Woohoo! It’s Saturday and I am excited to share with you an extract from Mike Knowles‘ ROCKS BEAT PAPER today! This is a #NewAuthorForMe so I am doubly excited as the extract certainly piqued my interest! How about we find out a little about the author and this book first and then you can grab a cuppa, sit back and enjoy!
About The Author
Mike Knowles lives in Hamilton with his wife, children, and dog. His Wilson mystery In Plain Sight was shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Award for best crime novel.
About The Book
A phone call brought Wilson and nine other men to a job in New York. At first, he couldn’t see a way to make the heist work, but the score — millions of dollars in diamonds — kept him looking. Wilson came up with a plan he knew would work . . . until the inside man got killed and took the job with him.
With no way inside, the crew walks away without the diamonds. Alone, Wilson is free to execute the job his way. Wilson sets a con in motion that should run as predictably as a trail of dominoes — except the con doesn’t rely on inanimate tiles, it relies on people.
Wilson pushes all of the pieces across the board only to find out that there are other players making their own moves against him. Everyone is playing to win and no one is willing to walk away because the job is about more than money, the job is about diamonds. And in this game, rocks beat paper every time.
Rocks Beat Paper: A Wilson Mystery
By Mike Knowles
From Chapter 1
. . . I watched the front door. How many people were going to walk through that entrance? I had counted seven in the last hour. The meet had been scheduled for nine, by my watch a half hour ago, and people just kept showing up. A couple of guys had been early; most were late. I was late to the meeting myself, but not late to the house. I had been in the neighbourhood at four and in a parking space with a view of the house at five. The townhouse was in Jersey City on the quiet end of a busy street. Someone was home. Through the open blinds, I saw movement every few minutes. At seven p.m., a Volkswagen pulled into the driveway and a man got out and walked to the trunk. He yanked out numerous grocery bags and worked to get them all into his hands. He managed to lug all of the bags up the stairs to the front door. Rather than put the bags down, the man chose to kick the door. Porch lights came on and a woman opened the front door. The man sidestepped his way into the townhouse and used his heel to close the door behind him. After that, the house was a buzz of energy. Lights went on in every room and people moved quickly around the house. At eight thirty, a pickup pulled into the remaining half of the driveway. A man got out and strode the steps to the door. He was easily a head taller than the cab of the truck. He spent less than a minute on the porch before the door opened and he ducked his way under the door and into the house. In the foyer, the tall man paused to hug the guy who had brought in the groceries. I caught a second of his profile, but it was enough. The hug lasted long enough to make these two men partners, not the life kind — the job kind. The hug ended with simultaneous back claps and then the shorter of the two men closed the door.
Ten to nine brought another man; this one parked down the street and didn’t need to duck to cross the threshold. The third guest also wasn’t greeted with a hug from the man who clearly fulfilled the role of host. The next six guests arrived in an order that could only be described as random. The intervals and appearance resisted any form of pattern, but the numbers woke something paranoid in my brain. The binoculars put the monster back in the cage. Too many of the interactions were stiff — far too stiff for men who knew each other. Had these men been on the job, they would have been on the job. No one would be shaking hello if they were getting down to the business of killing someone who was about to show up.
Find the next excerpt on Clues and Reviews on May 8.
Excerpt adapted from Rocks Beat Paper by Mike Knowles. © 2017 by Mike Knowles. All rights reserved. Published by ECW Press Ltd. www.ecwpress.com