Archive for the ‘Among Thieves’ Category

AmongThievesAn author friend of mine says that you should point out the positives of a book even if overall the book is not that great. Unfortunately, sometimes the only positive you can muster up is the fact that you’ll never have to read the book again and it can immediately go in the recycle pile. And so it is with Among Thieves by John Clarkson. Because, in my mind, the only people who would like this book are those who like bloody fights, guns, broken bones, drugs and perverted sex and I can thankfully say I’m not one of them. I won’t sully the mystery genre by calling this a mystery. It is merely 400+ pages of fighting, talking about fighting, planning fighting with a little perverted sex thrown in to satisfy those folks who are turned on by it.

Olivia Sanchez is a compliance officer for a small investment company, Summit. When she spots trading that borders on being illegal, she confronts the broker, Alan Crane, who doesn’t appreciate her intrusion into his business. Crane goes wild, yelling at her, threatening her, banging on her desk, breaking two of her fingers. So she says. She goes to the owner of Summit who does nothing. She files a police report to no avail. Receiving no satisfaction, she turns to her cousin, convicted murderer Manny Guzman, to extract vengeance. He, in turn, confides in James Beck, his partner in crime, a man with unlimited resources. Knowing Guzman has a hot temper, Beck tells him that he will speak to Olivia and determine what needs to be done. He learns that Crane is managing money for a Russian arms dealer, Markov, with nefarious connections who wants to insure his investments remain highly profitable so he’s not adverse to a little market manipulation here and there. He wants to kill Sanchez for raising red flags.

 So, Markov is searching for Sanchez. Beck is searching for Markov. They’re all trying to get to Crane. Beck knows and recruits, with just a phone call, every kind of criminal in his fight against Markov. Everyone drives around in the stereotypical SUV with dark tinted windows. They all dress in long coats to hide their rifles. They all look and act like he-men on  steroids. It’s a real mess. Although Beck gets beaten up plenty, he never loses.

There’s no character development. There’s the thinnest of plots. The ending is predictable. I skimmed the last three quarters of the book and swear I missed nothing. I regret that I cannot get back the hours I spent reading/skimming. They’re gone forever. Alas, not so with this book. It will be on book shelves shortly. Skip it.

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