Marked by tragedy, traumatized at the age of eight, Michael, now 18, is no ordinary young man. Besides not uttering a single word in 10 years, he discovers the one thing he can somehow do better than anyone else. Whether it's a locked door without a key, a padlock with no combination, or even an 800 pound safe...he can open them all.
It's an unforgivable talent. A talent that will make young Michael a hot commodity with the wrong people and, whether he likes it or not, push him ever closer to a life of crime. That is, until he finally sees his chance to escape, and with one desperate gamble risks everything to come back home to the only person he ever loved, and to unlock the secret that has kept him silent for so long.
Steve Hamilton steps away from his Edgar Award-winning Alex McKnight series to introduce a unique new character, unlike anyone you've ever seen or heard in the world of crime fiction.
©2010 Steve Hamilton; (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
"Hypnotic...a proven master of suspense moves in a brand new direction - and the result is can't-put-it-down spectacular." (Lee Child)
"I haven't read a book this captivating in a long time. The Lock Artist is gutsy, genuine and, flat out, a great read. You won't be disappointed." (Michael Connelly)
Pros: interesting story line about a unique topic, told in a creative out-of-sequence narrative, good reader. Cons: a bit sappy with teenage love thrown into what otherwise would be a hard-boiled crime novel, characters were a bit overblown and cartoonish, a few of the character voices were a little annoying.
I believe a reviewer should finish a book before submitting a review. What do you think?
I really liked this book. 17 year old "boxman" Mike is mute due to a traumatic experience at age 8. He's an artist and a believer in love. His package store/bar owning single uncle raised Mike, giving him the best life he could. Mike loves to draw and withdraw, and yet he seeks love and acceptance. Mike's infatuation with a girl leads him to get involved with some very scary guys, they need his talent for lock picking and safe cracking, hence the name"boxman". The forward and back flow works and the plot is compelling. The love story is dear and sometimes heartbreaking. This book just had me, it wasn't the most well written, but I really liked it.
Combine a great story with a great narrator and you have a great audio book. The story is easy to follow and sucks you in almost immediately. Very well paced. The mechanics of lock picking are interesting and the main character is likable. Just the right amount of suspense and a few plot twists thrown in. A good solid work that delivers. I've listened to a lot of audio book fiction and this has been one of my favorites.
Just finished the truly great...and exciting...story of The Lock Artist. Narration is outstanding. Along with "Wolf Hall" it is a perfectly told version of a great book. One of the NYTBR 2010 top 100 books, it is a coming of age...adventure...crime novel...love story...about a boy who goes mute via traumatic event and falls into a netherword where he becomes a "box man" for hire. No spoiler details here...Just great writing...and reading. I have listened to well over 150 books...some for fifteen minutes before bailing out...and some for over 20 hours of pleasure...this is one not to miss. I'm recommending this audio version over the book...hard to imagine that reading is better than this particular narration.
"... there are times when silence is a poem." - John Fowles, the Magus ^(;,;)^
I liked this 'Boxman' Bildungsroman (or Safecracking Künstlerroman), I just didn't really love it. Hamilton builds an interesting character, throws him into an alternating narrative arc (weaving backstory and primary narrative), but then makes the primary story a predictable no-exit, locked-box mystery. That said, I still listened to it in almost one sitting. Anyway, it was compelling and interesting, but just seemed a tad gimmicky/forced at times, and a little too easy to crack. Probably a 3 star novel and maybe a 4 star mystery.
A dark secret is alluded to from the beginning, which is guaranteed to keep many listeners intrigued. But the story itself is peopled with unappealing characters, including the protagonist. The plot proceeds rather dully for long stretches, and the love story is simplistic and kind of sophomoric. After slogging through to the end, I decided it wasn't worth the time I gave to it.
All mysteries all the time, that's what I read. I joined Audible when I started having a long commute. Now I listen everywhere!
Thanks, Steve Hamilton, for delivering a truly suspenseful book with a different kind of "hero". I thoroughly enjoyed this one, from beginning to end!
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
Very slow start through the first half of the book. Bouncing back and forth in time periods is not usually a problem, but in this case it seems to hold the whole story back - can't get the momentum going in any of the story lines. The minute details of lock opening became tedious and repetitive. Pace picked up sufficiently in the last 2-3 hours to provide a decent ending. But overall I had a hard time relating to any of the characters. The first person narration forces us to see everything through the jaded, skeptical viewpoint of the protagonist so everything seems bleak. The romance is not enough to offer any light, in fact it adds to the overall fatalistic tone. Was good enough to finish the book but not to recommend.
This book is one of the best "listens" I've experienced in a long time, and all the members of my book group really liked it as well. Perhaps it should not be classified as a mystery (as one reviewer complains), but it does have elements of mystery. Regardless, the plot is clever, the main character / narrator is engaging (he's a guy you can pull for!), and the chronology of the story is effective. I like that The Lock Artist is not like any other book I've read or listened to. I highly recommend it. Now I'm only hoping for a sequel.
"The Lock Artist" will keep you spellbound. Here Steve Hamilton creates a character about whom we care, then puts him into an impossible situation. You will enjoy watching how young Mike works his way through this predicament, while maintaining his integrity. Mr. Hamilton employs deft writing skills to define multi-dimensional characters and to envision the world through which they move. MacLeod Andrews does a magnificent job narrating this novel, creating unique voices for all of the characters, so that we can easily distinguish who is talking. Even if Mr. Hamilton hadn't crafted such an intriguing plot, I would still recommend "The Lock Artist" in audio, just so you could hear a master actor at work. If you don't mind being kept up late at night ??? to find out what happens next ??? buy "The Lock Artist."
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