Friday, October 8, 2010

Book Review: "The Lock Artist" by Steve Hamilton

The crime/thriller genre has expanded significantly over the years, seeing the development of some terrific authors. Steve Hamilton is one of them—a terrific writer with the ability to create memorable characters and compelling action. Hamilton's latest, The Lock Artist, is the story of Michael, a teenager who hasn't spoken since a traumatic incident in his childhood.

Michael may be silent verbally, but his story is a tremendously vivid one. Learning how to pick locks—keyed locks, combination locks, safes, etc.—at a very young age, he becomes a valuable commodity in the crime world. His first brush with the law brings him into contact with Amelia, a beautiful young girl whose father is in a great deal of trouble. Michael and Amelia fall in love, and in order to save her, he agrees to help those people whom her father owes. This decision sets him on a destructive path where he is forced to make some important choices that will dictate his future—and whether or not he will ever see Amelia again.

I thought this book was great. Although Michael is unapologetic about his transgressions, I still found myself rooting for him and a happy ending for him and Amelia. The story jumps back and forth between the past and the present, and at times it is a bit confusing to keep the incidents straight, but that is a tiny bit of criticism for a novel that kept me engaged from start to finish. Steve Hamilton is definitely an author worth following, and once you read The Lock Artist, you should definitely check out his series of books featuring Michigan PI Alex McKnight.

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