Niall Howell's Only Pretty Damned is a taut noir that takes you behind the big top, revealing rough and tumble characters, murderous plots, and crooked schemes designed to keep Rowland's World Class Circus afloat for another season. When Toby, former trapeze artist turned disgruntled clown, begins seeing Gloria, a young and beautiful dancer longing for a bigger role under the spotlight, his hardboiled past resurfaces. Can he live without Genevieve, his ex-trapeze partner and lover? What ruthless actions will he take to regain his position as the headlining act? And will Toby's past repeat itself as he tries to untangle the ropes that bind him and take a leap to roaring applause?
Niall Howell was born and raised in Calgary, where he still resides. His short fiction has been published in The Feathertale Review and FreeFall and he holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mount Royal University, and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Calgary. He enjoys playing bass, and obsessively collects records and comics.
Praise for Only Pretty Damned:
Howell has penned a slow-burning piece of crime fiction, where Rowland's grimy circus serves as a microcosm of the world at large--a place where unlikable characters are groomed to make a killing, whether inside the tent or out.
"Only Pretty Damned is a stark, powerful noir, steeped in the stifling heat of the American South and building slowly, inexorably, to a boil."
~ Robert J. Wiersema, Quill & Quire
"This is a gritty novel that takes noir seriously."
~ Margaret Cannon, The Globe and Mail
"Niall Howell crafts a convincingly gritty big-top underworld full of shady entertainers and unscrupulous grifters."
~ Sheldon Birnie, The Winnipeg Free Press
"[S]olid from the first sentence--and this from someone who loathes the circus."
~ Andrew Wilmot, SubTerrain
"[Howell] captured me from the first sentence and never fully let me go."
~ Cosy Up With Kathy
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