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What would a real war on drugs look like?

Antim Straus Author Interview

Camp David Conspiracy follows a reporter who works to uncover the link between politicians, the drug cartel, and unexplained overdoes. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The idea for this novel came to me when reading how mad cow disease (BSE) caused beef demand around the world to plummet. People were afraid to eat beef for fear of “catching” mad cow. Similarly, tainted product scares with spinach, Tylenol, cantaloupe, apple juice, and even the Chipotle restaurant chain caused the public to avoid these products in mass.

I asked myself the question: “Would fear of dying from tainted cocaine cause users to avoid cocaine use?” From there, I structured a conspiracy story where overdose deaths suddenly and mysteriously start occurring across the US; and how users, sellers, the cartels, and the government would react.

This book was first published in November 2018. Today—in the world of “real life imitating fiction”— fentanyl laced opioids, heroin, cocaine, and even “legal” painkillers are causing overdose deaths to skyrocket. Could the Camp David Conspiracy storyline be taking place in real life?

Was there anything from your own life that you put into the characters in your novel?

I was a journalism major in college. And though I never worked as a reporter, I am impressed with investigative reporting—the ability to put small facts together to uncover a broader story.

Geoffrey Wines, the central character in the Geoffrey Wines Series is based on a specific personality, but his actions are a conglomeration of great journalists like Woodward, Bernstein, and high-profile investigations over the years.

In writing any character, I tend to have one person in mind, who I adopt and embellish.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

At the time I wrote this book, drug use and the drug wars across America continued to rage as the government’s war on drugs showed little progress in deterring people who enjoy the use of drugs. Meanwhile, cartels and sellers earn billions of dollars meeting this demand.

I show how each level of this supply and demand equation works to everyone’s advantage; except the authorities who are hamstrung in tracking and convicting the cartels and sellers.

While the book posits a realistic approach, it also asks: “What would a real war on drugs look like?”

I try to answer this question with historical references to a real war (WWII)—while reporter Geoffrey Wines unearths the most brazen plot he could ever imagine.

What story are you currently in the middle of writing?

I am writing the third book in the Geoffrey Wines series. (The second book: Disorder – A Novel launched on March 1, 2022). It will include the current journalistic relationship between Geoffrey Wines and President Osbourne. I will keep its storyline quiet until publication, currently anticipated for early in 2023.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Geoffrey Wines, Metro Reporter for the Washington Post loves his gritty beat of reporting on drugs and gangs in the DC area.

He instantly knows things are not right when drug overdoses in DC and other metro areas start to spike. His suspicions heighten when five DC gang-bangers overdose from a new brick of cartel-delivered cocaine, and then confirmed when a prominent DC Attorney suffers the same fate. What could be so lethal? So undetectable? And who could be behind it?

Wines and his inner-city intern begin to connect the dots that lead someplace neither would suspect. Their probe takes them from the depths of inner-city Washington DC tenements to Cartel kingpins to the highest reaches of the US Justice Department. In the middle of their exploration,

Wines discovers human frailties and friendships that are unshakable as everywhere he looks, there are good guys, bad guys and some who straddle the thin line in-between. In this gray-space he unravels the Camp David Conspiracy.

Camp David Conspiracy

The war on drugs in America is raging. Everyone, from low-income communities to the high-end politicians, lawyers, and doctors, enjoys the hard-hitting high that comes from cocaine, heroin, and other recreational drugs. Unfortunately, federal government organizations like the DEA and FBI are at a loss on how to stop this profitable and overly active industry. It is not until President Osbourne’s best friend loses his son to a mugging gone wrong by a drug addict looking for cash to pay for his next hit that he takes the war on drugs seriously. Too seriously. Casualties on both sides of this war reveal corruption and conspiracies from every angle. Author Antim Straus writes a fictional piece based on the history of the War on Drugs in Camp David Conspiracy.

The author has a solid understanding of politics and the war on drugs, and it is clear the author has done his research. Character development is one of the highlights of this novel. The story follows several characters from the White House, the Cartel, reporter Wines, drug dealers, and many more. I really enjoyed this approach because I was able to see from each character’s perspective how drugs personally affected their lives. The author’s ability to create a wide cast of characters is one to be applauded, as each character was very different and believable.

The author seamlessly changes perspectives between characters within each chapter; I always knew who was talking and whose thoughts readers were listening in on. In addition, the author explains in detail concepts like buyers, sellers, dropping packages, runners, etc., which allows the reader to understand the criminal side of drug dealing. I felt like I was watching a crime show, and I found it hard to put this book down. I also liked how pieces of the news articles were inserted into the book, fully immersing the reader in the drama.

I feel this book is more of a crime thriller than a political thriller, and I only mention this as it may deter other readers from picking up this enticing book. Camp David Conspiracy is a raw, gritty, and intense read that takes the reader into a deep dive into the drug operation and the war on drugs. This is the first book in Antim Straus’s Geoffrey Wines Series. I look forward to reading the second book in the series Disorder.

Camp David Conspiracy is a riveting political thriller novel that will have readers on edge with each suspenseful chapter. This crime fiction book is filled with intimate details of how drug rings are conducted and the conspiracy of those in high political places.

Pages: 335 | ASIN : B07KDW9L9Z

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