Excerpt from One Wonders

Book I in the Silas McKay Suspense Series,
by Luana Ehrlich

Chapter 1

Monday, November 28

I rolled the window down an inch to get some fresh air in the car, but I couldn’t tell it helped all that much. I could still smell Buck Greiner’s heavy aftershave.

Greiner, who had a tendency to be a little too aggressive about everything, including his personal hygiene, was in the driver’s seat next to me.

At the moment, he had his telephoto lens trained on a coffee shop across from where we were parked in front of a hardware store in a strip mall in Plano, Texas, a suburb of Dallas.

He was so intent on keeping his eye on the two men inside the coffee shop, he didn’t seem to notice when I lowered the window in order to dispel the pungent odor.

“Taylor hasn’t given Quan anything yet. They’re both just sitting there drinking their coffee and jabbering away,” Greiner said. “It’s gonna happen, though. I’m telling you. I know it’s gonna happen.”

I picked up my binoculars and trained them on the men inside. “Taylor looks worried.”

“If Taylor gives Quan that flash drive, he should be worried.”

Bruce Taylor was employed by Graham Technology Systems, a computer service company located in North Dallas. The security chief at GTS suspected Taylor of passing proprietary information to a Chinese technology company run by the Chinese government.

Liang Quan, a student at The University of Texas at Dallas, had ties to the Chinese government, and Greiner assumed Taylor was about to give Quan a flash drive containing exclusive GTS data.

In turn, he suspected Taylor was about to be the recipient of a substantial amount of cash from Quan.

It had taken Buck Greiner and his team several months to ferret out the person at GTS who was handing over the company’s secrets to the Chinese government, and when Greiner called me last night to tell me they’d been able to positively identify the person as Bruce Taylor, he invited me to join him today to watch the transaction take place.

I immediately cleared my schedule to do so.

I figured Greiner had to be sure it was about to happen; otherwise, he wouldn’t have asked his supervisor—that would be me, Silas McKay—to witness the handover of the flash drive to Quan.

Greiner and I worked for Discreet Corporate Security Services, where I was head of operations, and he ran the surveillance division.

DCSS was exactly what the name implied, and although Austin Tomlin, our CEO, had written a two-page mission statement for our public relations department, the first sentence in the first paragraph summarized it well enough.

“The mission of DCSS is to provide our corporate clients with professional, discreet, and thorough investigations using interrelated systems in order to safeguard our clients’ assets, people, and brands.”

Graham Technology Systems was one of DCSS’s corporate clients, which was the reason Greiner and I were sitting inside a stuffy Nissan sedan in a strip mall parking lot trying to protect the assets of GTS from being compromised by one of its own employees.

“There he goes,” Greiner said, using the rapid repeat mode on his expensive camera to take dozens of photographs of Taylor scooting a flash drive across the table toward Quan.

Continue reading One Wonders, the new Silas McKay Suspense Series by
Luana Ehrlich, in the boxed set, Winter Deceptions, available here on Amazon.

Book II, Two Believe, is available for preorder and will release on September 22.