Author: Robert Crais
Copyright: 2001 Robert Crais
Blurb: This short extract of the blurb gives you the idea behind the story. “When a convenience store robbery goes horribly wrong, the teenage gang responsible make a run for it…the gang have chosen the wrong accountant to take prisoner”
Plot: It’s a clever idea, not often pursued in TV cop dramas. This refreshing take on the plot of baddies v cops with the added extra of gangsters in between was quite a good idea for a thriller, the use of children as added vulnerability worked well. This novel seemed like a first draft in some ways, although the plot concluded well. The gangsters when they arrived seemed like a bit of an after thought, I think I would have preferred a more simple two way hostage situation than a three way plot which suffered as a result of the added dimension. There were gangsters mentioned who were really not necessary, less is more etc.
Characters: I don’t mind the old formulas, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, as long as they are occupied by solid sympathetic characters. One of the baddies was chilling and I would have liked his part to be bigger at the expense of some of the other minor characters. If one or two of the extra characters were missing and the plot tightened up as a result this may have given space for more detailed characterisations. Sorry Mr Crais, it just felt rushed, with people added in to make up numbers. The characters were described well, in the main, however maybe there were too many, maybe it was hard to give them all a fully formed back story. The strongest one seemed to be a teenage girl, I won’t spoil the plot by saying more about her.
I prefer well rounded characters, likeable or not, someone you root for.
Conclusion: Well, finally I completed the third book in my huge airport size book. Those who don’t like weight lifting can buy a more modest size version! The previous two stories LA Requiem and Demolition Angel introduced me to Mr Crais’ work, I hadn’t read this best selling author before choosing this book. I am now used to his style of writing and immersed myself in this story immediately.
Recommended: It kept me turning the pages, although I felt like the story could have been a lot deeper. It’s a page turner, not one of the best books I’ve read and nothing unique. I guess though that predictable is a strength in itself. You know what you are picking up from the shelf, and Mr Crais knows his craft. I’m far from publication of the number of best sellers under Mr Crais belt, so who am I to comment? Sometimes I feel let down by great writers who produce work that is just OK and not awe inspiring.
If you pick it up and read it, as one of my tentative book recommendations let me know what you think of his work, this book in particular?
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