THE GOOD THIEF'S GUIDE TO AMSTERDAM - Chris Ewan
THE GOOD THIEF'S GUIDE TO AMSTERDAM is exactly the tonic required for a crime fiction fan in dreary, cold winter. Sure it's set in slightly more exotic cold Amsterdam, but the tone of the book is just on the cheeky side, a little bit light-hearted, a touch of the romp. It is a good tale told by the central character - career thief, crime fiction author, the indefatigable Charlie Howard.
After the mysterious American dangles the job of stealing two (of the three of "wise" fame) uninspiring little monkey figurines, Charlie is initially pretty underwhelmed. But once a thief, always a thief and even though the target's don't inspire much interest - the motive for wanting them is very intriguing. They get even more intriguing as the American turns up dead; somebody takes it upon themselves to kidnap and rough up Charlie; and it doesn't hurt that the very attractive blonde from the bar is involved as well.
THE GOOD THIEF'S GUIDE is very much centered around Charlie who narrates all of the action (and performs his own stunts). As with any book where the central narrator is the central character, you have to be able to get on with this character. Charlie is one of those slightly irreverent, cheeky chappy sorts of blokes - good at being a burglar but balanced nicely by being the sort of person that actually feels it when he's roughed up by the baddies. And all the time he is finishing off his final manuscript, and there's something very endearing about the idea that he can crack most safes, open most locks, but fictionally - he can't organise a briefcase. The title also hints at the possibility of a guide book, it's not. There's a feeling of the setting, but it's not a Tourist Guide.
Quick to read, THE GOOD THIEF'S GUIDE was light-hearted but not light-weight and you definitely have to hope that the move to a new city means a new Guide is on the way.
Charlie Howard doesn't just write books about a career thief, he also happens to be one.
In Amsterdam working on his latest novel, 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 a mistake he might have made.
|Review||THE GOOD THIEF'S GUIDE TO AMSTERDAM - Chris Ewan||
|Friday, June 27, 2008|
|Blog||Currently Reading - The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam, Chris Ewan||
|Tuesday, June 24, 2008|