My cultural setting for Manicotti and Murder
|Because this novel is set in present-day America, in the Midwest, I do not think the cultural setting will be difficult for people to grasp. Laws are enforced by the typical law enforcement agencies – police and sheriff’s departments as well as, I suppose, the FBI and whatnot at the federal level. I don’t think the federal level will play into this novel, but I suppose that could happen, given the illegal activity that I have planned for the plot (and, as we all know, sometime our characters just take things in a direction we did not intend!).
The setting, at least for the antagonist, really affects his pre-story life. Gary does not like being part of the amusement park scene, but it’s really been his only option. He is not highly motivated at all, to do anything with his life. He has always hated his family’s involvement in the amusement park. Kids in school called him a Carnie (used, in this instance, as a derogatory term for someone involved in a carnival). For that reason he would rather do anything but be involved in the family’s business. However, at the same time, he has squandered every other opportunity he has even had. His criminal record, now, has really left him few options.
Gary is involved in a criminal underground that has definite rules that do not always conform to what the “normal public” understands. He is to keep his mouth shut about anything and everything that happens, and who does what to whom, or who is hired to do what to whom. Gary’s weakness, though, is his ex-wife Rita. He tells her too much, which eventually breaks down everything in Gary’s life. He has broken the biggest of rules, which will also put him in jeopardy. He will need to “re-prove” himself, and in short order, if he wants to stay associated with the criminal element with which he is currently associated. Not being associated with this element, of course, will mean certain death.