The Professionals (Stevens and Windermere #1)
Four friends, recent college graduates, caught in a terrible job market, joke about turning to kidnapping to survive. And then, suddenly, it's no joke. For two years, the strategy they devise-quick, efficient, low risk-works like a charm. Until they kidnap the wrong man.
Now two groups they've very much wanted to avoid are af...more
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The Professionals is a timely novel taking place within a context which had me drawing comparisons to the Occupy Wall Street movement which swept up North America in the last year. The reader is introduced to four white, middle class, under-employed college graduates who dream up the perfect money-making scheme in a scarce job market: kidnapping.
All goes according to plan until they kidnap the wrong man - - the...more
Four recent college graduates find the job market too tough to crack. They decide to go into business for themselves. By kidnapping people. Hey, it's an untapped market.
They keep it small, investigating targets who should have no problem delivering $60,000 in a day. A string of these t...more
Four friends sit around and talk about their lousy employment options. Student loans, a degree in history and looking forward to a lifetime of jobs in grocery stores and coffee s...more
While I appreciate a good page-turner every now and again, I do like when these bo...more
Then they discover that no plan is really foolproof.
Hunted by the Mob, state investigator Stevens and FBI agent Windermere, they learn t...more
The basic story: A smart group of professional kidnappers make their way across on the country on a spree of under-the-radar ransom jobs in hopes of amassing a fortune and retiring to the Maldives. Then, of course, they grab the wrong guy and get in over their heads, even as law enforcement is catching up to them.
The plot gets increasingly muddled,...more
Of course, for most people that other solution would be something like getting a second job to make ends meet or going back to school to pursue a more viable area of study. Not so for friends and recent college grads Pender, Marie, Sawyer, and Mouse.
Fueled by frustration and righteous indignation they instead turn to kidnapping wealthy businessmen, and wha...more
A four person kidnap crew has been touring the country, snatching affluent men and holding them for ransom. Why? Well, it's the economy. Their university degrees are practically wor...more
1) This book starts out with a great hook. What do young professionals do, when they can't find a job?
2) As the group turns to a life of crime, I appreciated the writer making their crimes very believable. The group researched the area and potential marks, tracked the personal lives of their marks, asked for small amounts of money and were constantly on the move.
3) The second joy of the book was the combination of the FBI and BCA searching for the young criminals. They were...more
While some parts of the story were difficult to believe, I frequently had trouble putting down the book. I found it hard to swallow that college kids could take on some very bad people unscathed so many times. They sometimes seemed superhuman....more
Arthur Pender is the leader of a 4 person gang of recently graduated college grads who for two years have operated below the law radar by kidnapping and robbing very well to do people and asking for a modest $60,000. Moving from place to place, the gang has a four year plan to save up enough and move to the Maldives. The gang is composed of Pender, Mar...more
With The Professionals, Owen Laukkanen starts a new series as we are introduced to a Minnesota state detective and an FBI agent who are on the trail of a kidnapping crew. This crew is comprised of four young college grads who cannot find jobs so they decide to kidnap wealthy men and require a pretty low amount of money to return them. For a few years they stay under the radar, but things go wrong when one man in Minnesota gets angry and goes to...more
'The Professionals' is a fast paced thrilled told from alternati...more
I know that, although I don't give every book I write about a glowing review, I have yet to write about a book that I didn't like. That must get pretty boring for people reading. Unfortunately for you, I'm not going to stray from that trend yet. I really enjoyed this book.
The story itself wasn't all that original. And the characters were a little one one dimensional, especially the kidnappers (the leader, the computer geek, the muscle and the g...more
Thus begins the introduction to...more
A gritty read of crime and consequence, full of guilt and grime. The author sets an unsympathetic backdrop of hash economic times as impetus to stray from the straight and narrow. Authur, Matt, Marie and Ben devise a seemingly harmless plan--they are not going to hurt anyone, only hold them until their well off families pay to get them back. However, abducting people is never harmless as the 'team' soon find out. The trick the author plays with his characters and his plot, that set this ya...more
Recent University of Washington graduates Arthur Pender, Marie McAllister, Matt Sawyer, and Ben Stirzaker had no luck finding jobs after graduation in the lousy economy, so they decided to start their own business. Traveling back and forth across the country, they carefully target rich men, kidnap them, hold them for a relatively low ransom, get their money, and give the hostage back to his family. They estimate th...more
"It's a real page turner!" he kept telling me.
I wasn't quite sure what I was getting into, again...
I checked it out on Amazon and found the plot appealing. As a person who finds myself in the same situation as the main characters (the kidnappers).
Here is the plausible plot: A group of four recent collage graduates face a empty job market. With degrees in history and English they don't have many options. Then they come up with a three...more
Owen Laukkanen's debut thriller, THE PROFESSIONALS, was published by G.P. Putnam's Sons in spring 2012. Its sequel, CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE, will hit stores on March 21, 2013.
An alumnus of the University of British Columbia's Creative Writing BFA program, Laukkanen spent three years in the world of professional poker, traveling to high-stakes tournaments across the globe as a writer for www.PokerList...more