Chapter 21 is live!

Run over to for the latest chapter of Sleepers.  You’ll be glad you did…

Here’s another excerpt:

Gershon hissed at his phone before snapping it shut and pocketing the thing.

“Problem, Inspector?” Rutger asked, hoping like hell he hid his amusement.  They sat in overstuffed wingback chairs across a low table from one another in Gershon’s suite at the hotel.  It was a spacious and comfortable accommodation, one that must have cost more than Rutger’s weekly salary for a single night.

Gershon narrowed his eyes at Rutger.  “Mr. Montgomery and his associates have escaped… somehow.”  His right foot dangled from where he crossed it over his left, waving a steady rhythm like a conductor’s baton.  “Do you have any ideas how that may have happened?”

“Not really, no, Inspector,” he said, shaking his head.  “I’m afraid I am just along for the ride.”  He smiled at the imperious little man, the motion not quite reaching his eyes.  He lifted the cup—exquisite fine bone china—to his lips and took a sip of his tea, then lowered both cup and saucer to the table, and settled deeper into his chair.  “Maybe they were just lucky.”

“Bah!  There’s no such thing as luck.”  Gershon leaned forward, dropping his foot to the floor.  “I think they had help.”  His eyes were a cobra’s, narrow slits full of venom and heat.

“If you have something to say, Inspector, maybe it would be easier to just say it.”

“Fine, then.”  He leaned ever closer, his upper body swaying slightly.  “I think you warned him,” he said, stabbing a bony finger in Rutger’s direction, “Polizeioberkommissar Brieske.”

“There now,” Rutger said, smiling with genuine humor, “don’t you feel better?”  He was taking a terrible chance with his career, but he was done putting up with the man.  He would weather this storm, much as he had every other such confrontation over the course of his professional life.  He had certainly built enough good will among his peers to stand up to such a self-important twit.  “And for the record,” he said, “you have been with me since before you told me there was a plan to apprehend them.  I have not left your sight in all that time, so, please, tell me how I could have warned anyone?”

Gershon sat back, crossed his legs, and again conducted his unseen orchestra.  “I don’t know, but when I do, not only your involvement in this affair, but your entire career will end.”  His face tightened, lemon-like.  “Do I make myself clear?”

“Crystal, Inspector.”  Rutger relaxed.  In truth, his involvement with Gershon ended days ago, the idiot just didn’t know it.  The man had nothing, and Rutger sighed in satisfaction.  I think it’s time to take my leave of him.

“Well, Inspector,” Rutger said as he stood, “if there is nothing else.”

The man waved a dismissive hand without looking up, and Rutger walked around the table toward the door.  As he reached for the ornate brass knob, Gershon said from his chair, “You will remain available at all times, Mr. Brieske.”

“Of course,” Rutger said, and pulled the door open.  He walked into the hall, the door shutting in silence behind.  Or not, he thought with a smile as he walked toward the elevator.


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