Shortlisted for the CrimeFest Last Laugh Award for best humorous crime novel. Charlie Howard doesn’t just write books about a career thief, he also happens to be one. In Amsterdam working on his latest book, Charlie is approached by a mysterious American who asks him to steal two apparently worthless monkey figurines from two separate addresses on the same night. At first he says no. Then he changes his mind. Only later, kidnapped and bound to a chair, the American very dead and a spell in police custody behind him, does Charlie begin to realise how costly his mistake might have been. But for Charlie only three things matter. Can he clear his name? Can he get away with the haul of a lifetime? And can he solve the gaping plot-hole in his latest novel?
©2011 Chris Ewan (P)2011 BBC WW
This was a surprise. A light detective novel, written from the other side of the fence: the thieve's side. The plot initially seems simple, but slowly gets complicated enough to make it a good novel and witty enough to keep you smiling. The circular self-reference of the writer-thief turned detective is great. The performance is very good and makes the whole book shine. I will be looking for more of Chris Ewan's and Simon Vance's books.
Chacaters, other than the “Good Thief”, are reasonably read, but Charlie Howard sounds like he’s always sitting back and responding blandly. The narrator, Charlie, and Charlie speaking are of one tone; supercilious, would be a good enough descriptive for me; cadence is a bit repetitious as well, no narrative pulse.
I’m not sure if it is the writing, or the reader, but I never developed an interest in any of the characters; none of them made me care about them.
It wasn’t very long so I read to the end.
The story idea and plotting were quite good.
"A good start to the series"
I really enjoyed this book and would listen to it again. The narrative was excellent and the story moved along at a good pace.
My favourite character was Rutherford. The way Simon Vance said 'My Dear Boy!' was great!
"Lightweight but pleasant thriller"
Nicely narrated thriller of a professional thief who also writes crime fiction. A little too slick and you never doubt that he will get away with it. One can detect the Raffles influence in this novella.
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