London, the 1720s. Welcome to Romeville, the underworld of that great city. The financial crash caused by the South Sea Bubble sees the rise of Jonathan Wild, self-styled Thief-taker General who purports to keep the peace while brutally controlling organised crime. Only two people truly defy him: Jack Sheppard, apprentice turned house-breaker, and his lover, the notorious whore and pickpocket Edgworth Bess.
Told in a variety of narrative voices, what at first appears to be a constellation of random events begins to cohere as the work of a shadow organization - or is it justcoincidence? Tying the strands together is Larry Zagorski, an early pulp-fiction writer turned U.S. airman turned "American gnostic", who looks back on his long and eventful life, searching for connections between the seemingly disparate parts. The teeming network of interlaced secrets he uncovers has personal relevance...
"I loved this book."
Meet Harry Starks: club owner, racketeer, porn king, sociology graduate, and keen Judy Garland fan. There is - contrary to popular belief - a business like show business: It’s what Harry does. Fronting violence with rough charm and cheap glamour; performing menace while trying to jump the counter into legitimacy. Set in '60s London, the Kray twins and infamous landlord Peter Rachman are incidental characters in this superb novel.
Larry Zagorski spins wild tales of fantasy worlds for pulp magazines. But as the Second World War hangs in the balance, the lines between imagination and reality are starting to blur. The truth is stranger than anything Larry could invent. But when he looks back on the 20th century, the past is as uncertain as the future. Just where does truth end and illusion begin?
In a Parisian restaurant Aleister Crowley, the notorious occultist, chances on Major-General Sir Hector McDonald, who is facing ruin in a shocking scandal, and vulnerable to Crowley's curious offer of help. Follow this unlikely pair on an extraordinary night of revelation and transgression. Be transported to the battlefields of Sudan, the backstreets of Edinburgh, and the sultry tropics of Ceylon. And discover Sir Hector's tragic secret....
It's thirty years since Harry Starks and his gang kept the underworld of Soho under control, but the consequences of their brutal reign are still being felt. Julie McCluskey, the actress daughter of one of Starks' victims, has grown up without a father and now that she's discovered it was money from her father's murderers that put her through drama school, she's furious. Furious with her mother for accepting it, but even more furious with Harry Starks - and she's decided she wants revenge.