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"The Wreckage: A Thriller," by Michael Robotham

Michael Robotham, The Wreckage
Hachette Book Group, Philip Klaunzer

Jeff Glor talks to Michael Robotham about "The Wreckage."

Jeff Glor: What inspired you to write the book?

Michael Robotham: All of my novels are seeded in real life events and "The Wreckage" is no different. Two facts triggered the novel:

FACT ONE: In December 2009, the head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime declared that US $352 billion from drug cartels and organized crime gangs had helped prop up Western banks on the brink of collapse during the global financial crisis. Banks were so desperate for funds that they waived all money-laundering checks and balances.

FACT TWO: the biggest airlift of U.S. currency in the history of the Federal Reserve saw US$12 billion flown into Iraq within weeks of the invasion. Three-quarters of that money has never been accounted for.

I took these pieces of information and wove them together an international conspiracy thriller that explains what happened to the money.

JG: What surprised you the most during the writing process?

MR: I was surprised by how often I had to temper the truth because nobody would believe what really happened to the missing billions. The corruption, waste and greed were so staggering and blatant that I had to make the motives more prosaic and believable.

JG: What would you be doing if you weren't a writer?

MR: If I weren't writing crime fiction, I'd be ghostwriting autobiographies for the great and the good (or the infamous) or working as a journalist. These are my two former careers. Writing is what I do. It's what makes me tick.

JG: What else are you reading right now?

MR: Right now I'm reading a wonderful novel called "Jasper Jones" by Craig Silvey, which is like an Australian version of "To Kill a Mockingbird" set in the 1960s.

JG: What's next for you?

MR: Book tours. Promotion. Writing. I'm a third way through my next one, a psychological thriller which doesn't have a name as yet, but it features clinical psychologist Joe O'Loughlin, one of my favourite characters.

For more on "The Wreckage," visit the Hachette Book Group website.

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