Opening the leather bag, he removed a smaller explosive device and a metal strap designed to hold it firmly in place beneath the bottom of the tank. The thick, blast-proof strap had tightening bolts at each end. By turning the bolts clockwise, Bell removed what little slack there was. When he could turn the bolts no further, the taut metal straps pushed the device firmly against the metal shell of the gas tank.
When he was finished and the leather bag much lighter, he paused before sliding out from underneath the vehicle. His intent was to exit from the same side he entered. But then he heard DeFaeo’s unmistakable voice.
He was trapped.
Bell could hear DeFaeo and Lenny disagreeing about some aspect of the new office. They came to a stop directly behind the rear liftgate.
“Boss, I’m only telling you what you already know.”
“Which is?” DeFaeo asked.
“The car is a safer place to work—all things considered.”
“Lenny, you’ve already made that argument. Let me see if I can recall? Oh yeah, we have a 360-degree field of vision. We can see anyone come and go. Right?”
DeFaeo was no more impressed with this argument now than when he first heard it. The irony wasn’t lost on Bell as he lay prone beneath the SUV and only feet away from both of them.
“Look, I’m hungry. We’re late as it is. Let’s go, now, please?”
Lenny lead the way to the rear passenger door. The car floor above Bell’s head crept an inch or so closer as DeFaeo’s weight was transferred to the thick, upholstered seat. Lenny closed the door and moved to the back of the vehicle on his way to the driver’s side.
Bell knew he had to make his move now, or risk being discovered—and worse.
As quietly as he could, Bell slithered to his right side—away from the garage’s exterior wall and in the direction of the Honda in the adjacent parking stall. Lenny opened his door and took his seat, starting the engine.
The engine noise prevented Bell from hearing the conversation inside the car. Lenny took the opportunity to look at his employer in the rearview mirror to continue his arguments against the new office space, but not before placing the transmission in reverse. The car lurched rearward for a foot, trapping Bell’s pant leg at the cuff beneath the tire.
Fraternal twins are raised by an ambivalent aunt who provides an unusual childhood experience. One twin leaves home to join the armed forces and is ultimately assigned to a Special Forces unit conducting clandestine operations in North Korea. The death of one his unit members produces an introduction to an organized crime family specializing in murder for hire. The funeral for the family's son and an interest in their daughter brings new blood and methods to the family business.
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Howard Weiner is a recent addition to the literary genre of fiction. Writing mysteries, thrillers, crimes—with a touch of romance—an approach described by one reader as “one bubble off.” Many authors sharing the genre have characters whose fortune is determined by others. They literally have dodged the bullet that otherwise would have killed them. Weiner’s characters make their own fortune—good or bad—and they live with the results.
Weiner’s own experiences are blessed with no small number of noteworthy characters and events. He brings these slightly off-kilter individuals to life, complete with their own stories and dramas. Like the child prodigy in his first novel, "It Is Las Vegas After All", who comes to the starting edge of adulthood and then loses the approval of his doting parents, the sponsorship of one of America’s great institutions of higher education, and gains the enmity of his girlfriend’s father—an international arms dealer—to become a home-grown terrorist operating on U.S. Soil.
A survivor of rich, nuanced bureaucracies in the public and private sector, Weiner writes about characters whose career choices and decisions are morally questionable. A student of personal behavior in complex circumstances, Weiner brings these often cringe-worthy characters to life. Some are amoral, others immoral in a narrow slice of their lives, yet they otherwise look and act like people we all know from work or even childhood. Like one of the female leads in his novel, "Serendipity Opportunity", an out-of-the-box thinker who flunks most of life’s basic relationship tests, yet she is someone you never want pursuing you in the cause of justice. There’s a former foreign security official who uses his protected status as a witness for federal prosecutors to provide cover for his own mayhem and murder in Weiner’s third novel, "Bad Money".
Many of Weiner’s stories are born out of real life events: The mix-up in luggage claim at the airport in, "Bad Money", the chronic high school slacker in "Serendipity Opportunity" whose one stroke of good fortune creates his opportunity to perpetrate a complex series of frauds, or the brilliant student in "It Is Las Vegas After All" who uses his prodigious talents toward an evil end.
As a former federal official, Weiner can neither confirm nor deny having the highest security clearances in classified security programs. Yet, his knowledge of the dark web, criminal organizations, and security organizations takes stories from the popular press to the next level.
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