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Criminal Paradise (Robert Rivers #1)

3.2  ·  Rating Details ·  55 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
The literature of larceny welcomes a newcomer with some serious chops, as Steven M. Thomas muscles his way to a place at the table—elbow-to-elbow with Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen—courtesy of a harrowing, hilarious, two-fisted, hard-boiled thriller that’s pure heaven for anyone who loves a hell of a crime novel.

Robert Rivers is a crook. No excuses, no apologies. Breakin
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published February 26th 2008 by Random House Publishing Group (first published 2008)
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(showing 1-30)
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Paul Pessolano
This mystery is about a crook, Robert Rivers, and his partner, Switch, who have made a living stealing. The make no excuses or apologies, they are what they are. The are in the process of holding up a restaurant, Cow Town, after they close for the evening. Everything goes well, except Rob finds a naked picture of a beautiful young girl in the cash box. The cash box also has more money in it than one would expect tko find in this typr of business.

Rob becomes obssessed with the girl and the money,
Jul 12, 2016 JW rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-crime
A stick up man that's a bit too conscientious, an author whose writing is slightly florid and overly concerned with Orange County geography, an ending that doesn't quite qualify as deus ex machina (YMMV). I got this book to satisfy a sudden thirst for crime novels, but it's far from hard boiled. Crime lite, maybe?

It started off good, paced well and nicely procedural but the story changed and the first person protagonist swerved in ways that I couldn't fully accept. Repeated references to the Vi
May 17, 2015 Janet rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up-on
I really wanted to like this book because it takes place in my stomping grounds of Corona del Mar, Newport Beach, Irvine, and other parts of Orange County. It started out okay, but with the introduction of the Reggie character, it quickly became too distasteful tolerate. Maybe if I had been reading this book instead of listening to it, I could have skipped those sections and just skimmed along. But I eventually reminded myself that no one was forcing me to listen to it and I could just stop. So ...more
Donald Parker
Aug 05, 2009 Donald Parker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was blown away by this book. Exciting, entertaining and beautifully written, it is one of the best crime fiction books I have ever read -- and I’ve read a lot of them. It is hard to believe that it is Steven M. Thomas’s first book. The action starts when Robert “Rob” Rivers and his partner Switch rob a restaurant in Orange County that gets them tangled up with a psychopathic criminal and puts them on the trail of a kidnapped girl who they try to rescue. The villain is one of the scariest -- an ...more
Oct 22, 2009 Eugeneson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this in two sittings. It is a powerful page-turner. The story drew me in and wouldn’t let me go. The “good guy” in this book is actually a criminal who gets mixed up in some dirty business in Orange County, California and ends up rescuing a kidnapped girl from a businessman/gangster/murderer who is in the process of going insane! The book doesn’t need the afterward, which is a bit of an anticlimax, but other than that it is a first-rate read.
Nov 30, 2009 Jmrathbone rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Rob Rivers is a small time criminal, who discovers that the owner of a restaurant he robs is heavily involved in the sex trade. Rivers is off to the rescue. I grew up on Balboa Island and appreciated Steven Thomas’s description of that area. Some of his writing is lyrical. However, there are too many coincidences in this book, and the ending is really disappointing. Over-all I think that Steven Thomas would be better off sticking to short stories.
Mar 08, 2010 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun reverse-detective novel. Our antihero is a burglar. If you compare this to Lawrence Block's Burglar novels, you'll find Rob Rivers a touch less funny than Bernie Rhodenbarr, though he runs in seedier crowds. We spend less time burglarizing and more time trying to deal with the aftereffects of theft. The author is just OK with characterization but excels in describing the southern California surroundings. Lots of fun, if not groundbreaking. I'm reading the sequel now.
Saul Prentice
Oct 09, 2009 Saul Prentice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I heard about this when it was nominated for best first novel at thrillerfest this year and I love it. It has one of the darkest and most diabolical villains I have ever come across and one of the most interesting and charistmatic heroes -- who just happens to be a criminal.
Aug 03, 2014 Mike rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, public-library
I found the idea and premise of this story and flawed hero to be intriguing and the Audio narration to be very well produced. However the dialogue, character/relationship development, belittling of women and near-child porn sexual descriptions makes this trash to me.

Jun 18, 2014 Roxann rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I don't have a lot to write about this book. I didn't like it. The main character was a good thief with honor. Sorry, but I just didn't like it.
Apr 05, 2008 Pam marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
04/04/08 rec via pbs
Aaron Spivey
Aaron Spivey rated it it was ok
Aug 02, 2016
Sanjana rated it liked it
Jun 23, 2012
Jgerry41 rated it really liked it
Oct 26, 2011
Andrea rated it liked it
Aug 28, 2013
Ron S
Ron S rated it it was ok
Apr 29, 2016
Mike rated it really liked it
Mar 23, 2009
Will rated it really liked it
Apr 17, 2010
Sara rated it liked it
Nov 19, 2008
Joe rated it really liked it
Aug 16, 2011
Tonya Bell
Tonya Bell rated it it was amazing
Oct 03, 2009
Jeff rated it it was ok
Jan 19, 2008
Donald Parker
Donald Parker rated it it was amazing
Aug 05, 2009
John McPhee
John McPhee rated it liked it
Mar 16, 2010
Vivian rated it really liked it
May 23, 2015
Russ rated it liked it
Aug 29, 2013
Dan rated it it was ok
Dec 10, 2014
Ann Huang
Jan 17, 2010 Ann Huang rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Super fun book!
Reidar rated it it was ok
Feb 27, 2012
Kyle Cheuvront
Kyle Cheuvront rated it liked it
May 18, 2013
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Steven Thomas, author of Never a Sextant, has been a stockbroker and financial advisor in Tampa Bay, Fla., for the last 25 years. He joined the United States Air Force in 1979, as a medic at the largest air force hospital, Wilford Hall, San Antonio, Texas. He worked for two years on the orthopedic surgery ward, and two more years in aero medical evacuation, (Medevac). During his four memorable yea ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Robert Rivers (2 books)
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