Customer Review

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Semi-Pros, February 13, 2012
This review is from: The Professionals (A Stevens and Windermere Novel) (Hardcover)
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Four kids graduate from college, three with useless degrees, and the other with an attitude not well suited for the world of professional software development. Rather than go back to live with parents, or join in the latest social protest, they decide to try their hand at kidnapping. But rather than using the old school method of asking for millions in ransom, they take a page from the "take a little, leave a little" school of burglary. They ask for modest ransoms, in the high 5- or low 6-figures only. That way, the victim won't really miss the money, and probably won't go to the police afterwards.

Things go splendidly until they accidentally snatch a "made man", and their careers take a turn for the worse. Before long, both the FBI and the mob are chasing them, and the hunters have become the hunted. Unfortunately, they find themselves ill-prepared to handle the transition.

This is a book where most things work, but there are some rough edges. The characters are well-fleshed, but sometimes behave in ways that don't make sense. The two good guys, Carla with the FBI and MN state trooper Kirk, find themselves grappling with sexual tension for no obvious reason. The bad guys transition from happy-go-lucky kids to ruthless killers with barely a twinge of conscience. A stray rich kid gets involved because, like, she's bored? The locations are pretty generic and lacking local colour. Portland could have been Seattle, Detroit could have been Newark. Any out-of-towners driving from O'Hare to Joliet, as the good guys did, would have certainly noticed and commented on the Army Ammunition Plant as they passed by on the Tri-State; things like that would have given the book a more authentic and gritty feel.

I'm not sure if this was intended as a social commentary on the declining morals of today's youth, or a remix of the Bonnie and Clyde saga. We're just left hanging as to what we should take away from all this. Overall it's an interesting book, but it could have been a very good book with a bit more fine tuning.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 25, 2012 4:21:37 AM PST
bobbewig says:
Excellent review but I'm going to pass on reading this book. So many books, so little time!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2012 9:19:45 AM PST
Thanks! The book is good, but not a top 10%er, so with limited time, you can safely skip it.
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