During Prohibition in Detroit, smugglers would simply drive across the Detroit River to Canada and back after the river froze in the winter. There's probably still a few old automobiles from the 1920s at the bottom of the river when the ice broke. In the Chicago area the rumrunners had several routes to transport various alcoholic beverages to their speakeasies (aka 'blind pigs'). The hazards were many - rival gangs, the feds, even groups of otherwise normal citizens would ambush shipments from backwoods distilleries or coming down from the Canadian border. But if you wanted some good Napa or Sonoma wine instead of the locally made coffin varnish you had a much longer road trip so stealing barrels of legally made sacramental wine from railroad cars became an often used method. But the sacramental wines were often of lower quality than what Joey's mother liked, and the railroad's cinderdicks (railroad detectives) were aggressive and relentless, as the thieves often found out the hard way. So Joey, heir apparent son of a mob capo on the Northwest Side of Chicago, got the inspiration to find someone to go to California and back, and then get that person to 'volunteer'. Joey manipulated a young man who had other dreams than becoming a rumrunner but made him offers he couldn't refuse to go west to obtain the good stuff. More importantly, it separated Danny from his fun-loving hot flapper girlfriend Laure - and Joey had decided Laure should be his hot flapper girlfriend.
Dan found that going to California was difficult enough. Coming back was many orders of magnitude more difficult and dangerous. It required someone resourceful, daring and smart to survive a list of dangers long enough to fill a book. That was the easy part. Dan also had to keep Laure safe from Joey's Machiavellian plots. Unbeknownst to him, there was another enigmatic, more powerful and dangerous psychopath behind the scenes who wanted Laure because . . .
Author's Note: The road trip to bring wine to Chicago is merely the driver for the adventure. The book isn't just about rumrunning. And even though a mob chieftain is behind it, the book is not about crime organizations. These are simply plot devices to cause other things to happen.
Next week, Part Two - Mayhem