As DEA Agent Diane Mesi investigates she becomes convinced that the conflict is being orchestrated by an unknown third party. But she is marginalised by her colleagues and her judgement is challenged at every turn. Only if she can expose the truth will she be able to stop the violence and save her career.
Michael Larsen is an ex-soldier and hired mercenary who has been contracted to fuel the conflict at every opportunity until it destroys both sides. As he battles his own demons, he hopes that by directing the violence he will attain some measure of redemption.
But neither Mesi nor Larsen know the full extent of the forces at play or of what is truly at stake. As they each pursue their own resolution, the violence escalates and they become increasingly isolated and vulnerable to the dangers that stalk them.
A lot of the backdrop for Incitement came from real world events and here are some of the things I came across during the research:
The UN estimated in 2005 that the value of the world’s illicit drug trade was worth $322 billion, greater than the GDP of 88% of countries. The UN believed that it was important to understand its ability to destabilise countries.
Plan Colombia, the real world template for my fictional Plan Coca, was launched in 1999/2000; the Colombian Government pledged $4.8 billion while the US contributed over $1 billion.
The Plan was a joint Colombian-US initiative to bring the drug war to the doorstep of the main producers in Colombia. It involved applying military resources, in the form of fumigation runs from the air and troop movements on the ground.
Countries neighbouring Colombia protested the conflict spilling into their territory.
A number of experts publicly questioned the efficacy of military intervention.
One of the motivations for the Plan involved securing a number of major oil pipelines that leftist paramilitaries such as FARC targeted and extorted.
The fictional alliance of Colombian and Mexican cartels in Incitement needed a suitably formidable adversary and I chose the real-world group of Albanian mafia colloquially called ‘The Fifteen Families’. The group had existed for decades and had used the conflict in Kosovo as a platform to expand into Europe to the point that they are one of the pre-eminent global criminal organisations.
Based on numerous sources, The Fifteen Families had the resources, ambition and ruthlessness to take on the Alliance. An added dimension of the Fifteen Families as protagonist was its links to extremist organisations.
One of the main protagonists in the book, Larsen, is a former member of The Jaeger Corps (Danish: Jægerkorpset), which is the special forces unit of the Royal Danish Army stationed at Aalborg Air Base. They have traditionally performed part of their training with the US rangers and are extremely well regarded internationally.
But I had to determine the most suitable best arena for such the conflict and initially considered a specific city or country. But after reflecting on it, I realised that the idea of a conflict that crossed borders would provide more material to work with.
I briefly considered using a backdrop of international terrorism and the idea of a government backed initiative to sow discord within an extremist organisation or between two organisations. There was a wealth of material that could form interesting subplots e.g. if the successful the initiative would threaten other state bodies whose very existence depended on there being an on-going threat.
While researching state-backed initiatives against terrorist and criminal organisations I came across Plan Colombia. When I factored in the added elements of military contractors being used along with the fact that the Plan targeted left-wing militias such as FARC and the ELN, I knew it could be a strong backdrop for the book. The real world Plan Colombia became the template for my fictitious Plan Coca.
Now I had to find two suitable adversaries to pit against one another. Ideally, I wanted the conflict that was orchestrated to not be just limited to Central and South America. So, I created an Alliance that would comprise of a number of Latin American countries who would form one part of the struggle. The other protagonist clearly had to based outside the Americas and so the Albanian mafia organisation – The Fifteen Families seemed the perfect adversary.
Who would want to bring about a conflict between the two of these and what would they gain? There were no shortage of government backed agencies I could think of. I eventually decided, though, that a personal motivation would be the strongest option.
Given how large the drugs trade is, for any individual to believe he could hurt the two pre-eminent cartels he would have to be either delusional or exceptional. The inspiration for Wallace came from the industrialists of the early twentieth century, people such as Ford, Carnegie and Rockefeller who it was contended wielded enough power and wealth to influence US and world events. A modern incarnation of someone like this could have the necessary power and the hubris to believe that they could orchestrate the conflict.
The blurb on the back of the enclosed book explains the story for which these facts and this process formed the backdrop.
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David Graham has a background in Telecommunications and IT. In addition to working throughout Europe, particularly Scandinavia, he has travelled extensively.
He has a keen interest in history, economics and current affairs.
David lives with his wife and two young sons in Dublin.
This is his first novel.
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