The Downside

Thriller / Heist

THE DOWNSIDE
by Mike Cooper
September 2017 – Mysterious Press

The acclaimed author of the Silas Cade Thrillers introduces Finn, an unforgettable blue-collar antihero—and a thief who’s about to learn that when you steal big, there’s always a downside.

In an age of cybercrime, Finn is the last hardhat. He’s a professional thief with a unique specialty: he only steals big things—autoracks, factory lines, machinery. You might call what he does « heavy lifting. » And he’s no stranger to the downside of his chosen profession; he’s done seven years’ hard time to prove it.

Fresh out of prison and flat broke, Finn has a line on his biggest job ever. A beautiful woman with her own agenda has put him back in touch with a shady Wall Street billionaire. The job? Breaking into a private commodities vault and hauling out fifty million dollars worth of the precious metal rhodium. It’s big, it’s heavy, and it’ll pull a lot of exposure. In other words, it’s right up Finn’s alley.

The vault is located underground in a high-security rail yard in New Jersey. The plan? Tunnel in. But there’s only one group that can get it done, and Finn will have to call in the crackerjack team that landed him in prison in the first place: Asher, a cranky oilfield driller; Corman, a bearlike railway man; and Jake, a charismatic machinery expert—joined by Nicola, a female hacker who alternates between white and black hats.

Cracking the most heavily guarded private vault in North America? No problem. Hauling fifty million dollars in precious metal out past guards, dozens of policemen, and an armored SWAT battalion? Even easier. But navigating the betrayals of double-crossing partners, the machinations of a hedge-fund billionaire gone bad, and the ambiguous proposals of a woman with her own agenda? That’s when things get twisty. This is the heist that will truly test Finn’s mettle, and he’ll need nerves of steel just to get out alive. But he’s sure of one thing: This time, there’s got to be an upside.

Mike Cooper is the pseudonym of Michael Wiecek, a former jack-of-all-trades whose jobs have included stints with Boston’s transit agency, on an ambulance, and at a food co-op, capped off by a graduate degree from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a job with Fidelity Investments. Wiecek’s work has received wide recognition, including a Shamus Award, an International Thriller Writers Award nomination, and inclusion in The Best American Mystery Stories 2010.

Publicity and praise

Winner of the inaugural MysteriousPress.com Award

“Fans of Donald Westlake’ s Dortmunder novels will find a lot to like.” — Publishers Weekly starred review

“The inevitable complications, missteps, and double crosses are met with ever more ingenious and desperate workarounds, many involving fresh felonies, side deals, and triple crosses, till you won’t know whom to root for or what difference it makes. A taut caper whose high-tech trappings neatly complement its old-fashioned formula.” —Kirkus Reviews

“A high-tech version of Donald E. Westlake: a caper novel with a comic touch.” —Booklist