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Blood Waters

"This may be the first book in history dedicated to a Portakabin ..." claims the dedication of Blood Waters. Chaz explains:

"All the stories in this book either fed into or grew out of the year I spent as crimewriter-in-residence on the St Peter's Riverside Sculpture Project in Sunderland, 1993-94. At the time, it seemed as though it had to be one of the strangest jobs in the country; retrospect assures me that I was too cautious in my judgement, and it was in fact the strangest job in the known universe."

But the thread that links the stories making their first appearance in Blood Waters with those previously published elsewhere is that all are very firmly set in geographical locations, and all feature death by the water:

Val McDermid, winner of the Crime Writers' Association's Gold Dagger Award, praised Blood Waters:

Chaz Brenchley straddles the borderline between horror and psychological crime thrillers, and his latest collection of short stories features a collection of chilling cameos to make the average reader reluctant to turn out the light. In deceptively nonchalant prose, he reveals twisted lives lurking beneath civilised surfaces, stripping bare the desperate, driven demons that possess those who seem least likely to offend against civilisation. Brenchley is a master story teller who has the uncanny and uncomfortable ability to get under the skin of his subjects, whether they be murderers or mothers, pimps or policemen. Writing about the underbelly of society, he reveals a talent for gripping the reader by the throat and refusing to let go. An anthology to open minds.

Read Jay Russell's review of Blood Waters in Tangled Web

Blood Waters was publishedin 1996 by Flambard Press; it is available as an Audible audio download from Amazon UK or

Scouting for Boys was originally published in London Noir, another collection with a sense of place. Editor Maxim Jakubowski explained:

So I thought I would ask several friends and writers each to pen a new story about the darkness they saw at the heart of our contradictory city ...

Shortlisted for the Short Story Dagger Award of the Crime Writers' Association

London Noir
... at the Red House
Murder at the Red House

A Terrible Prospect of Bridges Holiday cottage in Whittle Dene
Watching and Waiting The Longest Day
  • Pawn Sacrifice
  • For Kicks: a mystery story
  • Let Me Tell You About Her
Blood Waters
The Day I Gave Up Smoking

Shortlisted for the Short Story Dagger Award of the Crime Writers' Association

The tower points like a finger, direct to heaven ...
Drowning, Drowning
My Cousin's Gratitude
He made me row the dinghy all the way, against current and tide both ...

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All photos © Roger Cornwell.