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on 19 July 2015
When fresh out of jail Jed Collins meets Gail Silva sparks fly pretty much right from the start. She’s a stunning firecracker and whole heap of trouble but when Jed gets mixed up in a robbery, with her gangster father Robbie Silva then things really get explosive. Author Tony Black laces the narrative with authentic local language and adult humour, while glimpses of Jed’s turbulent past give a greater depth to the story, delivering an emotional punch in this sizzling crime novella set in Edinburgh from popular author Tony Black. Once again Blasted Heath publishing unleash another crime classic.
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on 8 August 2012
This is one of those novellas that keeps you hooked all the way through,
I could not put it down and read it in it`s entirety in just a little under 2 hours.
Irving Welsh named him as his favourite crime writer.
Read this and you will understand why.
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on 13 December 2012
It all starts in a pub. Jed is fresh out of the slammer and telling his cronies a yarn about a violent encounter with a fat Jambo in the local newsagents. Earwigging this particular conversation is Gail Silva - a gangster's daughter and full-on wild child. And Jed is swiftly and sharply dragged toward bloody mayhem like dirty dishwater down a plughole. Tony Black smacks you in the teeth with brutal prose and vicious pacing ,and once again comes up with the Brit Grit goods in this short, sharp novella. Knockout!
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on 10 October 2012
Don't miss out on this great wee romp of a tale from master criminal writer, Tony Black. He fair takes you on a right wee hurl through the streets of our capital city, dodging the filth, shotgun and girl in tow. We all know where men keep their brains and RIP Robbie Silva is a cautionary tale about the scrapes men can get into when they see a great rack. Read this in one sitting, perfect in every way, shape and form; a real treat for all readers of contemporary Scottish crime fiction.
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on 2 December 2012
There is no shortage of Edinburgh crime writing but Tony Black has managed to create a character and an angle that in no way suffers by comparison with Rankin or Welsh. It's no surprise to read that Black is Welsh's favourite Scottish writer. This was a great read. My only complaint? It was over all too soon!
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on 15 August 2012
This punch in the gut novella by Black perfectly sums everything up why I love to read Black's books and why he truly is one of the best in the field of Scottish noir crime fiction.
Without hesitation the reader is being pulled into the story of Jed, who, just out of prison first gets himself into trouble with the beautiful Gail but also takes a job offer from the notorious Robbie Silva, Gail's father!
Haunted by the demons of his own past Jed has to find out that things aren't exactly easier outside the slammer.
I was racing through this story as it develops right from the start with an explosion of events. Black doesn't need a lot of words to make the characters and surroundings come alive in one's mind and he hardly allows you to breathe as the violent story moves towards its climax.
A great read and surely not for the squeamish. You better get acquainted to the f-word and c-word before considering to read it!
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on 5 March 2016
One of the very few books I have been unable to finish reading,relies on bad language and ridiculous rhyming slang,even tho the chief character claims to hate Londoners.Strongly suspect I will feel the same way about the other two books I already purchased by this author
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on 21 January 2013
Tony Black was one busy fella last year, releasing Murder Mile, the second instalment of his Edinburgh based series featuring DI Rob Brennan, then The Storm Without, which has been called `The Great Scottish Novel' by no lesser authority than Ken Bruen, and now there's R.I.P Robbie Silva, a skinny slice of nasty put out by e-publishers Blasted Heath.

After the introspection and fiendish plotting of Murder Mile we're back in `act first, think later' territory, as freshly streeted ex-con Jed Collins takes centre stage, all mouth and fists, the kind of character who grabs your throat on page one and drags you down to the gutter with them.

Jed's not long out of nick before he's making trouble, getting into it with a shop keeper and coming away from the encounter with an antique handgun and a story he's soon telling to his old mates down the pub, playing up to the blonde at the bar. And if you're wondering what kind of girl would be giving the eye to a man like Jed then this is not the book for you.

