Thick as Thieves
Review: After years of meticulous preparation, the execution of a $100 million heist fails to go off quite as planned in Thick as Thieves, a novel of suspense by Peter Spiegelman.
Carr is a thief. And a very good one. He makes plans, backup plans, contingency plans, all with an eye on a successful outcome. He specializes in stealing cash or highly liquid assets that are hard to trace once stolen. And he only steals from those who have obtained their riches through illegal or illicit means. But he doesn't work alone. He is, at heart, a manager, working behind the scenes to coordinate the actions of the members of his team. His employer, if you will, a man named Boyce, finances the planning stages of a job for a significant cut of the proceeds afterwards. Boyce now wants Carr to pull off his biggest job yet: to steal $100 million from a rogue hedge fund manager operating out of the Cayman Islands.
Simply stated, Thick as Thieves is a superior crime novel. The storyline is as intricately crafted as Carr's plan is for the heist. Scenes that depict a crime in progress are absolutely riveting, with such descriptive narrative that visual images are imprinted into the reader's mind. The plot races forward, pausing only briefly now and then for Carr to do a little bit of introspective reflection — which includes a nagging feeling that he doesn't know the whole truth surrounding the death of his predecessor — and to deal with his aging father, who is suffering from dementia. The characters are all imbued with unique personalities, and given that all are "bad guys" to one degree or another, part of the thrill here is trying to decide who is actually less bad than another.
As good as Thick as Thieves is, and it really is a superlative novel, there are a couple minor drawbacks that merit note. One is the jarring jumps from the present to the past and back again. Many readers will have to stop and rewind to the point of transition to keep the timelines straight. And then there's the slightly disappointing ending that relies on a heavily overused plot device, which seems merely ordinary, even out of place, in this otherwise singularly devised novel.
Acknowledgment: Knopf Doubleday provided a copy of Thick as Thieves for this review.
Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Thick as Thieves: Massachusetts, Cayman Islands
— ♦ —
Thick as Thieves by Peter Spiegelman
Publication Date: July 2011
List Price: $24.95
— ♦ —
Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
Mysterious Reviews is a Division of
The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books
and a Business Unit of the
Omnimystery Family of Mystery Websites