“Merciless but honest about being monstrous, Wilson is worthy to stand next to Loren Estleman’s Peter Macklin and Donald Westlake’s Parker.” — Publishers Weekly
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.
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Rocks Beat Paper! I have an exclusive excerpt to share with you, make sure you check out Clues and Reviews who shared the previous section and also Do Some Damage who will have the next excerpt on May 11.
From Chapter 1
I circled the table and took a seat that allowed me to keep my back to the wall.
“You’re late,” Miles said.
I looked over the bowls of chips that surrounded a warm shrimp ring. I had never been to a meeting with a shrimp ring before. “A lot of people here,” I said.
. . .[Miles] smirked and then his face lost all trace of expression. “You have a problem with the numbers?”
I nodded. “Every man you add to a job adds more than just a pair of hands. It adds baggage. All the personalities and ideas create variables, layers of unexpected consequences that will need to be dealt with. Every job has something, and you deal with them as they come. Most times you can because an isolated problem isn’t usually enough to sink a job. But every number you add expands the potential fuckups and makes them exponentially harder to solve because you have to work out a solution that makes the whole group happy. I see eight men walk through a door and I get a headache just thinking about the homework.”
“What the fuck are you talking about?”
The pool player wasn’t playing pool anymore. He was standing beside the table with the cue in two hands. Seeing the man bent over the table didn’t give me a real impression of his size. I had pegged him as big. Standing at full height suddenly made the word feel weak — the man was huge. His white T-shirt hugged his barrel-shaped torso; the logo on the old shirt had faded into an indecipherable smear that matched the grey streaks running through his tangled hair. His heavy hands wrung the cue, and the motion revealed prison ink on the inside of his forearms. The tattoo was faded and poorly done, likely from his first fall a long way back. Based on his eagerness to fight in order to cement his position as the alpha in the room, I guessed he did more than one stretch.
I nodded my head towards Miles while keeping my eyes on the man holding the cue. “I’m talking to him,” I said.
“Your talking is fucking up my game.”
. . .Miles opened his mouth to say something and then gave up on it. He turned his head towards me. “You said you watched eight men walk through the door. I just caught that. You weren’t late, you were just on the fence.”
“Not so much on the fence now that I see the workload,” I said.
“Too much homework?”
I nodded. “A nine-man job is worse than calculus.”
Find the previous excerpt on Clues & Reviews.
Find the next excerpt on Do Some Damage on May 10.
Excerpt adapted from Rocks Beat Paper by Mike Knowles. © 2017 by Mike Knowles. All rights reserved. Published by ECW Press Ltd. http://www.ecwpress.com
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