In 1970, an American calling himself Bay Radisson arrived in London with no place to live and no place to go back to. Twenty years later, he was riding the crest of a wave, as one of Britain’s brightest and most successful “risk takers.” With charm, cunning and humor, he and his partner had built themselves a minor empire – conquering gladiators in an arena where money was the only way to keep score.
But then Robert Maxwell dies, and that inadvertently sets off a chain of events that sends Bay’s world into a crashing nose-dive. Facing ruin, he finds himself caught in a ruthless battle against the establishment to save his life.
Set against the backdrop of the City of London, The Margin of the Bulls documents an era when the wheeling and dealing of the 1980s became the crimes of the 1990s.
“Disgracefully entertaining” – The Daily Mail
“Robinson has taken stories that the libel laws would not allow him to tell as non-fiction” – The Sunday Times
These are stories the libel laws would never let me tell as non-fiction about the “Wild West” days in the City of London, when everyone was offshore and, for one American “risk taker,” Robert Maxwell’s death was just another excuse to make some money.
Excerpt (c) JeffreyRobinson 2014
“Ask where I am.”
“That’s not a question, that’s an answer. Anyway, you’ll never guess, so I’ll tell you. Las Palmas.”
“What happened to Paris, France?”
“Her name is Helene.”
“That’s just a pansy way of calling someone Helen.”
“That’s right, Helene, as in, is this the visage that launched a thousand bateaux. She’s a Dior model, about nine feet tall, and I picked her up after a catwalk show yesterday. I told her I’d take her any place in the world that she wanted to go and she said. Las Palmas.”
“You offered to take a girl with legs up to her ass anywhere in the world and she chose the Canaries? How old is she, 15?”
“Older,” Peter insisted.
And then the two of us said, at exactly the same time, “But not much.”
We’d had this conversation a few million times before. “16?”
“Helene is not why I’m calling.”
“Almost 19, okay?”
“Almost 19? Does she know how almost old you are?”
“Listen, I’m not calling about Helene, I’m calling about Ro-bear.”
“Is that her convict brother or her motorcycle gang member boyfriend?”
“Ro-bear, as in Max-well.”
“You picked him up in Paris too?”
“No, but they’re about to pick him up not far from here. Like a few miles out to sea.”
“No, I mean, who’s picking him up?”
“I presume it’s the local version of the United States Coast Guard.”
I suggested, “Let’s start all over again. You and Ro-bear Max-well are working a Dior model who’s in the United States Coast Guard?”
“You want to make some money or not?” He said, “I’m in Las Palmas with this French bird, and the whole town is going crazy because Captain Bob isn’t here.”
“You’d have thought they’d be singing with joy.”
“I’m saying not here, as in not here, even though his boat is. He’s not on it. He’s missing.”
“Maxwell missing?” What a thought that was. “Where is he?”
“That’s what all those air-sea rescue guys in their nifty multicolored helicopters want to know.”
“You think he skipped? Is it summer in South America?”
“No, I think he fell overboard. That’s the rumor. I think he’s dead.”