When I first started my research for this book, California had recently passed anti-predatory towing laws. Before the laws were passed, tow companies were able to “patrol” the streets and, without calling the police or getting permission from private property owners, tow any cars parked in “illegal” zones. In other words, the tow truck drivers could make judgement on if your card should be towed. Then of course, you’d be charged for retrieving the car from them. You can see how this might become predatory.
Originally I built a predatory towing sub-plot into Border Field Blues and had a seedy tow-truck driver as one of my characters. But as the plot developed, he became less and less useful, so I dumped him. One of the current characters was originally cast as that tow driver. I’m not telling you which. If you really want to know, you can email me.
With the anti-predatory laws now in place, a law enforcement official or property owner must initiate a towing request. Tow drivers must have their approval.
Ray — named for Ray Charles, of course.
Sayer Burdon — named for 1970s popster Leo Sayer, and The Animals gravelly-voiced frontman Eric Burdon.