Dick Lilly is a former Seattle Times reporter who covered local government from the neighborhoods to City Hall and Seattle Public Schools. He later served as a public information officer and planner for Seattle Public Utilities, with a stint in the mayor’s office as press secretary for Mayor Paul Schell. He has written on politics for Crosscut.com and the Seattle Times as well as Post Alley.
Topping, tall and tanned with a full head of sun-blonde hair, wearing white slacks and a steel gray raw silk blazer looked every inch the Hollywood mogul drug money allowed him to be. Mundy gone, Topping took the chair across from Wallingford, shaking his head in exasperation with Victor. One-time college roommates, they had a long history, reaching from fraternity hijinks through shady property deals hidden in the complexity of Wallingford Evergreen’s operations to, now, after Topping’s business pulled him into deals with a couple of otherwise legitimate looking guys with one foot in the L.A. drug world, expansion into big-time crime. It always worked out the same: Topping with the scheme, Victor with the capital and an insatiable drive for more.
Falconer had Kim’s Wrangler. His A4 was in the shop. The Jeep had vinyl sides. Enough to keep out the rain earlier, but noisy and none of her CDs appealed. Somehow Pearl Jam and Nirvana had passed him by. Dave Mathews? Not right now. He drove home on the two-level viaduct that walled the city away from the bay, always a love-hate experience: great views of the container docks and mountains, the office buildings reflecting the summer’s late-setting sun, but why from a speeding car? The 50-year-old dirty concrete viaduct between downtown and the city’s historic piers sent waves of noise crashing onto the streets below. Tourists walking among the fish and chips shops had to raise their voices to tell each other how quaint it all was.
Carl’s office in the Tower Building at Seventh and Olive was just two blocks from Nordstrom. In less than five minutes he pushed through the aluminum-framed glass doors and rode the elevator alone to the 17th floor. “I’m here but no calls.” Taking a handful of pink message slips and wanting no questions, Carl conjured a business-like urgency to get past Rosalyn, his receptionist.
Carl Barclay and Victor Wallingford met for lunch in a private dining room on the 15th floor of the Washington Athletic Club where Victor was immediate past president. The room was trimmed in dark wood. Above he wainscoting there were paintings of bird-hunting scenes.
Falconer, barefooted but wearing jeans and a light blue button down shirt, Oxford cloth, sleeves rolled up, picked up the local news sections of both Seattle dailies and his coffee cup and walked across the roof deck to the other penthouse that was the office for Falconerblog.com. Perched on the edge of the building overlooking Ballard Avenue, the space had windows almost all the way around. Blonde bamboo floors and varnished fir trim salvaged from an old school before it was demolished gave the office – despite the clutter of computers and newspapers – a warm feel even on cloudy days.
“Looks like we found where the Carkeek floater was killed and you are going to love it, Eric, just love it. I guarantee. You ever write this one, it’ll be a great story.” The caller was Bobby Harms, way too enthusiastic about his work. “Want to meet me for a look?”
In one respect Carl Barclay looked forward to the monthly delivery. He loved the blast of heat that welcomed him as he stepped out of Victor Wallingford’s plane in Burbank. In that moment he would think about retiring and getting out of Seattle permanently to somewhere warm. Who cared if the Southern California sky was never really blue?
Each day this month we're serializing Dick Lilly's crime mystery "Nothing Left to Lose." Hidden in plain sight, an industrial-scale meth lab in a former biotech building in Seattle’s tech hub quietly pumps out millions of carefully hidden profits for the scion of one of the city’s old-line wealthy
families. That is, until agents from an Afghan rebel group show up
looking for a cut and bodies start washing up on Puget Sound beaches."
Basically, in 50 years, we’ve gotten nowhere. Here’s the 2017-18 data for Seattle: students proficient in reading at grade level, 3rd grade, whites 80 percent; blacks 35.5 percent. That’s what systemic racism looks like.