take a week’s leave, Seymour said. Wilson’s wife, knew the value of friendship, and she told him to get on with it. You never knew what they meant by ‘within the year’. Why, it might happen the next week, who could tell?"
The School Run
Gareth Hill
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I heard the sirens in the night. I said this to Annabel Grainger’s mum later that morning, as we both stood outside what remained of the primary school. She was looking across the car park at the smouldering rubble of the old red brick building, dismay etched upon her face as I struggled to remember her name.
B Movie
Brindley Hallam Dennis
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It was the Head Gardener’s fault. There was an aggressive man. ...
Platform Souls
Colette Coen
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A woman waits for her friend on a station concourse even though she knows she will never arrive. Winner of the 2012 Waterstones' Crime in the City Competition
Red Sky at Night
Colette Coen
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A family's new life in Australia is threatened by a bush fire, but this is not the first time the family have had to run from fire. This story won the Eileen Gilmour Creative Writing Competition in 2009
Out of the Wood
Brindley Hallam Dennis
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The stranger walked into the bar-room just after six. Bernard didn't usually talk to strangers. He rarely spoke to anyone.
'Give You A Game?'
Michael Thomas
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It was the scarf. They said the desk had been cleared but a bit of dirty-looking tartan still poked out under the lid. The desk had been moved to the side of the classroom but with its back to the wall, so you could still sneak a glance at the scarf. During the last two days of term, he found it harder and harder not to. ‘Away with the fairies again, Paul?’ Mrs Watton’s voice wasn’t unkind, hadn’t been at any time throughout the year. Without resentment, Paul turned back to his book. But he still saw the scarf like a pattern behind the words he read, and his heart was still on fire. A coming of age tale...but what kind of age, and can this boy bear it?
Fly!
Csilla Toldy
£1.29 Added
....Somewhat detached, he revisited the events of the last twenty-four hours: his release from the Maze at noon the previous day, the heavy prison gates closing behind him. The empty street, the soulless crystalline rain. His journey on the bus to Belfast, his sitting at the steamed up window, wondering where to go. He walked the pubs all night, getting cosy for a few drinks, then feeling the urge to change and move on.
Thrice Deny Me
Albert Woods
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Strange goings on at the parish church. Good Friday's not so good.
Dog Day
Suzanne Conboy-Hill
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'Lazy, idle, unreconstructed encumbrance,' she remarked to the air. 'Useless git!' she added with satisfaction. Alice was peering down from the upstairs window at her sagging husband in cocooned in his sagging lounger out on the patio
The Justice Box
Suzanne Conboy-Hill
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‘Jesus loves her, Jesus loves her, Jesus loves the murdering bitch.’ Emmy chuckles to herself in that private way only people whose heads are somewhere else can do. She hunches up on the bed and grabs her knees; pulling them up to her chin, and hugging them like babies. ‘Pretty boys,’ she says; and bites into her knee cap.
Living With The Dead
Kathleen Jones
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Ellie works in a mortuary and lives on the premises. And then she falls in love with someone her employers consider totally unsuitable.
Dream Factory
Philip Caveney
£1.29 Added
A couple of runaway teenagers create a secret world... in a suburban cinema.
 
 

 

 

   

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