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One woman, four cities—and a string of bodies in her wake.

How does obsession begin? For one hit man it starts with a target he just can’t kill. She leads him on a crime spree across Europe. With every step he’s in deeper. Each crime binds them together like a vow and only death can part them.

But will it be his—or hers?

Sex, death and crime: the essentials of noir. LOVE IS A GRIFT and the other stories in this volume offer a fresh take on the classic genre that begins with obsession and often ends in death.

The Big Thrill sat down (virtually) with author Graham Wynd to gain some insight into his latest noir compilation, LOVE IS A GRIFT:

What was the biggest challenge this book presented?

What about the biggest opportunity? The biggest challenge was connecting the four parts of the story through different cities with a couple of people who were hiding their identities. The biggest opportunity was featuring parts of four cities I enjoy. It’s great to give time to places I genuinely enjoy. The description has all the vivid pleasures of being there.

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

That love is a loser’s game. I say that as a person who has loved often if not always wisely. I am cautiously optimistic about life at the moment, but the past gives me a lot of material to work with.

What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?

A lot of writers have influenced me, though I’m not sure how directly that comes through. Highsmith is a big one at present. I just can’t get away from her jaundiced view of the world and all its angles. Dorothy Hughes is a huge model, too and I love Elisabeth Sanxay Holding. I’m obsessing on the film adaptations of their books too. Interesting what they leave out.


A writer of bleakly noirish tales with a bit of grim humour, Graham Wynd can be found in Dundee but would prefer you didn’t come looking. An English professor by day, Wynd grinds out darkly noir prose between trips to the local pub. Publications include Satan’s Sorority from Fahrenheit 13 Press and Extricate from Fox Spirit Books, as well as tales in the 2016 Anthony Award-winning anthology Murder Under the Oaks and the Anthony Award-nominated Protectors 2: Heroes. Wynd’s stories have been translated into German, Italian, Polish and Slovene. See a full list of stories (including free reads) here.

Find Wynd on her website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter (@grahamwynd).