Everton Creatives: Dominic Kearney

Everton Creatives: Dominic Kearney

Author and journalist Dominic Kearney was born and brought up in Dominic Kearney - Cast Iron MenLiverpool.

He now lives in Derry, Northern Ireland, with his wife and brother.

Dominic published his first novel, Cast-Iron Men, in 2011. A tense, pacy, and violent crime thriller, Cast-Iron Men walks the line between the bright gloss of Liverpool’s emergence as European City of Culture and the grim underworld always lurking beneath the surface.

A native of the city, Dominic brings Liverpool to life on every page, in all its beauty and ugliness.

Dominic also works as an art critic for Culture Northern Ireland. He has written for the Derry Journal and the Irish News, and is a regular contributor on BBC Radio Foyle.

Read an interview with Dominic on the Derry Journal website.

Dominic supports Everton FC.


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Cast-Iron Men – Prologue

The early hours of Saturday 8 December

They burned the woman, before which they broke her.

They smashed fingers tore skin grey bones sticking through brittle creased skin smashed face and teeth and jagged into eyes nose cheeks.

Petrol soaked the cheap clothes, splashed onto the rubble around her. The first match extinguished as it arced to the body. The second caught the petrol and flames leapt orange into the black, flashing vivid the faces of the four men. Then the flames fell back, a blue orange glow haloing the body, feeling into flesh, eating into flesh.

One man turned away, pressed a handkerchief into his face. Another man gripped his shoulders, tore the handkerchief from his grasp. “Breathe it in,” he told him. “It binds us.” And the stench filled their nostrils and mouths and wrapped into their hair and clothes.

At first they’d been tentative, timid. The broken bricks picked from the builders’ rubble strewn all around had made no impression on the woman’s face and hands.

Whispered disputes and hissed commands.

“No. Why should I? He did it. He can sort it. Leave me out of it.”

“D’you not think they can trace you? Her fingernails? They can find us. They find me yours’ll be the first name I tell them.” One man taking charge. One man the foreman. His gut churned at what he was doing. At the same time though a spark of opportunity.

One of the men sitting stupidly next to the body. His legs apart, his overcoat open, his shirt hastily tucked back into his trousers. Another man dragging him to his feet, pushing the fragment of concrete into his hand, making him be the first to hit the woman. Another stumbling over the rubble to see what was taking them so long, shouting for answers then seeing the girl lying there and still not knowing what was happening.

The blows became harder. Frenzied finally. Her skull was smashed, teeth splintered, eyes pierced, hair matted with blood on the bricks, skin on the fingers ripped and torn.

Apart from the driver they’d all taken turns on the woman. And then the third man had cried out and the other two had come running. The woman was lying on the ground. Her short skirt was hitched up around her waist. Her stockings had snagged and laddered and her knickers were caught round her right ankle, from where she’d stepped out of one leg. She wasn’t moving.

Gasps for breath in the freezing air. Drink and bile forced back down the throat. Petrol splashed over the body. Then cheap clothes crackling in the flames. Flesh singed and black and burning and melting.

Back to the car. Silence at first, each man seeing and hearing and smelling and tasting his own version of the same film.

“For Jesus’ sake speed up, will you?” the man in the passenger seat said. “We’re bound to get stopped crawling like this.”

The driver gripped the wheel as tightly as he could to stop his hands from shaking. But the trembling simply spread through his arms and up into his teeth and down his body and into his legs. He could barely press down on the pedal, but he did as he was told and brought the car up to 30. The two men in the back said nothing.

“Remember what I said,” the man in the front said. “Get rid of the stuff in the bag.”

“What should I do with it?” the driver asked.

“Think for yourself for once in your life, will you? Throw it in the river or something.”

“Now?” the driver said.

“Not now. Can you not see how many people are around? Tomorrow will do. But just make sure you do it.”

“Why do I have to get rid of the things?” the driver asked.

“Because we’re the four fucking musketeers, aren’t we?” the man to his left said. “All for one and all that shite.”

One by one the driver dropped the men off, and then went home himself.



Follow on Twitter @KearneyDominic

Dominic also contributes articles to Everton Viral


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