While seeking an agent/publisher for my third historic novel, SCAM, a tale inspired by a counterfeiter whose daughter I met over 30 years ago, I’m toying with a return to the scene of “the original crime,” a third venture into the fictional life of investigative reporter Nick Lanouette.
In his third visitation to my reconstructed world of San Diego area history, I think Nick—featured in Falling Down and Jerkwater Town—won’t just fall off the wagon. He’ll dive head first into the depths of his sexual addiction, drugs and booze. As he deals with his afflictions, I suspect his friend Michelle Gallo, former attorney and now head of GDE, will become stymied in her pursuit of a downtown Oceanside redevelopment project, when a shady owner of a strip club at the heart of the site suggests legally and morally questionable terms for the acquisition of his property.
As with my two previous Lanouette novels, I’m in the process of letting the characters develop a story line filled with as-of-yet unanswered queries: With his latest fall from grace, will Nick destroy his marriage to Laura? Will Nick find a lasting way to control his obsessions? If so, does he risk all in trying to help Michelle by intervening in the strip club operator’s businesses, one of which includes exploiting women through a Mexican-based illegal sex trade racket?
At it’s core expect an exploration of factual events, such as a 1992 redevelopment project planned around an existing strip club and a sex trade operation, headed by a group of brothers, that serviced workers in an agricultural field adjacent to Oceanside’s San Luis Rey River.