Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton

This author came highly recommended by Orson Scott Card, so I picked up this "young adult" (I think the term has evolved a bit from my young adult reading days - lots of sex and violence which never would have flown in the sixties and seventies) novel, as well as another one by Hamilton geared towards adult audiences - I'll get to that one soon.

Hamilton sets up a situation where we are rapidly roped into caring about a completely amoral protagonist, Michael, who experienced a horrific trauma as a child which left him bereft of speech, and who has become an obedient slave to a criminal organization, which uses his lock picking and safe cracking abilities to further their ends.

First, we just have to know what sort of event could leave him an orphan in the care of his uncle, who runs a liquor store, and unable to speak of it. Second, we want to see how he's going to extract himself from a situation which is certain to lead eventually to either death or long term incarceration.

Hamilton strings out the bits and pieces of revelation for us like bread crumbs trailing through the dark forest, until the final chapter.

Not recommended reading for any young adults I know, but a good novel, none the less.

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