Conflict of Interest – Sample Sunday

September 4, 2011 SampleSunday

Conflict of Interest

Work can be murder…

A new job, a fresh start, and things are looking up for Harry. Maybe going straight isn’t so hard.

He didn’t expect to stumble over a job aimed at his new employer, for the kind of money a crook could retire on. It should be simple enough: tell the police, let them arrest the criminals, claim a reward. Sorted.

Except Harry’s not a snitch – and it’s being organised by his mate…

Conflict of Interest is a crime novella (30,000 words) and the sequel to The Docks. Currently it is available at $0.99.

Here’s a short exerpt from the first chapter for Sample Sunday:

Climbing out of the small window was harder than climbing in had been, but then I had the cash box under my fleece. Watching carefully through the small gap, I checked the alley was empty as best I could. Once the security camera was pointed the other way I slid my legs out, breathing in and forcing myself through the gap. The cash box dug painfully into my ribs, then went through. As my feet hit the tarmac I looked up at the back of the camera and grinned. Quickly I headed towards it, planning to wait while it panned passed the side of the alley and walk out in the blind spot. Then I just needed to turn the corner, walk to the little cash-let office I was working from and drop off the proceeds of my second break-in of the night. Simple.

“Gimme your money.” OK, it should have been simple, but things so rarely go as planned. I stopped and looked at them. One of the risks of a job like mine – wandering around at night in dark alleys – was running into idiots like this. There were two this time, all designer clothes and attitude, waving these pathetic little penknives like they thought I’d faint. Usually I’d either have gone along with it or thrown a empty wallet in the street and given them a thumping for their trouble. Right now I wasn’t just carrying my money and, after all the fun this evening, I wasn’t handing my haul off to anyone.

“Make me.” I grinned, curling my hands into fists. Any excuse for a rumble. They actually took me up on it, I’ll give them that. Too bad they weren’t very good.

They both attacked together, but a step to the side put them in each others’ way. As the first turned, waving the short blade at arm’s length in front of him like a sword, I grabbed his wrist in one hand and punched him. His mate tried to push past him, but a hefty shove sent my attacker reeling into him and they went down in a tangle of limbs. As they pulled apart, scrabbling to their feet, I sniggered. The first to his feet didn’t run; he charged, leaving the other guy still trying to get up.

This time he tried to close, and I let him. Grabbing the knife arm, I swung two punches into his gut, grabbed his belt and, as he reeled, my knee came upwards hard enough to lift him off the ground. Between bar brawls and prison, I don’t believe in fighting fair. He folded, eyes rolling upwards, whimpering faintly. There was a pitiful clatter as he dropped his knife. I let go, stepping back as he collapsed. His mate was on his feet, looking sick. As he turned to run, I yelled.

“Hey! He knows where you live.” I kicked the whimpering lump on the ground. His friend stopped running, and looked back, the light dawning. “Now. You’re going to come back here and we’ll all wait for the cops. ‘K?”

As he reluctantly walked back, I wondered where the security guards were. A brawl this close to the side entrance and they should either have sealed the building and called the cops or investigated and moved the problem on. Instead there was no sign of them.
The penknife was by my boot. Carefully I bent down, picked it up by the blade, and stepped away, just in case either of them decided to be stupid. The entrance was behind me and I backed slowly towards it, feeling for the edge of the steps as I put each foot down. Contact would let me know I was safe, but the steps could also trip me, and two on one with their victim sprawling even this pair couldn’t mess it up.
“Are you alright?” The girl’s voice came from behind me, and she sounded terrified. I edged round until I could see both muggers and the door. The night receptionist was clutching her phone, the heavy entry door ajar.

“Yes, thanks.” I replied. “Could you get help?”

“I’ve called the police!” Her voice was shrill and scared. As I stepped towards her she darted inside and shut the door. Locks clicked. Smart bird.

“Can you call Mr. Wyatt as well?” I raised my voice, hoping to be heard through the letterbox. Inside, visible through the glass, she paused at the owner’s name.

“Why?” I grinned at her.

“I’ve got your Accounts Department’s cash box in my bag.”

To find out what happens next, you can read a longer sample or purchase the book at Smashwords

Conflict of Interest Website