The Lock Artist – Steve Hamilton

This was an Amazon inspired purchase – their website made me do it, honest – which isn’t too bad at all. Not the best book I have ever read, but by no means the worst.

It’s a modest love story in disguise, served up with a first person narrative from Mike. Something terrible happened to him as a child and he no longer speaks. The narrative tells us this – but not the details – looking on matters from his current perspective – in prison. There then follow a series of intermingled flashbacks to fill in the space (or join the dots, if you prefer) that eventually give you the whole story of this love sick safe cracker, from his youthful arrival on the front pages, to his later incarceration.

It’s light, inoffensive, with some moments of shock, horror, and violence, and the occasional plot twist. The story is well told, and it’s fair to describe it – given the decent levels of tension – as a good page turner. After I had read it, however, I felt a bit empty – as if I had read a cartoon, laughed at the joke, and then wondered what I had found funny.

I won’t be following up any more by the author, as the writing style doesn’t suit my tastes. You may feel differently, and if you enjoy first person perspectives, this is worth checking out. Be aware that you know the ending, and maybe that above all contributes to its overall lack of punch.