This is one of those weird weeks that’s been inundated with appointments, the kind of situations where one appointment suddenly becomes three because more work or information is needed. Time constraints have kept me from coming up with a new topic this week, so I’m sharing a short excerpt of my latest Casey Holland mystery, The Blade Man, which was released in February 2020.
I was thinking about the book last week, because June 15th was the tenth anniversary of an infamous day in Vancouver history, the Stanley Cup riot. For those not of you not familiar with hockey, the Vancouver Canucks were hosting the Boston Bruins in game seven of the Stanley Cup final in 2011. There’d been an electrifying and intense winner-take-all buildup to the game, and, well, the Canucks lost.
Some of the fans didn’t take it well and begin throwing tantrums in the streets. Drunkenness, anger, and disappointment escalated into a violent mob who took to burning cars and looting buildings. People were hurt. It was not our city’s finest moment, but the following day all sorts of people arrived and began cleaning up the glass and debris. No one asked them to. They just did it.
That riot inspired the opening for The Blade Man, but my story takes place in Coquitlam, BC, a municipality east of Vancouver. Here’s an excerpt from the opening of the book:
“Wesley, look out!” Casey Holland ducked behind the bus driver’s seat and glanced over her shoulder. “Everyone down, now!”
Casey didn’t know why Wesley bothered with the yelling or the horn. Minutes ago, a mob of teens and young adults had overtaken the road, ignoring his earlier blasts. Why would they listen now?
The Molotov cocktail exploded on the road, rocking the bus slightly. Somewhere outside, a woman screamed. Casey peeked out the window to see a woman running from the flames flaring up just a few feet from the bus. If they had to evacuate, she’d make damn sure that the half dozen passengers who’d decided to stay on board got out of here safely. A decade of security work had taught her to stay calm in tense situations. She’d be deceiving herself if she wasn’t worried, though. A drunken mob was a new experience she’d rather live without.
“That was too damn close!” A middle-aged passenger glared at Casey. “I thought you called the cops.”
“Then where the hell are they? The RCMP detachment’s just two blocks from here.”
“Manpower shortage, most likely. From what I hear there’s trouble at the rally in the park.”
“Then they should have called for reinforcements by now,” the woman grumbled as she opened a window. “It’s too hot in here. Don’t you have air conditioning on this bus?”
Casey admitted it was unusually warm for mid-May. “Sorry, no. This is an older model.”
“Stupid company,” the woman muttered. “This is the last time I’ll ride an MPT bus.”
Casey hoped so. She stood and used her phone to record the broken glass and burning rag on the road. She zeroed in on the five culprits in ball caps, hoodies, and bandana-covered faces who were laughing and high-fiving one another. The stench of gasoline and smoke made her cough. She’d closed all the windows when the trouble started, but she wasn’t going to make anyone close them again in this heat, at least not right away.
. . .
If you’re interested in reading more, you can find the book at these sites:
Amazon universal link: mybook.to/TheBladeMan
Apple books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1495092401