Colin Byrne is a con man, an artist, an unlicensed private detective, and an occasional consultant for the police. He's also an ex-felon, an initiate into the unspoken, unseen magic that only prisoners know: how to disappear, how to tell fortunes and steal souls. Now the man who put him in prison, NYPD detective Joseph Wright, wants him to return to Railburg State Correctional Facility to help investigate a case.
Some things at Railburg haven't changed. His friend Gutierrez still talks to God, and Colin's protege Noel is still the best ink artist in the prison; the Aryans are still assholes, and the gangs are still the ones with all the power. But some things are different -- like Laney, a Blood who can see demons, and Colin's old enemy Galano, who is slowly poisoning Railburg's food. With Galano aiming to incite a riot and the Aryan Brotherhood constantly harassing Laney, Colin has bigger problems than the one he went to Railburg to solve.
Until Joseph arrives, undercover as a guard, and Colin discovers Joseph might now be just as dangerous as anything else he's encountered...
Trace, as with all of my original fiction, is offered free in first-draft form for your reading pleasure and your critique. I welcome and encourage constructive criticism on all aspects of the book, from spelling and grammar errors to characterization, structure, and plot.
I encourage everyone to tell me what they think of the story as it progresses. With Trace, because of its origins, I'm especially hoping people who a) don't know White Collar canon or b) haven't read the original story will have a look and see if this makes sense to them (within the realm of Magical Reality, where things don't always make sense anyway). I'd really love to know what you think, and veterans of the Extribulum process can tell you I'm pretty good at handling criticism.
Ordinarily I don't warn on my original fiction, but ordinarily I'm not writing things like this. Trace contains brief discussions or descriptions of rape, torture, and extreme violence. There is also a fair amount of content concerning race, particularly racism among prison inmates, including the use of hate speech.