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Researching Asian Crime Fiction

Part of the bond a crime fiction novelist makes with his reader, is that he/she has researched the background of the crime. In the past, I have spent time as an observer with the police in Vancouver, London, New York and Bangkok. What you see on the frontline is not always something you can find with a Google search.

At the same time, if you only observe the action from the frontline you can miss the larger picture. One place to fill in some blanks is a website maintained by the Nathanson Centre for the Study of Organized Crime and Corruption.

While the Centre is mainly interested in organized Asian Crime in Canada, there are links to opium kings and gang lords in Bombay. Also there are good links to Chinese organized crime, and links to everything you ever wanted to know about the Yakuza.

The best crime fiction blends the first-hand experience with stories about the significance of rituals, tattoos, and self-mutilation.

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