First Sentence: "I want you to steal something for me."
Charlie Howard is a suspense writer. He is also a thief. Charlie is approached by an American who offers him 20,000 euros to steal to monkey figurines from two different men on the same night. Charlie declines but, liking a challenge, decides to go ahead. He finds the first monkey but is interrupted by another, less subtle burglar, while looking for the second. When he returns to the American, he finds him beaten and near death. Charlie is arrested but released and determined to find the Three Wise Monkeys and the secret behind them.
Ewan begins with a very good, intriguing opening chapter and a delightful writing style and voice. Charlie is a likeable, albeit crooked, character and I appreciated the back story Ewan provided. I also enjoyed the discussions Charlie had with his agent in London, Victoria. They've never met; she thinks he looks like his jacket cover photo. Their relationship reminded me of the Richard Diamond television series from the late 1950's and his conversations with Sam (voice of Mary Tyler Moore) whose legs where the only thing you saw.
All of Ewan's characters were well done. Ewan's voice is one wry humor but never out of place. He takes the characters and the action seriously. His sense of place was not as strong as I might have liked, although it did improve as the story went on.
What I didn't particularly care for, or is not my preferred style, was the round-up-all-the-players-and-expose-the-truth, ending. It took away from a story that, up to that point, had been very well plotted and filled with unexpected twists right up to the ending.
Overall, it was a clever, enjoyable book.
THE GOOD THIEF'S GUIDE TO AMSTERDAM (Trad. Mys/Anti-Hero-Charlie Howard-Amsterdam-Cont) - G+
Ewan, Chris - 1st in series
Minotaur Books, 2009, Trade paperback - ISBN: 9780312570828