About the Book
They say it’s the victors that write the history—the “Live Outside the Law” series bucks the trend. Simon McCoy smuggled cocaine for longer than Pablo Escobar and lived to tell the tale.

The “Illimani Chronicles” documents the early years. From five-star hotels, cocaine kitchens, the favelas of Rio and South America’s most feared jails.

Outlaws, not gangsters. Simon and his crew skate over thin Andean ice in style, until the cracks appear.

“Finding Peace,” is the first book of the “Illimani Chronicles.”

Determined to pick himself up after a disastrous year smuggling cocaine out of Brazil. Simon’s broke and in debt. So he gambles everything on a solo trip to La Paz Bolivia, cocaine’s capital city. While struggling to contact a supplier, he meets Sofia, a stylish knitwear manufacturer, and has his big idea.

Working for days in a hotel room, he creates an invisibility cloak for three kilos of pure cocaine. Will his alchemists cloak work this time? Can he get home to Rotterdam, build a team, and beat the house?

Chapter One Preview
As the plane descends, my stomach tightens. The verdant fields of sugarcane and maize, white villas, blue swimming pools and wooden shanty colonies of Santa Cruz rush upwards, happy to see me again. The feeling isn’t mutual. A year ago, I’d left Santa Cruz under less than happy circumstances, and I’m still a bit touchy about the experience.

1984, Santa Cruz

It was my first time in Santa Cruz, and I was there on business. I had opted to park on the ancient square, half a mile from Paddy’s hotel, thinking at the time that it was a wise decision. Wandering through the terraced plaza, I admired the stone columns that held up the wooden balcony above me. Generations had sheltered under this balcony from the blistering sun and tropical downpours.

Small shops surrounding the square offered everything from cheap flights to Miami (the capital of all the Americas) to dry goods and late ’70s-style clothes. Hello Kitty dolls and other ‘Made in China’ tat filled display shelves. Various hand carts sold roasted corn cobs, each grain the size of a thimble. To drink, there was sugar cane juice run through a mill, or polythene bags of crushed ice flavoured with a selection of bright red, yellow and green syrups – the original ‘slush puppy’. Campesinos laid out ‘locotos’, multicoloured chiles of wildly differing potency, alongside dried herbs and roots I didn’t recognise on blankets between the columns and offered them for sale. It certainly wasn’t Rio de Janeiro, much less home for this Essex boy.