NOT YOUR USUAL SUSPECTS

A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments! and often have guest bloggers.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!


Julie Moffet . Clare London . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A. Miller . Marcelle Dube . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson

Friday, August 5, 2011

Neapolitan Crime


When I started to write “Learning to Trust” (out in November from Carina), I thought I was writing a love story between an ex drug addict and her wealthy ex boyfriend. Then I put her in Naples, Italy, as part of her recovery. Then my hero walked into the café where she worked and talked about selling knock-off items on the quay at Naples, because they do that there.
I had no idea at the time what that meant. But I saw a TV documentary about the Mafia and what they have become. They have become even scarier than ever. Forget the old-school “Godfather” image. This is merciless crime. There is nothing honourable or romantic about it.
It turns out that the gangs in Naples have a lot to do with importing all those knock-off goods from China, where they’re made. So now they have links with the Chinese gangs, who are enormously powerful. This is where you start to think, “Whoa!” Links between two of the most powerful crime factions in the world. The knock-off goods, you know, fake t-shirts, handbags, shoes, all those electronics, “Rolex” watches and so on are brought in to Naples and then distributed around the world. Look at a map and you’ll see how easy it is to do and how pivotal Naples is to that end of the crime syndicates.
But you know, these gangs make a huge amount, not from knock-offs, but from drugs. And they are distributed the same way. Caught a shipment of fake designer shoes? You could well discover the shoes packed with a white powder. Weight for weight, there’s little that compares for easy money. Add to that the customers are addicts, and will do anything for a hit, and you have a recipe for combustible success.
And I fell on all this avidly. It’s true when they say that artists absorb, and get ideas from everywhere. This was manna to me, and the story I was planning to send to Harlequin Presents took an entirely new direction. How could I ignore all that? It was a story waiting to happen.
Add to that the terrifying influence the gangs have. I’m not even going to mention the name they use now, because they don’t like bad publicity, or any publicity come to that. I’ll just fictionalize what I’ve read and keep well clear, thank you very much.
Tourists have no idea this is going on, and Naples is still a very beautiful place to visit, with the twin peaks of Vesuvius and Etna looming over the bay, the blue, blue waters and the bright sky. And the pedlars on the key with their stocks of watches, scarves and jewellery laid out on colourful rugs.
But the story is still primarily a romance between Lina and Jon, for all that. Their personalities shone through the story, and I loved writing about them.

Lynne Connolly


8 comments:

Rita said...

Great post and scary!
I understand the Mexican drug cartle is just as bad.

Marcelle Dubé said...

You are braver than I, Lynne, but now you have a great story to tell. Congrats on your upcoming release.

Julie Moffett said...

Totally scary! Congrats on your new release!!

MaureenAMiller said...

Oh my. My mother says our family comes from outside of Naples. (As you can see, I take after the Ukrainian half of the family, not the Italian one.)

Very interesting indeed, Lynne. And now I can't wait for "Learning to Trust"!

Wendy Soliman said...

Like the other ladies said, scary but brave. Can't wait to read ait.

Wynter Daniels said...

Sounds great. It's true that stories can sometimes go in completely new directions.

Stevie Carroll said...

I like the sound of that book.

Clare London said...

Great post, Lynne! It's astonishing what you find out when you're not really looking for it, isn't it? Good luck with the new release :)

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