Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Truth has to come out in fiction
I’ve had a few discussions with people, some friends and others that showed up at the Smokin’ Tuna Saloon on Friday for happy hour because they read my books and know I’ll be there. The discussions are about To Beat the Devil, my latest book.
The discussions and questions didn’t happen in order of how the book unfolds, but someone I met last week thought I should talk about the questions that have been asked and follow the book. For the next few blogs here, I will do just that. If you’ve read the book and have a question about how I came up with something or if it’s possible or true, write and I’ll try to answer you.
The most often observation is that throughout the book there are two sets of bad guys. The terrorists and all their cohorts, and people in government that should know better but it would seem that they want the terrorist act to happen.
I wrote the book and made a few government officials bad guys. Men and women that shouldn’t be. Hard to believe, people have told me. If you haven’t heard about the Whitey Bulger case in Boston and the corrupt FBI agents that allowed Whitey to get away with murder because his other activities helped advance their careers, go to Google. A badge, a gun and an acronym for an employer doesn’t guarantee someone is a good guy.
How many American agents have gone to jail for spying for the enemy? How many cops have gone to jail for stealing or even for dealing? Is Snowdon a hero for exposing NSA snooping on unsuspecting American citizen and world leaders, or is he a trader? It may be a personal decision, but it’s fodder for mystery writers.
So, in To Beat the Devil, my protagonists, Mick Murphy, and his ragtag group of miscreant friends, have to seek justice because those in positions to do it won’t. In all my books, it’s about people seeking justice when the system is broke or for other reasons, the system doesn’t work.
I make up the situations in my books, but the background is there for anyone to see. All you need to do is look for it. With the fall of Communism, writers like me needed to find another enemy and we didn’t have to look far! Corruption is in all our backyards. Read the papers, that’s where I get ideas, or watch the local and network news.
To Beat the Devil is based on a scary premise of what if . . . what if the terrorists were trained in Mexico, crossed the border to attack us, using drug smugglers and what if officials in our intelligence agencies new this but turned a blind eye.
I learned things in my research that concerned me. Are we as safe as the government says? Are government agencies acting as if they are at war with each other when it comes to garnishing federal budget dollars? Would intelligence agency officials lie all the way to the White House to protect themselves? Would they let innocent people die to advance their careers or their agency?
We’ll see, in the coming weeks, what I learned and it might scare you too.