Plan B: Getting to Know Nick Heller


Did you know Nick Heller used to smoke?

Neither did I, until I wrote “Plan B,” the short story available for free download today for Kindle and Kobo readers.

I don’t write many short stories. “Neighbors,” included in Otto Penzler’s collection AGENTS OF TREACHERY, was my first published short story, though I’ve also written chapters for the audiobooks THE CHOPIN MANUSCRIPT and THE COPPER BRACELET.

But constructing a series character like Nick Heller offers a world of new writing possibilities. In almost any situation I see or read about, I can ask, “What would Nick do?” I’ve also spent a great deal of time thinking about Nick’s previous life, his likes and dislikes, and all the things we know about the people closest to us but never really think about. It’s important for me to know these things about Nick, but only a fraction of it will ever show up in the novels.

That’s why I’m so glad to be able to share “Plan B,” which drops Nick into a dangerous situation far from home. Hearing that Nick had recently saved a kidnapped girl in Boston, a wealthy Ukrainian hires him to rescue his 15-year-old daughter, who’s being held in a Spanish billionaire’s compound in Barcelona. It would be easier to break her out of a high-security prison — but all is not as it seems, which is why Nick always has a Plan B.

“Plan B” is a free download at both and It comes with a bonus excerpt from BURIED SECRETS, which goes on sale June 21. I hope you enjoy the extra time with Nick as much as I did.