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  • Susan Russo Anderson

The Start of Story

Only the dead leave Brooklyn. I should know, my husband and I lived there for fourteen years, and a part of me has never left.

They were glorious times, at least in memory, when walking across the Brooklyn Bridge to my job in Manhattan was a daily occurrence. From the height of that span, I’d look back to the Promenade and beyond to South Brooklyn, watch ships as they churned through the harbor toward the Atlantic.

Little wonder then that I write a series which takes in Brooklyn and that I smiled when I saw the photo that is superimposed near the bottom of the cover for The Brooklyn Drop. If you look closely at the image beyond the words, you’ll see the Manhattan Bridge in the foreground, the Brooklyn Bridge in the middle distance, and beyond that, the buildings of Brooklyn Heights, where my protagonist, Fina Fitzgibbons lives.

The townhouse where we lived in Brooklyn Heights was built in 1849. So in 1901 when my grandmother, then eleven years old, came to this country, she could have seen my home-to-be from the deck of her ship, the Nord America, as it churned past the Statue of Liberty toward Ellis Island. Give me your tired, your poor.

I think of her in memory, hers and mine, where all human gesture and all that happens and lots that never happened are present in one everlasting moment, as she gazes at the land in front of her—Brooklyn, my Brooklyn, from the deck of her ship. The start of story.

And speaking of story, in The Brooklyn Drop, Fina finds Lorraine’s friend, Phyllida Oxley, slumped over her dining room table, the victim of a memory-impairing date rape drug. For me, that image was the start of the novel’s story and spawned the rest of the tale.

When Phyllida’s condition goes from poor to comatose, her distraught fifteen-year-old granddaughter, Kat Oxley disappears. Meanwhile, Fina’s agency is busy surveilling a massage parlor in Bensonhurst suspected of human trafficking, and Fina’s father reappears to throw a wrench into her relationship with NYPD Patrol Officer Denny McDuffy.

As Fina frantically searches for the missing teen, she uncovers the truth behind the traffickers, but they have an ugly surprise waiting for her over some not-so-friendly skies.

Photos: cover, The Brooklyn Drop. Design, Avalon Graphics.


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