Chaz Brenchley

Chaz Brenchley

Chaz Brenchley has made a living as a writer since he was eighteen; this year marks his thirtieth anniversary in the job. He is the author of nine thrillers, most recently Shelter, and has also published fantasy, poetry, children's books and over five hundred short stories, three of which have been shortlisted for the Gold Dagger of the Crime Writers' Association. He was the recipient of the 1998 British Fantasy Award and lives in Newcastle on Tyne, with his cats Barry and Mac and a famous teddy-bear.

"My work has always occupied a slightly uncomfortable hinterland, an area hard to define; I'm constantly having conversations like, "I know Dispossession has a fallen angel in it, but it's still a crime novel, damn it...!" We all specialise in making people uncomfortable, crime readers expect that; I just don't see why I should pander to their other expectations. My books are largely character-driven, which is unusual within the genre; I've been heard to say that I'm bored with plot, which is tacky but true. Plot is just the things that people do; why they do them is the stuff of fiction, it's what storytelling is for."

Chaz adds:

“My first adult play, my first venture into theatre for a quarter of a century, ran for three nights in a redundant theatre in South Shields, to sufficient acclaim that the local professional venue has booked us for a run in November; we've now got Arts Council funding for a regional tour around that. Dates and venues to be announced, here and elsewhere. The play's called A COLD COMING, and treats with a dying man and those people who are caring for him - and yes, it is most certainly a crime story. Eventually. Also, I play the dying man. An hour and a half on stage without a line, a word, a movement: playing to my strengths, I call it...

Also, I have a three-book contract with a new publisher in the States, but that's for more historical fantasy. I've just finished a science fiction novella that started off as a meditation on art and the body, and ended up as a crime caper movie; I wrote a short story yesterday which is again an SF/crime hybrid; and I'm planning a return to Taiwan, to finish my absolutely straight contemporary crime thriller (of which you can read the opening section here, which was recently picked as one of the best pieces of online fiction of 2006...).”



In a wooded winter valley, shadows gather...

Rowan Coffey is nineteen when he leaves university, a bright-burning boy come home to hide after the cruel, casual murder of a friend. Rowan had no alibi; exhausted after weeks of being under suspicion, he's looking for shelter, what's warm, familiar and safe.

But what he finds is chill. And danger. And death...

First published in the UK by Hodder & Stoughton Ltd (6 May 1999) ISBN 978-0-340-70810-1

Order in the UK direct from the author via this page on his website.

Shelter has been published in the USA in December 2006 by Bloody Brits, a new imprint from Bywater Press. Order the Bloody Brits edition of Shelter now from

Shelter was published in a German translation by Christine Gaspard as Wer Zuflucht sucht (Seeking Shelter), in July 2003; it is available from

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.

Blood Waters was published by Flambard Press in 1994. ISBN: 978-1-873226-19-3

Order Blood Waters from Amazon, or order direct from the publisher, Flambard Press.


What would you do if you woke up in hospital and your last memory was dated January, but the calendar said April?
If they said you'd crashed a car, and you not only didn't remember the crash, but you didn't remember the car either?
If you were a solicitor, rigidly honest, and the biggest bunch of flowers in the room had come from the biggest crook in town?
If there were no flowers or visits from your long-time girlfriend, but the total stranger at your bedside claimed to be your wife - and then proved it?
If someone drove a blazing truck into your room in an obvious attempt to kill somebody, and very possibly you?
You'd do what Jonty Marks did when all this happened to him. He ran for sanctuary. To the mountain garden of a fallen angel - where else would he go?

Dispossession was first published in the UK by Hodder & Stoughton Ltd (19 September 1996) ISBN 978-0-340-65991-5

Order in the UK direct from the author via this page on his website.


They call it Paradise. An inner-city danger-zone, starved of resources, starved of hope. Run-down housing, run-down lives.

Then, a miracle. Literally, a miracle: a dying boy made well, healed by the touch of a charismatic young man. And that's only the beginning. Richard brings light into the darkest places; his inspiration and leadership breathe new life into a sick community.

But where there are powers of light, there are also powers of darkness. What starts as a revolution soon becomes a war. A war fought for the heart and soul of Paradise...

Shelter was first published in the UK by Hodder & Stoughton Ltd (21 April 1994) ISBN 978-0-340-52828-0

Order in the UK direct from the author via this page on his website.

Other Crime / Dark Fantasy Novels from Chaz Brenchley
The Samaritan
The Refuge - translated into Swedish as Hotet (1991)
The Garden - translated into Swedish as Dödens Trädgård (1992)
Mall Time
Dead of Light
Light Errant

Chaz Brenchley's website has this page listing all his novels and short stories, including those in other genres.

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