Billy Chownyk has just graduated with a Master in Computer Science and Engineering Degree. He is one of the best software development and network security students the university has ever seen, but Billy has no plan to hunt for a job.
He spent his youth behind a keyboard. Now, he is in the hands of gangbangers, hackers and nefarious men hunting for shortcuts to the good life. Everyone wants a piece of his talent.
Follow the activities of this Chicagoland crew as they perpetrate identity theft, penetrate corporate firewalls, engage in devious corporate espionage and commit to bold attacks on the credit card industry.
High-Rise Crew: Dirty Money is a modern crime novel, the first release in the High-Rise Crew Trilogy, a series that takes the reader on a wild ride through black hat territory on the way to corporate digital security and the brink of cyber warfare. You’ll come to love the arc of Billy and his associates as they gradually transform into the heroes we will one day need. Tim Brost also writes fiction about the lives of an international arms dealer and his associates in the Trade Series.
Updated August 5, 2016
Two battle-hardened men of Middle-Eastern descent deplane at Changi Airport in Singapore. They walk to a departure gate for the Island of Penang, northwest coast of Malaysia near the southern tip of Thailand.
When they arrive a man in a Yankees cap drives them through dark streets to a dockyard known locally as the Weld Quay Clan Jetties. They park out of view behind a weathered warehouse. The driver hands the men a sealed envelope and points them toward one of the nearby docks. When the driver leaves they read Perso-Arabic script beneath a streetlamp. Waves lap against moorings in the near distance. Next to the warehouse the air is densely humid and laden with the smell of salt brine, fish and diesel fuel.
They roll and light cigarettes then walk to the end of the wooden dock where they throw the note into the water and wait for passage north, across the border into Thailand.
A fishing boat arrives minutes later. The boat’s gunwale slaps hard against the dock’s edge as the captain frantically signals for the men to board. When they are on the boat they pass through the wheelhouse and climb downward into the musty berth, out of sight of prying eyes.
This stage of their journey ends hours later at the mouth of the to Reang River in Southern Thailand. The captain, like the driver before him, hands them an envelope. They read it, discard it into the water, and wait.
A long-tail riverboat arrives to carry them upriver. The breeze they enjoyed on open water yields to thick inland air.
They travel into the heart of farmland and are given final instructions beneath a gondola at the edge of the river. Another driver takes them north into Bangkok and they wait for final instructions near the Victory Monument in the Ratchathewi district. The driver nervously rolls beads through his fingers. Joggers pass within feet of the van oblivious to what is about to happen.
A green and yellow taxi arrives, accompanied by two motorcycles. The man in the taxi drops keys and a phone on the seat before he walks away. The assassins take his place in the taxi.
The phone between them rings at 0706. As instructed they receive their final instructions from the caller and enter the stream of traffic on Phahonyothin Road. They drive slowly by crowded shops and sidewalks on their left and the massive concrete pillars of the Bangkok Transit System to their right. Bangkok is a busy, crowded, industrious and inviting city, especially in the morning.
Driving slowly past the Thai Border Police Headquarters, the driver makes the shape of a pistol with his right hand and points his angry fingers across his chest at the guard shack. He pretends to fire a round. His partner laughs. As instructed, they drive slowly and watch the sidewalk for a man in a green shirt and Yankees cap. They find him standing in front of an open-air coffee shop. The spotter sees them too, and acknowledges their arrival by removing his cap and turning deliberately toward the open mouth of the café where a swarm of morning customers sip coffee, drink tea and eat pastries.
A Colonel from the Thai Border Police is in line there with his aides. The assassins pull to the curb and park a few meters from the café crowd. The driver turns off the engine and throws his keys under the seat. The motorcycles pull up next to them and idle their engines as the assassins climb on. They speed away.
Six seconds later the taxi explodes, cratering the street and sending shrapnel into the crowd at velocities approaching 20,000 feet per second. Twenty-three people die instantly. Seventy-nine others suffer injuries. Windows rattle half a kilometer away
The man who meticulously planned and financed the attack watches from the window of a luxury hotel nearby. Dust, smoke and ash rise into the sky and drift north. Within minutes, every television station in the city reports on the most devastating Bangkok terrorist event of the year – thus far.