Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton

Protagonist: Michael
Setting: Michigan, New York and Los Angeles
Rating: 5.0
Teenager Michael is a good kid basically, with a few quirks -- he hasn't talked since a childhood incident left him traumatized (and we don't find out what that is until the last 50 pages of the book) and he has two special skills. First, he's a very good artist. Second, he can pick any lock, a self-taught skill. This second skill lands him in trouble when he agrees to help high school buddies with a prank -- and that one bad decision leads him further and further into a life of crime, as he becomes an invaluable "boxman," someone who can open any safe. But even as his options narrow, Michael hopes for an escape from his life of crime. Although Michael doesn't speak, it's his voice that tells the story, in a compelling first-person narration. If you read this book, give yourself a few hours. You won't want to put it down.

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