Excerpt from ‘Dance With The Devil’ by Kris Lillyman – @krislillyman


A Brief extract from ‘Dance With The Devil’ by Kris Lillyman


PrintCarlo Liuzzi watched from his study as the car carrying his only daughter and her new born bastard departed. Maria had been his world once; the only truly good thing in his whole, entire life. She was beautiful and innocent and he had loved her with all of his heart. But she had squandered his love, obliterated his trust and lost her innocence forever. Now she meant nothing.

Or at least that’s what he tried hard to tell himself.

Liuzzi was not a man given over to sentiment or emotion, in fact quite the opposite. He was cold, hard and immovable. If someone betrayed him, or disappointed him, as Maria had, he had the ability to cut them out of his life for good.

Indeed, he had the ability to extinguish life also, as he had done in the case of Armando and Nathaniel. And, many years before that, Maria’s mother, Olivia, too.

Olivia Liuzzi had tried to leave Carlo; sick of being ignored, belittled and punished by him for not being able to give him a male heir.

Even though Carlo doted on his dark haired, green eyed daughter, Maria was not the boy child he so badly craved.

Olivia had made the fatal error of telling Carlo that she was leaving him and in a fit of terrifying anger he had strangled her to death.

Thanks to Carlo’s strong ties to the Carboni family, the murder was covered up and suicide was recorded as the cause of death on the coroner’s report. Indeed, Maria always believed that her mother had killed herself.

But it was all a lie. As was the denial of Carlo’s love for his daughter, but he was too proud, too foolish and too stubborn to admit it either to himself or to her. All he had left of her now was her hatred and that only served to make him even more of a monster.

Carlo watched until the Bentley passed through the electric gates at the end of the long driveway, then poured himself a stiff glass of Bourbon. Sitting in his leather bound chair behind his heavy mahogany desk he selected a cigar from the solid silver box before him and rolled it thoughtfully between his fingers.

For a long moment he stared into nothingness, his mind running a cine film in his head, conjuring up images of Maria growing up; her first tooth, vacations they had taken together, him holding her in his arms after she had fallen off her pony, her sixteenth birthday when he had presented her with the locket. He remembered, too, the night he had so badly beaten her.

Finally he thought of her son; the much longed for baby boy. But the child had been conceived out of wedlock and the father was of unworthy stock. Carlo’s shame had proved greater than his desire for a grandson and that realisation had shamed him even more.

He squeezed his eyes tightly shut, trying to block out the truth of it. But he could not.

Suddenly Carlo’s mouth buckled into an ugly grimace and he let out a terrifying roar before scrunching the cigar up and mangling it between his fingers. Then he roared again as if releasing years of pent up, long suppressed emotion and violently flung the crystal glass tumbler containing the Bourbon across the room, smashing it into tiny pieces as it hit the fireplace with devastating force.

Carlo Liuzzi then cradled his head in his hands and wept like a baby.