I pushed my glasses up my nose and climbed the stairs. The heat of the Spanish sun slammed into me like an iron fist, and I pushed my dark hair back from my forehead. White Mediterranean buildings surrounded us, and tourists sat in restaurants and bars, gaping up at our yacht.
I joined my friends on the rear deck overlooking the restaurants and took a beer from Eric. He spread his arms. “Fucking paradise, boys.” I took a swig of my beer and glanced over to the yacht beside us. I didn’t see anyone on the back deck, but then I heard the people talking at the front of their boat, overlooking the sea.
“So, where are these spectacular views?” Charlie asked Eric, lighting up another cig.
Eric winced as he met my cousin’s waiting gaze. “Well, maybe not spectacular to you, Chuck, but definitely to the rest of us.” He flicked his eyes to Vinnie, who was circling the back deck like it was a track, and screwed up his nose. “Okay, maybe not to our resident nutjob either since he already has a bird. But to me, Freddie and Artie, what a view it is!”
“Story of my fucking life.” Charlie smirked at me. I followed Eric as he headed for the main sun deck at the very front of the yacht.
“The edge gone yet?” I asked Vinnie. He nodded, and I could see by his eyes that his medication had kicked in. His pupils had dilated a bit, and the shaking in his hands had lessened. “Getting calmer by the second, Artie. Getting calmer by the second.” He smiled again, his deep dimples making him look a fuck-ton more innocent than he actually was. I put my hand on his shoulder, right over the face of Nosferatu with his sharp vampiric teeth that was tattooed there.
“So, who are we docked next to?” Freddie asked Eric. Freddie was six feet two with dark brown hair and brown eyes. He was slender in build but could fight like a fucking Rottweiler. His old man died a while back, for the firm, shot right through the fucking forehead by a Russian. My dad practically adopted Freddie after that. He’d lived with us in the old church for the past couple of years. He was quiet before his old man’s death. Now, compared to the rest of my gobshite mates, he was almost mute.
“Wait until you see,” Eric said, waggling his eyebrows. Eric was six four, blond and covered in bright-as-fuck horror-themed clown tattoos. His hair looked like something straight from World War Two—combed over like a good little British solider. Claimed birds got wet for it—we all knew that was mainly referring to Betsy, my cousin and Charlie’s little sister. But neither he or Betsy ever talked about that. He also rarely shut his mouth. But that didn’t matter when shit hit the fan. He had your back, one hundred percent without question.
As we turned the corner, I saw movement on the yacht beside us. Birds in bikinis, some topless. I couldn’t care less. Seen one pair of tits, you’d seen them all. Bored already, I lit another cig and moved to the front of the yacht. I looked out over the ocean.
“Nice tits, sweetheart!” I heard Eric shout behind me. I glanced over to the yacht beside us and saw two girls sunbathing, looking our way—one with dark skin and jet-black hair that fell in spiral curls to her shoulders, and one with light freckled skin and red hair down to her waist.
I went to turn my head again, when someone walked out from below deck and toward the two sunbathers. The hand holding my cig stopped en route to my mouth when I saw her long legs and olive skin. The dark hair that was pulled up on top of her head. She was wearing a white bikini, fucking curves like an hourglass.
As if she was feeling my stare, she looked over, and the minute she did, I recognised those eyes. Those big fucking eyes that were fixed on me and widening by the second. Green-brown eyes that I never fucking forgot …
Cheska Harlow-Wright …
I never checked how many books of Tillie Cole I read.
But I’ve read quite a few …. and some of them were pretty dark – so you might think you know what you are getting yourself into when you start reading “Lord of London Town” – well at least I thought so – and trust me when I tell you … you should throw your thoughts out of the window if you think the same way…
Really Tillie Cole is such a nice person … I met her at a book convention and trust me you would never expect these kinds of stories from her …
Her characters always have these unexpected and dark sides that should make them unredeemable – and I guess it is her special magic – that even in the worst situations -that should be so far out of the reach of a “normal” person – you can still connect to them in some maybe very primal and dark way but it’s still possible. …. and you might find yourself thinking things that should not be ok but somehow they are
Spoilers are a no go for this – so let me give you another kind of example basically unrelated to the book
I always felt it would be impossible for me to imagine a situation where I could kill a person in “cold blood” or “out of revenge” or whatever you would like to call it … then in 1995 I saw a movie … it was “Se7en” … have you seen that? well no spoilers if not – but at the end of the movie – I was sitting in the cinema and along with others I was mumbling “DO it DO it” …
So – even if its sort of unrelated to the story of this book – reading Tillie Cole’s books is a little like that – she brings you to an edge that you think you would never cross and then suddenly you’ve crossed it and standing on the other side you know it is bad – it’s dark – its wrong – you KNOW all that but you find reasons to remain there … you find redeeming qualities in the characters so dark its hard for me to compare them to anything.
Because when you are there in the Tillie zone – even the darkest ones are human – you see sides of them they wouldn’t want anyone to see – their weaknesses … you know they would never survive in the light…
But that is ok – they are book characters and for short time you join them in their fictional world – where their darkness is not really hurting living persons – and because of that – within the Tillie zone a lot is allowed – and this book really expanded the drawn lines again.
I always think it should not be possible – but I should have learned by now with this author anything is possible –