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Fires of London by Janice Law {Excerpt}

Fires of London by Janice Law {Excerpt}

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Published by OpenRoadMedia
A killer takes refuge in the blacked-out streets of wartime London, upending the world of one of Britain’s greatest painters in this chilling and captivating reimagining of the life of Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon walks the streets of World War II London, employed as a warden for the ARP to keep watch for activities that might tip off the Axis powers. Before the war, Bacon had travelled to Berlin and Paris picking up snatches of culture from a succession of middle-aged men charmed by his young face. Known for his flamboyant personal life and expensive taste, Bacon has returned home to live with his former nanny—who’s also his biggest collector—in a cramped bohemian apartment.

But one night, death intrudes on his after-hours paradise. When a young man is found dead in the park, his head smashed in, Bacon and the rest of London’s demimonde realize that they have much more to fear than the faraway scream of war.
A killer takes refuge in the blacked-out streets of wartime London, upending the world of one of Britain’s greatest painters in this chilling and captivating reimagining of the life of Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon walks the streets of World War II London, employed as a warden for the ARP to keep watch for activities that might tip off the Axis powers. Before the war, Bacon had travelled to Berlin and Paris picking up snatches of culture from a succession of middle-aged men charmed by his young face. Known for his flamboyant personal life and expensive taste, Bacon has returned home to live with his former nanny—who’s also his biggest collector—in a cramped bohemian apartment.

But one night, death intrudes on his after-hours paradise. When a young man is found dead in the park, his head smashed in, Bacon and the rest of London’s demimonde realize that they have much more to fear than the faraway scream of war.

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Published by: OpenRoadMedia on Aug 29, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/29/2013

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 Francis Bacon was a major twentieth-century British painter. He really did live with his
 
 Francis Bacon was a major twentieth-century British painter. He really did live with hisold nanny and his ultra-respectable lover, and he did paint in Millais’s old studio. Someof his acquaintances make cameo appearances in this novel, and I have endeavored to be faithful to their personalities as well as to Bacon’s life and character. However, Bacon’sadventures with corpses, criminals, and cops are purely imaginary and any resemblancethere to persons living or dead is truly coincidental.
 
Chapter One“Got a light?” I asked the bulky man silhouetted against the gray night sky and the faintglimmer of the Serpentine. His hand in his pocket, scritch of a match, then blue lightfractured and illuminated blunt features, small dark eyes, a heavy brow ridge, and acertain brutality of expression that sent my heart pumping with the frisson of danger: better than I’d hoped. “Thanks.” Darkness again. I took a quick drag of the cigarette,risking my asthmatic lungs for courtesy. “Nice night.”“Hard to see where you’re bloody going. You need eyes like a cat.”“I’m surprised you don’t carry a torch.” Really I wasn’t. Darkness was theattraction; the blackout with all its dangers and inconveniences had opened possibilitiesfor night fliers like yours truly and this stranger.“Well, there are always folk about, aren’t there? Lights enough if you keep your eyes open.”Something I always do. The dark shape of him, losing detail but distinct againstthe sky, would be hard to capture but infinitely suggestive. “These warm nights onewants to be out nonetheless.”“Nonetheless,” came his echo. So we were in harmony. Playing with what chordswas the only question. “It’s been a perfect summer.”“Perfect.” Glorious weather on the edge of invasion, poison-gas attacks, and whoknew what other terrors and disasters? An atmosphere I found exhilarating. “We mightwalk?”He was agreeable. The splendid park trees loomed only yards away, and I smiledat the simplicity of it, not even the price of a drink between us. I smelled raw earth from

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