Cover of Poppy
Poppy

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Thriller & suspense

 Published: Sep. 7, 2018

429 pages

Language: Australian English

ISBN: 9780463471258

Tags: war on drugs, social capital

The inspiration

I am interested in issues that are infected with lazy bigotry. My writing helps me to find ways to open doors to understanding and dispel the lazy bigotry that causes racism, sexism and the war on drugs.

In my first book, I thought I had created outlandish characters and put them in bizarre situations,, but after I read Johann Hari’s wonderful book, Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, I discovered that  these characters and situations would be even more extreme in the real war on drugs. As discerned in both our books, it is fear and hatred that fuels the devastation from drugs.

The work of fiction

Poppy and Bernard are two badly matched warriors on different sides of the war on drugs. Poppy thinks Bernard is a galah and with her drug syndicate sets about destroying Bernard’s life. Poppy has been part of the violence in the drug culture since her mother died when she was five. Her father is a serial killing drug lord who wants Poppy to become the face of his drug syndicate. He is encouraging Poppy to kill people like Bernard, who are getting in their way. Poppy knows her father has her best interests at heart, but she has never killed and is not sure she wants to make a living out of killing people.

Poppy's dragon
Poppy’s dragon

Poppy knows her father is trying to do what is best for her, and she does love the money, but she is squeamish about the killing that is essential for her trade. This is not to say she’s a bad fighter. She has a dragon to inspire her and her favourite weapon is a blackjack that she whirls as if it was Thor’s hammer.

Bernard is a cop that most people call Shrek, because, well, he looks like an ogre. He is so bizarre that he doesn’t hate drug addicts much and even ties to work out who might be beating them up and killing them. This of course is a big worry for Poppy’s syndicate.

As part of the plan to discredit Bernard, Poppy befriends his father to frame him for drug trafficking, but she gets too close to the quaint old man. This gives her warm and fuzzy feelings that she finds hard to dispel and it makes accepting her life as a killer even harder.

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