Real Tigers

‘Cigarette smouldering in hand he shambled into the lane, a coronet of smoke lingering in the air behind him, like an image of a wandering spirit…

‘Which lasted but briefly, though in the moments before its passing swelled outward, as though pregnant with impressions of the building’s inhabitants, weighed down as they were with grief and gambling debts, with drug habits and self-involvement; unburdening themselves to the comatose, squabbling in pubs, hunting oblivion in strangers’ beds, or else grown lazy, fat and complacent – sifting through all these as if somewhere among them lay the answer to a question posed recently, quite some distance away: Which of your colleagues would you trust with your life?

‘And then the air shifted, and the smoke was gone.’

— Mick Herron, Real Tigers


literature mick-herron