Charlie Howard travels the globe writing suspense novels for a living. To supplement his income - and keep his hand in - Charlie has a small side business: stealing for a very discreet clientele on commission. When a mysterious American offers Charlie 20,000 euros to steal two small monkey figurines to match the one he already has, Charlie is suspicious; the job seems too good to be true, and of course, it is. He soon finds the American beaten nearly to death, while the third figurine has disappeared. Back in London, his literary agent, Victoria (who is naive enough to believe he actually looks like his jacket photo), tries to talk him through the plot problems in both his latest manuscript and in his real life - but Charlie soon finds himself caught up in a caper reminiscent of a Cary Grant movie, involving safe-deposit boxes, menacing characters, and a beautiful damsel in distress.
©2007 Chris Ewan (P)2011 AudioGo
You can never go wrong with Simon Vance as a narrator and his reading adds a dash to an enjoyable but not memorable story. Charlie Howard is a bit of a throw back to the 60s, as are most of the other characters. A bit of Robert Wagner in It Takes a Thief. The story could easily be set 40 years ago instead of now except transactions are done in Euros. I don't know that I will follow Charlie on his larceny tour of world cities, I didn't feel much like I was in Amsterdam and I prefer tales that bring the setting alive and pull it into the story.
Reading, for me, is one of life's greatest pleasures. I love discovering new authors. My favorite genre is suspense/mystery fiction.
After reading (and loving) his most recent novel, Safe House, I worked backwards and bought this book, the first of his "The Good Thief's Guide to...." and that's when I discovered that I also love Charlie Howard, Ewan's dashing, but hardly angelic, main character.
Charlie's a writer of crime mysteries, and it's no wonder because Charlie himself enjoys a little larceny in between writing projects. Although his moral compass is a tad off-kilter, he's basically a very likable fellow with a sharp wit and a non-violent streak. It's not about the haul really, but about the thrill and excitement. OK, so it's about the loot too, but that thrill and excitement stuff is important.
Charlie's currently in Amsterdam penning his latest book, but he's having trouble with it. So, while seeking inspiration, he takes a break to indulge in his favorite pasttime, but things go terribly awry, and as usual, Charlie gets involved in a spiderweb of tangled intrigue.
As I write this review, I'm finishing the final book in the Good Thief series, and I'm delighted to say that each book has been pure fun! I'm so thankful that I discovered Chris Ewan. It's been a wonderful journey.
A librarian who loves to read, whether in print or in the air
Simon Vance's narration was great...but the story didn't offer up enough of Amsterdam, and the mystery itself was a little predictable.
Grey Cats Mom
I listen to books during my commute to work and when I'm working around the house. I pick books that are entertaining, not ones that require a lot of concentration, and brain power. This book entertained me, and I looked forward to listening to it.
Excellent depiction of the varied accents required in this book.
Yes, we recently were on vacation in Amsterdam.
Tell us about yourself!
This is another "try something different" for me. The publisher's summary and the always superb narrator Simon Vance make it sound intriguing.
This story has none of the intense psychological aura nor the graphic ongoing violence that many of the mystery thrillers have. Yes, I do listen to them, but it takes a few days to come back to my reality to move on. When this was over, I was delighted with the outcome which has a Sherlock Holmes feel to it. The characters are varied and each has an ulterior motive or two for their behavior. Our "Good Thief" must sort it all out, earn his freedom, and move on to Paris.
I plan to move on to the next installment in the series.
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