Gail is a every geezer's wet dream; nice rack, hot pants and a Beemer parked outside. Unfortunately for Jed she's also a bit lairy. Setting-fire-to-a-man-during-a-robbery lairy. It's a close call but they get clear of the polis and Jed tries to lay low for a bit, avoid Gail's insistent phone calls and the promise in her voice. He doesn't need that kind of trouble. He needs a job. No more counter-jumping, he's looking for something life changing, the near-mythic `one big score'.

And it arrives from an unexpected direction. Robbie Silva - Gail's gangster father - rocks up at Jed's digs with a proposition; a big money heist with minimal security and the reconnaissance already done. It sounds too good to be true and Jed's gut is rebelling. But he's itchy from confinement, and greedy, and Silva's credentials seem sound when he does some checking up. All that money there for the taking...what is a man to do?

Saying much more about it wouldn't be fair to the author or potential readers, but rest assured it builds to the kind of blood-soaked denouement you'd want in a heist story, the tension gets ratcheted up, loyalties are tested and Jed's demons are violently exorcised.

Books like this stand or fall on the strength of their protagonist and Jed is a pure noir antihero, a tough guy with a troubled past, alternately repulsive and endearing, and darkly funny throughout, the kind of character Black excels at. The cast around him are well drawn and despite the short word count never lapse into tropiness.

R.I.P Robbie Silva is a banging book. Fast-paced, full of action and written in lean, breakneck prose which fair crackles off the page.
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on 1 January 2013
Jed Collins has been out of prison for only thirty minutes before he finds himself landed with a whole heap of problems. The first is Gail, a thoroughly sexy blonde with a bad history. Second is her brutal father, gangland boss Robbie Silva who promises a big payday for Jed but with a high risk. Throw Jed's own difficult upbringing into the mix and you have an explosive cocktail that leads to violence, theft and murder...Jed is going to be lucky to stay alive and out of prison.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novella, a master class in the genre. It was punchy, gritty and tough - just how excellent noir should be. The fast-paced, violent action in RIP Robbie Silva starts immediately when protagonist Jed, a likeable just ex-con, meets troubled Gail. The story gallops along, taking the reader along for a wild ride that doesn't let up until the final sentence.

As a result I had to read RIP Robbie Silva in a single sitting, getting myself into all kinds of trouble with the family because I ignored them for a couple of hours. However, it was worth it. I spent the time happily savouring the gritty Edinburgh location, seedy ambiance and the machinations of the troubled characters as they struggled with themselves and each other. A scattering of local vernacular through the story added to the weighty atmosphere without being distracting or off putting.

Here's an example of the style:

`The barmaid was in her bad fifties, bat-wings and a corned-beef complexion. Her over-dyed black hair was scraped back in a tight scrunchie and showed at least an inch of grey roots; when she smiled at me I wanted to heave.'

A difficult subject underpins RIP Robbie Silva and is the reason Jed, despite deep misgivings, inexplicably finds himself drawn to Gail. In the explosive finale, Jed and Gail lay their demons to rest with a major plot twist I didn't see coming.

If you want to learn how to quickly build a highly credible story, strong characters, and a real sense of place then read Tony Black. A great writer and a great story.

**Originally reviewed for Books & Pals blog. May have received free review copy.**
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on 31 October 2013
Jed Collins isn't a nice guy. He drinks too much, isn't afraid of using a bit of violence and is fresh out of prison - armed robbery is his thing.
When he catches the eye of the beautiful Gail, he doesn't realise how much trouble he's getting in to. One mad incident later and he's suddenly being offered a "job" by the biggest villain in the city - Robbie Silva - who just happens to be Gail's father. This could be the big payday Jed has dreamed of but his instincts tell him to walk away........

Tony Black's novella is set in the parts of Edinburgh your average tourist doesn't see. Add in some crackling dialogue - much of it littered with Edinburgh slang - and you've a dark, menacing crime story with touches of real humour.

This is a great story from one of the finest crime writers of today
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