May I introduce the novelist Tom Williams who has a superb new book out called Something Wicked. It’s a crime novel, a fantasy crime novel, a work of magic realism that is thrillingly influenced by his love for Buenos Aires and Tango. It cannot get better for this reader because I absolutely love Buenos Aires and I have watched Tango there. The city has a surreal atmosphere, hot, edgy, beautiful and if you ever visit, go to the Recoleta Cemetery because it is quite spooky, not a place to get locked into at night. Tom suggests they dwell in London too, in Brompton Cemetery for instance. Is your appetite for dark deeds teased? Now read what Tom writes to discover more…
At 1.00 am in a famous Buenos Aires tango hall, we were getting ready to leave. It had been a disappointingly quiet evening.
“But why are you going now?” asked the host. “It won’t really get started for another hour.”
Tango is generally a night-time pursuit. Shopping early in the morning in Buenos Aires can be hysterical. Even at 10.00am every other passenger on the Metro seems to be asleep. In the shops one assistant will gamely prop themselves against the counter and try to respond to your request while two others are obviously napping. It is easy, surrounded by people who seem barely in the land of the living, to imagine that Buenos Aires harbours a secret race of vampires who tango all night and spend the daylight hours sleeping – or almost sleeping.
Visit the baroque splendour of the main Buenos Aires cemeteries and the idea that a goodly part of the population are vampires becomes, surely, the only explanation for sepulchres larger than some people’s flats. These splendid buildings are obviously where those be-suited dancers spend their time when they are not in the milongas reminiscing about bands that played long before I was born.
So the idea of a society of tango-dancing vampires was almost inevitable. I was really keen on writing a story set in Buenos Aires, one of the most vibrant cities on earth, but my wife suggested that my vampires should inhabit somewhere more familiar to British readers. So they dance in London (which fortunately has – or had until covid had – a vibrant tango scene) and they live in the wonderful Brompton Cemetery.
My Buenos Aires vampires were not fantasy creatures. They were real – or at least as real as anything else in the mad world of tango. So my London vampires are real too. They live among us and we generally don’t notice them. When a rather-too-public killing draws them out of the shadows, they come to the attention of a very down-to-earth policeman. The result is the most unusual police procedural you will read this year.
Something Wicked is available on Kindle and in paperback from this link: mybook.to/Something_Wicked.
A crime novel to really get your teeth into.