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Caught Stealing (Henry Thompson Book 1) Kindle Edition
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—HARLAN COBEN, author of No Second Chance
“Caught Stealing reads like The Maltese Falcon on crack. Tarantino meets Hitchcock meets Westlake meets Bukowski in a wild, relentlessly entertaining ride filled with vivid and colorful—but always believable—characters.”
—WALLACE STROBY, author of The Barbed-Wire Kiss
“It’s hard enough for a writer to hit his mark, but Charlie Huston shreds his target with his first bullet fired. A frighteningly assured debut novel.”
—JOHN RIDLEY, author of Stray Dogs and The Drift
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Charlie Huston is the bestselling author of The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death; The Shotgun Rule; the Henry Thompson trilogy, which includes the Edgar Award-nominated Six Bad Things; and the Joe Pitt Casebooks. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, the actress Virginia Louise Smith.
Christian Conn is a classically trained actor. He has performed on stage in theaters across the United States and internationally at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. His audiobook narrations include Roddy Doyle's Oh, Play That Thing and Charlie Huston's Six Bad Things and Caught Stealing. He earned a BFA from Rutgers University and studied at the London Academy of Theatre. Christian lives and works in New York City.--This text refers to the audioCD edition.
- Publisher : Ballantine Books (April 27, 2004)
- Publication date : April 27, 2004
- File size : 535 KB
- Print length : 288 pages
- Word Wise : Enabled
- ASIN : B000FC1LSI
- Language: : English
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #379,111 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Caught Stealing is the first novel dealing with Hank Thompson, who is not a vampire living in New York City, but rather a bartender who once had a shot at the big leagues of baseball before injuring his leg. Now, Thompson has probably the worst luck of any fictional character I've ever read and maybe, just maybe, he reminds me a little bit of myself. Anyway, Hank Thompson is gliding along, keeping his head above water, surviving on day-to-day basis with sore feet and a steady hangover when his next-door neighbor (Russ) knocks on the door one day and gives him a large travel box for animals with Bud the cat in it, asking Hank to take care of his pet while he's out of town. No problem. If anything, Hank is a relatively nice guy and more than willing to help a friend in need. Naturally, things change for the worse a few days later when a number of unusual people start banging on Russ's door in a futile attempt to get hold of him. It isn't long, however, before they eventually start banging on Hank (and I mean this literally) in an effort to discover where Russ has taken off to. Evidently a large amount of money is missing and it looks like Russ is the one who took it. The guys looking for him (a crooked police officer, some Russian hoods, a redheaded psycho, and two very dangerous brothers who know how to hurt people) will do whatever it takes to track Russ down and Hank is all they have at the moment. Of course, Russ didn't run off with the money, and we're talking millions. He simply hid it in a storage unit somewhere in New York City and stuck the key in Bud's box. Before the story is over, however, Hank will be beaten up, his ex-girlfriend will be tortured and killed, and a number of his friends from the bar will be murdered. Still, it takes a lot more to happen before Hank finally decides to start fighting back. As he says when discovering the body of his dead girlfriend, "In a movie or a novel the guy would get mad and go on a killing rampage to get revenge, but all I wanted to do was to curl up under the table and go to sleep." When Hank does get mad enough, he quickly discovers that it's easier to kill somebody than he thought, and he's going to take out as many of the bad guys as possible before they do the tango on him.
Author, Charlie Huston, has a strange and unique style of writing (no quotation marks for the dialogue), but you get use to it rather quickly by getting caught up in the story and the somewhat unlikable character of Hank Thompson. I say unlikable because he's clearly a victim of bad luck and has to react to everything that happens to him. Most literally heroes tend to take the initiative and to act out of self-preservation by taking control of the situation that grips them like a fat lady holding a chicken wing. Hank doesn't do this till almost the end; but, boy, when he does, the bullets start flying. I think because of this his character is much more believable and that the average reader can certainly identify with him. I know that I did. Also, the author displays his extraordinary talent in character development by creating a long list of memorable figures like the two brothers, Ed & Paris, who dress up like cowboys and never hesitate when beating someone to death, or Roman the cop, who reminded me of Denzel Washington in Training Day. The characters of Caught Stealing are utterly realistic in their behavior and idiosyncrasies, the dialogue is smart and sharp and right on the mark, and the description of New York City will have you believing that you're actually there.
Charlie Huston is certainly an author to keep an eye on. I can't wait to start on the second book in the "Hank Thompson" series, Six Bad Things, so that I can find out what's happened to our reluctant hero and how he's holding up. Needless to say, this is a novel that I highly recommend!
This story is VERY well written. The writing is straightforward, conversational and quick. Even without the use of quotation marks or dialog attributions, I had no trouble following it. The writing is what got me to sit through seemingly endless gratuitous violence and the prolific use of the "f-word," (which actually doesn't bother me). I believed this is indeed how each of the characters, Hank, his shaky neighbor, the rotten cop, all the thugs, and Hank's co-horts at the bar where he worked until the first beating got the best of him, spoke this way. In other words, the use of voice is dead-on. Audible. Further, it made me glad I don't hang around in such circles. I don't think Hank ever expected to find himself in this situation either, which makes him all the more likable. We sympathize with him from the start because of his lost dream of being a major league baseball player and then, because of the death of his friend, who died in a car accident when Hank was behind the wheel. It also doesn't hurt that he continually checks in with his parents. In spite of the reeking, bleeding, killing character he becomes, Charlie Huston has the reader rooting for him until the end.
The baseball theme--and a fan's addiction to `his' team--is a clever ploy. (It ties in nicely with Hank's addiction to alcohol.) Bottom line: I simply had to keep turning pages to find out Hank's next move and whether or not his "adopted" cat, Bud, would make it through the ordeal as well. Ultimately, it seems the cat gets the most respect.
Michele Cozzens, Author of A Line Between Friends and The Things I Wish I'd Said.
Top reviews from other countries
How wrong I was! It did take a while to get used to the style of writing but I got hooked and read the whole thing in a day and a half.
This book is a typical lot of things, meaning there is the wrong guy in the wrong place, lots of bad luck, criminals, violence, it's almost a cliché. But the story is so so good.
The man this cathartic spiral of doom revolves around Hank, is so realistically normal, boring and believable that it could be me. Or you. And when things start to get heavy the decisions Hank makes are ones the reader feels they would make lending a real good feel of empathy.
So when the ultraviolence kicks off its a real slap in the face and I found myself reading pages whilst holding my breath, and not interested whether I could work out what was going to happen or whether it was well written, just whether Hank (and the cat) were going to make it.
Great story. Give it a try. I ordered the next two books the night I finished this one.