book cover of Only Pretty Damned

Only Pretty Damned

A novel by

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?

Praise for Only Pretty Damned:

"Told in the Hitchcockian tradition of the Film Noir, we follow Toby on a bizarre and dark trail of his life as a circus act. This character driven spectacle lets us peek behind the literal curtain of the theatre of the strange. Deception and desire drive the action in this unique who-done it-thriller. The suspense is visceral until the end."
~ Micheline Maylor, author of Little Wildheart

"A captivating, engrossing, gothic noir that whisks the reader away and makes them feel as if they're on the road with an old time travelling circus. The characters are complex, the prose rich, and riveting darkness abounds as the plot unfolds. A stellar debut from Niall Howell."
~ A.J. Devlin, author of Cobra Clutch

"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

"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."
~ Booklist

"Niall Howell crafts a convincingly gritty big-top underworld full of shady entertainers and unscrupulous grifters."
~ Sheldon Birnie, The Winnipeg Free Press

"This is a gritty novel that takes noir seriously."
~ Margaret Cannon, The Globe and Mail

"[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 blog

"Only Pretty Damned is a character-driven noir that throws the reader into the backstage crises of a traveling circus. Amidst the tension, the backstabbing, and the long-held resentments of performers toward one another, the reader is brought into Toby's taut and colorful world. You can almost smell the popcorn emanating from the crowds watching."
~ Matthew Fowler, Mystery Scene

"[T]his deftly scripted and thoroughly reader engaging story showcases the writer's genuine flair for originality, memorable characters, and more plot twists and turns than a carnival roller coaster."
~ Midwest Book Review

Genre: Historical

Praise for this book

"A stellar debut from Niall Howell." - A J Devlin

Used availability for Niall Howell's Only Pretty Damned

Paperback Editions

April 2019 : Canada Paperback

Title: Only Pretty Damned
Author(s): Niall Howell
ISBN: 1-988732-53-0 / 978-1-988732-53-4 (Canada edition)
Publisher: NeWest Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   

Kindle Editions

April 2019 : USA, Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: Only Pretty Damned (Nunatak First Fiction Series Book 49)
Author(s): Niall Howell
Publisher: NeWest Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU