Skip to content

Book Excerpts…

Excerpt from The Proxy Assassin: Spy Novel Three of The Great American Spy Trilogy

The Proxy Assassin

‘Trust no one’ is what they preach at spy school. But it’s unalloyed bullshit, unless you fancy living in a cave with a crate of K-rations and a Browning automatic. At the end of the day you have to trust somebody.

I decided I would trust Bill Harvey. It had something to do with his love for food and drink. Hitler was a strict vegetarian who didn’t imbibe. Harvey would go to his final reward with a pork chop in one hand and a highball in the other.

And I admire that in a person.

Excerpt from A Despicable Profession: Spy Novel Two of The Great American Spy Trilogy

A Despicable Profession

“Sir, my special kind of cunning is real simple,” I said, leaning forward. “I was doing a decent job in Freiburg and Ulm and Karlsruhe logging troop movements and transmitting weather reports for bomber runs. I figured if I was dead my effectiveness might suffer. And why get croaked carrying out suicide missions dictated by some asshole Case Officer who was snug as a bug in Bern drinking Allen Dulles’ wine cellar dry?

“I wasn’t,” said Jacobson, “but please continue.”

Please continue? Christ, they were shorthanded.

“I have only one job requirement sir. Survival.”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” said Jacobson, drier than my swollen tongue.

Excerpt from A Pure Double Cross: Spy Novel One of The Great American Spy Trilogy

A Pure Double Cross

People are so depressingly predictable. The guy from the gambling club, the scowling guy with the downsloped mug, yanked his nickel-plated .45 from his armpit holster when I mentioned that I was working for the FBI.

The barrel felt warm against my temple. I sniffed and made a face. “Your gun smells like BO.”

He cocked the hammer.


I had my weapon in hand by this time. The one in my right pocket, the .44 Special that Jimmy had given me. I pointed it at the attacker’s head and clicked and clicked and clicked.

Jimmy smiled and swung his pig snout sawed-off in my direction. I said my goodbyes.

The Schooler directed his Beretta at Jimmy’s midsection. “You don’t want to do that Jimmy.”

“Why not?”

Jimmy wore a simian grin that ran up both sides of his face and squeezed his beaked nose down to his chin. He sure looked like he wanted to do it.

Excerpt From Crystal Meth Cowboys

Crystal Meth Cowboys

The naked man sprang after the rookie cop like a satyr on wet hairy legs. Wes Lyedecker threw his arms back to brace himself in the corner. The naked man pounced, grabbing the butt of the Smith and Wesson, straining the leather strap that secured it in the holster. Wes pushed down, his hands skidding on wet flesh.

The naked man looked up at Wes, his face haloed in the yellow lamplight. His eyebrows were plastered flat, a vein in his forehead pounded four times a second and his nose gushed watery mucus all over Wes’ brand new wool uniform shirt. He had a pleading look in his eyes.

Officer Bell raised his baton over his head and, using all the leverage of a long arm on a tall body, RANG the crown of the naked man’s skull like a ball peen hammer on a ten penny nail. The naked man spasmed, splashing sweat in all directions. Bell stepped back, pleased with his effort, waiting for its effect.

The naked man smiled at Bell, bellowed like a bull moose and yanked Wes Lyedecker’s Smith and Wesson free, snapping the leather strap in two.

Excerpt of The Violin Player

The Violin Player

Diatolphetathine causes a dramatic acceleration of the heartbeat. Atriothreynathil constricts the vascular system. The result is akin to connecting a soda straw to a fire hydrant. The blood vessels simply explode.

I listened to Virginia die from the other side of the swinging doors. When she was done I pushed through and damned if the old ho-bag wasn’t still alive, lying on the floor staring up at me, her mouth moving soundlessly, blood spurting from her nose, Walter bellowing mom, mom, mom, mom on the other end of the line.

I stood there until her eyes grew opaque and her breathing ceased. I wanted to say a little prayer – I had memorized a passage from the Dead Sea Scrolls – but the phone was still on so I picked up the wine glass with my gloved hand, rinsed it out thoroughly in the kitchen sink, petted the kitty and left by the back door, making a solemn pledge to do a better job the next time.

© Copyright John Knoerle 2015