The Girl Who Had No Fear
by Marnie Riches
She’s back. George McKenzie is back, and this time,
she has #NoFear.
The fourth gripping thriller in the Georgina McKenzie series.
Amsterdam: a city where sex sells and drugs come easy. Four dead bodies have been pulled from the canals – and that number’s rising fast. Is a serial killer on the loose? Or are young clubbers falling prey to a lethal batch of crystal meth?
Chief Inspector Van den Bergen calls on criminologist Georgina McKenzie to help him solve this mystery. George goes deep undercover among the violent gangs of Central America. Working for the vicious head of a Mexican cartel, she must risk her own life to find the truth. With murder everywhere she turns, can George get people to talk before she is silenced for good?
Marnie Riches grew up on a rough estate in Manchester. She learned her way out of the ghetto, all the way to Cambridge University, where she gained a Masters degree in German & Dutch. She has been a punk, a trainee rock star, a pretend artist, a property developer and professional fundraiser. Previously a children's author, now, she writes crime and contemporary women's fiction.
Marnie Riches is the author of The Girl Who Wouldn't Die - the first installment of the George McKenzie crime thriller series, published by Maze and Avon at Harper Collins.
In her spare time, Marnie likes to run (more of a long distance shuffle, really) travel, drink and eat all the things (especially if combined with travel) paint portraits, sniff expensive leather shoes (what woman doesn't?) and renovate old houses. She also adores flowers.
Marine Riches certainly knows how to push you out of your comfort zone, often uncomfortably - taking the reader to dark places most of us have never even heard of - thankfully. But, has given us criminologist Georgina Mackenzie to hold our hands and guide us through the twisted, dark places - bringing us breathlessly out the other side. A brilliant series of books that will hook you in and leave you breathlessly panting for more. If you haven't read the first book in the series - read my review here.
Drugs: Rollercoaster ride or freefall to the bottom of the barrel?
by Marnie Riches
The Girl Who Had No Fear has at its core a discussion about drugs-manufacture, -dealing and -abuse. I decided to write about that topic, in part because I had been to Mexico twice on holiday and was fascinated by its standing as a tourist idyll, whilst at the same time being a notorious centre for the manufacture of Crystal Meth. Naturally, I have watched the incredibly well-written and well-acted TV series, Breaking Bad with a mixture of delight and wide-eyed horror. The show sowed creative seeds within me that have germinated over time…
More recently, a friend of mine told me about some of the extreme drug misuse that goes on on the gay sex-party scene. His concern was that young men are ruining their lives and dying on the back of the trend in taking an easily available cocktail of chemical drugs in order to service days of non-stop sexual hedonism – all of which has seen a surge in popularity since the advent of online hook-up sites like Grindr.
Fortuitously, those germinating seeds of interest in Mexico’s illicit role as a centre for drug manufacture, the George McKenzie series’ overarching theme of trafficking and my friend’s concerns flourished into a story about the dizzying highs and crashing lows of chemical drugs - The Girl Who Had No Fear.
In terms of research I have read forums where drug users chatted openly about using Crystal Meth and Mephedrone. I looked up the website, “Talk to Frank” about drug use and the effects of certain drugs. The Terrence Higgins Trust’s website had some excellent information on Crystal Meth, Mephedrone and G or Gina. Then, I read several academic articles on the use of Central American countries as transit routes for the cocaine industry. They spoke of poverty, lack of opportunity and the violence of cartels. I also read about the rise in popularity of Crystal Meth – a drug that has been around since before WWII and which can be manufactured anywhere, with higher purity than most cocaine that comes through from South America.
What surprised me most from having read around the subject is that Crystal Meth was actually used by the Czech army to fuel its soldiers. Manufacture of the drug and its precursor chemicals was big trade in the old Soviet Union. Now, the Czech Republic is a European epicentre for meth production. Interestingly, another friend drew my attention to a book that was recently published, discussing how Nazi Germany was hooked on and fuelled by Meth. Even breastfeeding mothers were given it. It was prescribed as a general pick-me-up and inserted into chocolates!
There are always complex social issues surrounding drug manufacture, traffick and abuse, and I hope I’ve encapsulated some of that complexity in The Girl Who Had No Fear – George’s biggest adventure yet!
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