Review: Red Esperanto


The winter night had draped itself over Warsaw’s Aleja Jana Pawla like a shroud, and a sharp sliver of moon garrotted the death black sky. I was in the depths of a crawling hangover and feeling more than a little claustrophobic in Tatiana’s cramped, deodorant-soaked apartment. I poked my trembling fingers through a crack in the dusty slat blinds and gazed out at the constellation of neon signs that lined the bustling avenue. Sex shops, peep shows, 24 hour bars, booze shops and kebab shops were pretty much the only buildings that I could see, apart from The Westin Hotel, with its vertigo inducing glass elevator. Looking it always made my stomach lurch a little.


PAUL D. BRAZILL was born in England and has lived in Poland for the last ten years. His comic crime novel, Guns Of Brixton, will be published in  2012. His collections 13 Shots Of Noir and Snapshots out now as eBooks.  He is the editor the anthologies Drunk On The Moon and (with Luca Veste) True Brit Grit. Paul’s short stories have appeared in dozens of international magazines and anthologies -including The Mammoth Book Of Best British Crime. Paul’s short story “The Tut” was nominated for a 2010 Spinetingler award, which recognises established and up-and-coming authors. His blog, You Would Say That, Wouldn’t You? has featured interviews with many writers including Tony Black, Matt Hilton, Simon Wood, Sheila Quigley and Anne Billson.
He contributes to Pulp Metal Magazine, Mean Streets and Sabotage Times.


The Warsaw Tourist Bureau is not going to be using Red Esperanto to flog the city to tourists. While some of the nicer bits of the city make it into the tale, Brazill sketches a city that would rival Brixton for grit. From the sordid view of a hooker’s squalid flat with its view of “sex shops, peep shows, 24 hour bars, booze shops and kebab shops” the hapless narrator, journo Luke Case, stumbles his way into incongruous Irish pubs and a casually dangerous relationship with the second-hand clothes Baron’s wife, Crazy Jola, who does what she can to live up to the name. As usual, Brazill will have you alternately wincing and laughing as you follow Case’s shambling wreck; fun stuff. You won’t be disappointed.

‘The only crime is getting caught,’ I said, shrugging.
‘Yes, but if a butterfly beats its wings in the forest a one handed man claps and a tree falls down.’ said Sean, and he stumbled off in the direction of the toilets.
I ignored him and tried to catch Jola’s eye. Rory was placing a drink in front of her. She said something to him and, for the first time since I’d known him, I actually saw him laugh. Though, when he turned back to me he had the same grimace he always wore.
Jola took out her mobile phone and began sending a text message. Fuelled by Scotch courage, I walked over.
‘Would you like another drink?’ I said, swaying a little.
Jola looked up and tried to focus on me, as if she were attempting to take in a magic eye painting. She sipped her drink and shook her head.



  1. Reblogged this on 13 Shots Of Grit.

  2. Thakns for this Kate. Gladf you enjoyed it!

    • Indeed I did. Keep writing stuff that amuses and entertains me, please.

  3. […] page at Atlantis (where you can add other books at a discount, so pick up my pals’ books like Red Esperanto or The Secret Hour) or on Amazon. The series got a nice write up at Noir Nation. Drop by and check […]

  4. […] Review: Red Esperanto ( Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

  5. […] the violent events in the novelette Red Esperanto, freelance journalist Luke Case, escapes snow smothered Warsaw and heads off  to the heat of […]

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