Uncovering The Roma Plot

Uncovering The Roma Plot

Posted on November 9 by Mario Bolduc in Mystery
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After sending con artist Max O’Brien to India for his first mission (The Kashmir Trap, 2016), I wanted to use this character in a second book. I did not want to follow with a sequel, but a standalone story that would send Max in a different location. The situation of the Romani people immediately appealed to me. First of all, they originate from India and have travelled across the world for many centuries – which made a nice thematic link to The Kashmir Trap. Secondly, their fate during the Holocaust was not widely known.

For these reasons, I started to explore the possibility of a story involving the Romani community in which Max O’Brien would play a role. I was curious about the history of the Romani people and about their life nowadays. What were their conditions of living in Europe, especially in Eastern Europe where the most important Romani groups are settled? Was the cliché of a wandering community – constantly travelling from one country to another – still accurate in our times?

Research for The Roma Plot was an eye-opener! I discovered their rich and diversified culture. I was not aware of the political aspects of their fight for recognition. But what I found moving above all was their tragic fate during World War II. Even today, the Romani people are still victims of racism and exclusion.

Many Roma came to Canada in search of a better life, away from the hardship they suffered in Europe. Further research put me in contact with Romani leaders through the Roma Community and Advocacy Centre in Toronto (RCAC). I was able to get in touch with Constantin Anghel and Ronald Lee, writer and professor at the University of Toronto, one of the founders of the RCAC. Author of Learn Romani, Professor Lee helped me with the wording and translation of key Romani words I used in my novel.  

In conclusion, the preparation and writing of The Roma Plot have been a fascinating adventure for me. I hope that by reading my novel you’ll share my enthusiasm and the emotions I felt during the planning and research for the book.  

Mario Bolduc

Posted by Kendra on September 2, 2015
Mario Bolduc photo

Mario Bolduc

Screenwriter Mario Bolduc has written three novels featuring Max O’Brien, starting with The Kashmir Trap. Originally published in French, The Roma Plot, the second book of the series, won an Arthur Ellis Award in 2008. Mario lives in Montreal, Quebec.