Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A thief in time saves...?

kw: book reviews, mysteries

This lawyer knows enough about burglary to make me nervous. Chris Ewan's first novel, The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam follows classic tropes of the genre, including the masterful summing-up in the last two chapters, by the protagonist/thief. This thief, though, is a successful mystery writer, who claims to supplement his writing income by his "other work."

The trouble with reviewing a mystery novel is to avoid giving too much away. The first idea of interest to me here is the semi-underworld repository of ultra-secure safety deposit boxes. The second is the thief as detective; though it has been done before, seldom was it done this well. Mr. Ewan has produced a plot with only a bit of implausibility, with turns enough to satisfy the most exacting maze-following reader. Just ask yourself as you read: Who is the girl, really; who is the policeman, really; who is the real thief here?

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