My research into illegal drug trafficking in Canada’s capital city was essential to creating the backdrop in Broken Trust, the fifth novel in the Megan Scott/Michael Elliott Mystery series. I discovered that the presence of a synthetic ingredient called fentanyl in illegal drugs sold on Ottawa streets was—and still is—contributing to a growing number of fatalities.
And it’s not only happening in Ottawa. Law enforcement officers across Canada and the USA increasingly find that illegal street drugs like cocaine and heroin are tainted with fentanyl. This so-called “designer” ingredient is manufactured in China and easily crosses our borders in tiny amounts, escaping inspection. At 50 to 100 times more toxic than morphine, fentanyl is causing widespread deaths and overdoses. If caught in time, overdose victims can be treated with naloxone to reverse the effects, but the outcome isn’t always favorable.
I set up several scenes in Broken Trust to illustrate the fatal consequences of fentanyl usage and the uphill battle that law enforcement and medical staff are facing. From the alleged suicide of a young mother to the overdose of an unsuspecting teenager on a city street, the scenes reflect the real life situations confronting our first responders.
In one particular scene from Broken Trust, police investigators follow up on leads to a chain of illegal drug suppliers. Megan Scott and Michael Elliott ride along with the Ottawa Police Service Drug Unit during a raid on a suspected drug-manufacturing ring in an Ottawa suburb. Here’s an excerpt:
Michael and I sat inside an unmarked police van a block down from the drug unit’s target destination—a two-story home in a middle-class suburb of Ottawa. The tension in the van was as palpable as the rare torrent of summer hail hitting its roof like an endless round of bullets.
Detective O’Rourke stood by, keeping an eye on the visuals transmitted onscreen while communicating with his tactical team through radio headsets. Once in a while, the detective exchanged several words with his team members. Otherwise, he sat in silence and waited.
The hail stopped. Rain replaced it with a nerve-racking pitter-patter over the next hour that had me wishing I’d brought along a pair of earplugs.
But we were stuck here until the mission was over, our bulletproof vests adding more weight to our bodies as if to ensure we stayed grounded.
“We’ve been monitoring this home for months after we got a tip from an anonymous source,” Detective O’Rourke said. “An unhappy client.” He grinned.
“Sounds familiar,” Michael said. “My best informants are people who were dissatisfied with the way they were treated by drug gangs.”
“There’s no loyalty in that business.” The detective put a hand to his headset and listened. He uttered a command, then looked at us. “It’s going down now.”
Goosebumps rose along my arms. I glanced at Michael. He sat, hands clutched, waiting.
Loud popping sounds in the distance.
Vehicles roaring by.
Gunshots blasting the van!
We all hit the floor!
Want to know what happens next? You’ll find this book and others in the series on this website’s Books page with clickable links to your preferred retailer.