HOW I CAME TO WRITE ‘THE BUTCHER’S DAUGHTER’, Richard Godwin.
‘The Butcher’s Daughter’ was originally published at A Twist Of Noir
One long Summer I unwittingly rented a villa off a Mafia lawyer in the heart of Sicily. It was bakingly hot, over 100 degrees all the time and I was in the interior. It is a strange and beautiful country steeped in bloodshed.
Olive groves shimmer in a constant haze and the Mafia still run the place. The teenagers are well behaved because they are too scared not to be.
One night I was eating out in a small and extremely good restaurant when three men, who were too sharply dressed for the area walked in, brushed the manager aside and went through to a back room behind a curtain.
You get the picture, all in expensive suits, the heavy, the good looking son, the lawyer with glasses and the papers in his case. It used to be called the Pizza connection. Hanging out the wash.
The landscape and the entire place left an imprint on me.
A few days after I returned Berlusconi was deposed.
Bernardo Provenzano, otherwise known as Il Tractore or The Tractor for his brutal methods, was known as the Cappo di Tutti and was arrested at a farmhouse near where I was staying.
He had been on the run since 1963. He was hard to find since he had no mobile phone, no computer, and communicated by pizzi which means a bird dipping its beak in the water. It is also a piece of paper which he would write on and fold up until it was no bigger than your small fingernail. He used a Bible code the Italian police are still trying to crack and he would write his orders on his pizzi.
They would go out in his laundry bag. He was found in a farmhouse with a ricotta machine and some red wine. You will smell lemon groves as you drive through the countryside. The Mafia started out exporting lemon and bergamot.
The interior of Sicily is steeped in history and Sicilian itself is incomprehensible to most Italians, being a mix of many languages including the languages of their invaders.
I remember going out for a drink one Saturday night. The local Piazza was lined with old men on wooden chairs drinking Grappa. No women, and I felt I was not in the twentieth century.
The interior of Sicily is a strange place. Go there and you will never forget it.
I never heard another word of English spoken during my entire time there. And I have never seen so many dead dogs rotting by the roadside, the Sicilians just run them over.
Richard Godwin is a crime and horror writer as well as a produced playwright. His stories have been widely published in magazines such as A Twist Of Noir and Pulp Metal Magazine. His works in print include ‘Chemical’, published in the Anthology Back in 5 Minutes (Little Episodes Publishing 2010), ‘Doll’, published in Howl: Tales of the Feral And Infernal (Lame Goat Press 2010), 'Face off' in CrimeFactory Issue #5 (CreateSpace 2010), 'Pike N Flytrap' in Needle Magazine (Lulu 2010) and 'Mother' in Tainted Tea (Lulu 2011).
His crime novel ‘Apostle Rising’ is out and can be bought at all good bookstores and online at Amazon and here http://www.blackjackalbooks.com/order Go to his site to watch a video trailer for ‘Apostle Rising’ and visit his blog for his Chin Wags At The Slaughterhouse, which are the interviews he conduct with other authors