The Next One Will Kill You by Neil S. Plakcy is the 1st book in the Angus Green series (Available November 15, 2016).
If Angus Green is going to make it to a second case, he’s needs to survive the first one.
Angus wants more adventure than a boring accounting job, so after graduating with his master’s degree he signs up with the FBI. He’s assigned to the Miami field office, where the caseload includes smugglers, drug runners, and gangs, but he starts out stuck behind a desk, an accountant with a badge and gun.
Struggling to raise money for his little brother’s college tuition, he enters a strip trivia contest at a local bar. But when he’s caught with his pants down by a couple of fellow agents, he worries that his extracurricular activities and his status as the only openly gay agent will crash his career. Instead, to his surprise, he’s added to an anti-terrorism task force and directed to find a missing informant.
It’s his first real case: a desperate chase to catch a gang of criminals with their tentacles in everything from medical fraud to drugs to jewel theft. With every corner in this case—from Fort Lauderdale’s gay bars to the morgue—turning to mayhem, Angus quickly learns that the only way to face a challenge is to assume that he'll survive this one—it’s the next one that will kill him.
Chapter 14- Mardi Gras Beads (pg 166)
Chris walked the team through the basics of White Persian. “Overnight we got confirmation from the legat in Tallinn that this company, Textiil, is connected to a drug manufacturing operation there.”
The FBI had legal attachés, or legats, in various countries around the world. And from all that time spent poring over maps with my dad, I knew that Tallinn was the capital of Estonia. Thanks, Dad.
“On the basis of that information, we’re getting a search warrant approved.” She turned to the SAC. “Sir?”
He stepped up to the podium. “We need to take maximum precautions here, because if this is a drug smuggling operation, those inside the ware “house could be heavily armed. All available personnel are needed for an immediate raid.”
He looked down at the podium and began reading names, giving us our assignments. There were six guys on the SWAT team; they were going in first. I was assigned to bring a laptop with me to inventory whatever was in the warehouse, along with Zolin, a moon-faced Mexican-American from Arizona.
Zolin was a couple of years older than I was. He’d graduated from law school but hated practicing, and had joined the Bureau the year before. When I first arrived in Miami I had hoped to befriend him, as the other junior agent in the office, but he had a wife and a baby. His last name began with an X and no one besides him could pronounce it, so he was usually Agent X, which was kind of cool.
The SAC looked back up. “Gear up and get ready to roll out.”
I ditched my jacket and tie, replacing them with my Kevlar vest and FBI windbreaker, and grabbed my Bureau-issued laptop. Out in the parking lot, I joined a group of agents getting into an SUV. It was a “gray day, a solid mass of cloud cover overhead, humidity in the high double digits. A skein of geese flew over the field office and a pair of great blue herons picked at tiny fish in one of the retention ponds.
Everyone was talking and joking, but the adrenaline level was high. It was the first major raid I’d taken part in, and though it was my information that had led to it happening, I was determined to keep my mouth shut, pay attention, and stay out of trouble.
We drove north on I-75, threading our way through heavy traffic. Two motorcycle cops led a funeral cortege in front of us, constantly circling back and forth from front to rear to make sure the line remained intact, and my heart thumped so loud I was afraid the agents beside me would hear it.
A couple of squad cars from the Broward Sheriff’s Office blocked the access route to the warehouse complex, their overhead lights flashing. I figured we had to be in an unincorporated part of Broward County—one that the BSO patrolled. I didn’t see Ricardo’s SUV in the parking lot.
Our vehicle curled past the deputies “ and pulled up at the rear of the warehouse complex, where it backed up against a canal. A few cars were parked behind other bays, but nothing behind the one where I’d seen Ricardo the day before.
What if I was wrong? Or what if they’d already moved the boxes? Should I have stayed there the day before, called in my information, followed Ricardo as he left?
I took a deep breath. I was only one part of this operation, and I’d done my part.
As the deputies emptied people from the other warehouses and led them off to the side, the other agents and I spilled out. I kept my laptop in a pack on my back, so that my hands were free if I needed to use a radio or a weapon. I was hyped up from the buzz of activity around me.
“Warrant on the way,” Chris Potts said through our radios. “ETA ten minutes.”
When I was a kid, Danny and I fished along the banks of the Lackawanna River, which ran through Scranton, and since moving to South Florida I was often drawn to the ever-present water around me, from ocean to river “While I waited for the warrant to arrive, I walked back toward the canal to watch the water.
I followed the eddies of the current around a half-submerged log until it pushed up against a blue bicycle half in the water along the canal bank. The bike had been smashed, as if it had been run over by a truck, but the purple Mardi Gras beads wrapped around the handlebars were still intact.”
Copyright © 2016 Neil S. Plakcy.
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Neil Plakcy’s fiction has appeared in numerous publications, including Verbsap, Blithe House Quarterly and In The Family, as well as winning first prize in a South Florida magazine contest. He is an assistant professor of English at Broward College and the proud papa of a white golden retriever named Brody.
I look forward to this series featuring Angus Green.