Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tuesday Buildup: Running a Criminal Empire

Taken, for all its twists and turns, was a fairly straightforward book with a fairly straightforward premise--find the missing girl and then unravel the tangled web of lies. Borrowed is, well, a lot more complicated.

For one, we have money laundering. No, I don't mean washing a twenty in the pocket of your pants. I'm talking systemic cash deposits, follwed by equally systematic but infinitely more confusing transfers to numbered accounts, followed by more transfers or even purchases, all culminating in the withdrawal of funds or the acquiring of items with "clean" money. Sound confusing? It is. Here's a diagram:
And yes, I have to refer back to it in order to make sure I keep my facts straight. I may be writing fiction, but I'd like some elements of it to be true. Which leads me to my next, slightly distasteful point.

Human Trafficking. I touched on the issue of this enormous crime in Taken but it takes much more of a front row, center position here. The entire plot is driven by uncovering the source of this particular branch of a much larger human trafficking scheme. Frankie and the gang aren't naive enough to think they're going to end human trafficking in general or even one particular Russian family. They're after fixing this one thing, which has led to the deaths of people they consider friends and family.

Finally, there's something that anybody reading the Frankie series should be familiar with: falsifying documents and using aliases. At this point, everybody in the gang is involved. Now, Ian and Casey Lynn aren't in any legal trouble but they could loosely be called known associates. This means there's a good possibility people are looking for them, too. So they've got the false identities they're living and working under in London. There's going to be more of them before the journey is over, so be prepared to start a cheat sheet.

Okay, next week, we'll do a little bit on the paranormal side of things. Until then..read on!

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