Calla's Curse by Robert Polans


by Robert Polans

An action packed mystery thriller about organized crime in Long Island, New York in the 1960's, when rules didn't apply

If you liked the Godfather, this is a story inspired by people that the author knew from his home town in Merrick Long Island, in the 1960’s.

This action-packed mystery about New York Cops battling the mob at a time when rules didn’t apply has fast action, bloody scenes and a twisting plot for a thrilling read.

Calla is the step daughter of a mob boss, Veen the Deck. She puts a curse on Veen, and wants to break with that life by becoming a nun. But Calla is unwillingly dragged into the horror. Veen the Deck is at war with other mobsters who try to kidnap her and later put her in the hospital. Hank, and his new partner Alma, an ex-CIA with demolitions skills, work the case. Hank falls in love with Calla... will he be able to save her?

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"★★★★★ What makes a crime/mystery novel interesting and intriguing is always action - and this novel was filled with this. An entangled world, in which mobsters rule the streets of Long Island New York and detectives are doing their best to catch villains and reinstate peace and quiet. A complex story in which crime, mystery, mobster life and family, love and life are very well portrayed in the setting chosen by the author. Supported by the book cover as well, reading this novel felt exactly like watching a very good 1960's black and white mystery movie. Agatha Miller"


Why I wrote Calla's Curse

I wrote Calla's Curse because I was inspired by my Dad; a writer of sorts himself. At the time I wrote it, it was my tenth book; I was fascinated by what made me, my friends, my cousins (cops) and quite a few characters who I won't name, do the things we did.
Organized crime history
I used to know it only as well as you, I wish that were still so, but...
Now, did I know a Calla or Hank or any of the characters? No, for most of the "good guys." I did know a couple of New Jersey cops, my cousins. They looked like butchers after their shifts were over, when they hadn't changed into civilian clothes yet. The villains, wise guys etc., yes, I did know them. 
How I became interested in writing
This was long before computers, I had a word processor, still have a few books on those disks, but they aren't compatible with any computer I've seen yet. My first couple of books were science fiction and yes, an agent liked the one in Calla's Curse was the main character. So I kept on writing it until I had a five-part series.
Go forward a few years to 1988, I'd just finished Calla's Curse, only it had a different title then. A girl took the title of the one I was working with, no big deal, I think Calla's Curse is better than the other. A girlfriend put it on computer (some were out by then), but I didn't even remember it until about 1992 when I stumbled across it. It's title was "Rob's Story,"  and I didn't say she had much imagination.
Does Irving Herman sound like a real name to you?
He's one wise guy who had me puke in his boat. Well, did he send me below deck while we're moving? At least what I saw in the cooler had no affect on me. I know he's passed on, but I can't find his obituary. A writer friend pointed out that the name didn't seem real. Okay, she may have a point, but how real is Vin the Deck, Kid Vin, Sid Delese, Gus Gelardi? Nobody ever told me their real names, other than here is Bobby and his Uncle Frank. 
Why my interest in the "mob"?
In New York City, you just walked around the corner and you were in "mob central". Why Long Island mobs? I could put it simply... "because they were there", but there's a little more to it. I met Bobby and Uncle Frank in Suffolk County. I was still really a kid, and looked the part ; so nobody expected much from me. I was writing Calla about the time of the Joey Buttafucco-Amy Fisher story became public. Their love nest was three blocks from my house in Merrick, Long Island. Joey was entranced by the mob, almost mesmerized. I still don't understand why, but that's really his business.
There is a hierarchy in the mob: Don, Consigliore or My Lieutenant (the My is often left out), I know I'll miss something here.  There are specialists like a CPA for laundering money or different assassins, then it goes to street soldiers and those greener than they are. I know, what about shylocks, pimps, and other small-time hustlers? Usually those are independents, they don't bring in enough money to interest the mob. Some dope-dealers do, however, the high-end ones usually aren't with the mob long. They go to one of the few Cartels. Organizations almost strictly designed for moving heroin, cocaine...well any drug. These are very organized. Never get on the bad side of, "kill you as soon as look at you" people. So far that's the story of Calla's Curse.


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