Excerpt from The Bricklayer by Noah Boyd, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Bricklayer

A Novel

by Noah Boyd

The Bricklayer
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Feb 2010, 400 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2011, 416 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


The bricklayer slowly lowered his head.

Next time, meat, definitely the drive-through.

Shielded by the woman hostage, Ronson opened the front door enough to expose her and yelled a demand for the cops to leave and, even though he couldn’t see any, to clear out the snipers. Almost before he finished speaking, a loudspeaker ordered him to surrender. Ronson cocked his gun and pressed it against the side of the woman’s head. “You’ve got five minutes, and then I’m going to begin shooting people, starting with this old goat. Understand?”

Stillson couldn’t hear exactly what was being said and took a couple of steps back, trying to get a more advantageous angle to see and hear. Then he heard something he couldn’t immediately identify—a couple of deep liquid glugs.

The watercooler!

He swung his gun back toward the bricklayer, who was up off the floor and coming at him, just a couple of steps away. In front of him, he held the almost-full five-gallon water bottle sideways, pressed tightly between his hands to keep the water from escaping.

Stillson fired.

The bottle exploded, absorbing the impact of the bullet. It was all the time the man needed to close the distance between himself and the robber. In a blur, he stepped sideways, minimizing himself as a target, and grabbed the barrel of the gun, twisting it outward in a move that seemed practiced. With Stillson’s wrist bent back to its limit and his finger being dislocated inside the trigger guard, the gun was easily ripped out of his hand. As the robber started flailing, the man used the weapon to strike him once in the temple cleanly, dazing him.

Then the bricklayer grabbed him and with relative ease hurled him through one of the bank’s full-length windows. Amid a shower of glass, Stillson skidded across the concrete and lay unconscious. Fluttering in the air and then landing on top of him was the rubber ear.

The bricklayer ran to the wall that separated the front door from the rest of the bank’s interior and flattened himself against it. The woman hostage was pushed around the corner of the alcove, followed by Ronson, who was screaming at Stillson, demanding to know what he was shooting at. The mason’s hand flashed forward, and the muzzle of the gun he had taken from Stillson was pressed against Ronson’s throat.

Ronson hesitated, and the man said, “Do me a favor—try it. . . . Do everyone a favor.” Ronson recognized the seething tone; he had heard it many times in prison; this man was willing to kill him. Ronson dropped his gun. As the man bent down to pick it up, the bank robber started to run toward the opening left by the shattered window, but the bricklayer caught him. Ronson swung and caught him full on the jaw, but it didn’t seem to have any effect. The mason countered with a straight right to the middle of the robber’s face, snapping his head back violently and buckling his knees. The bricklayer grabbed him, turned, and launched him through the adjoining window, shattering it as well.

Outside, one of the reporters yelled to his cameraman, “Did you get it? Both of them?”

“Oh, yeah. Every beautiful bounce.”

Suddenly the front door flew open and the hostages came streaming out, running past the police line and into the safety of the crowd. While one group of officers ran up to search and handcuff the two gunmen, a SWAT team rushed into the bank, leapfrogging tactically to secure the building and ensure there were no more robbers. It was empty.

With the aid of a couple of bullhorns, the police rounded up the hostages and herded them back inside. Each told the same story: that the man in the gold-colored Carhartts and black shirt was the one who had disarmed both robbers. When the detectives asked the witnesses to point him out, they were astonished to find that the bricklayer had vanished.

Excerpted from The Bricklayer by Noah Boyd. Copyright © 2010 by Noah Boyd. Excerpted by permission of William Morrow. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: All We Have Left
    All We Have Left
    by Wendy Mills
    September 11, 2001 is a date that few Americans will ever forget. It was on this day that our ...
  • Book Jacket: A Great Reckoning
    A Great Reckoning
    by Louise Penny
    Canadian author Louise Penny is back with her twelfth entry in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache ...
  • Book Jacket: Homegoing
    Homegoing
    by Yaa Gyasi
    It's all very well to challenge people to be the masters of their own destiny, but when you&#...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Who Said...

If every country had to write a book about elephants...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay:
$400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.