Dope Thief
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Dope Thief

by
3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  168 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Ray and his best friend, Manny, close ever since they met in juvie almost twenty years ago, have a great scam going: With a couple of fake badges and some DEA windbreakers they found at a secondhand store, they pose as federal agents and rip off small-time drug dealers, taking their money and drugs and disappearing before anyone is the wiser. It’s the perfect sting: the de...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published April 28th 2009 by Minotaur Books
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 437)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Adam
Tafoya’s tale of lowlife despair and redemption in the Philadelphia area is an impressive debut and a potential future classic (if not this book than the next one). His writing is very much in the tradition of Pelecanos, Lehane, and Price, an accolade he deserves rather than it merely being shorthand for East Coast grittiness. He is a strong writer who has taken many of their strengths to heart and used it to map out his own territory. This is in the story of a low rung participant in the Philly...more
Josh
DOPE THIEF is essentially two tales – one of pure balls-to-the-wall, all out adrenaline noir, the other a quiet unassuming suburban-like cozy noir made for book lovers. Ray, one half of the sting duet features in both acts, firstly as a methodical hardened criminal accustomed to strong arm tactics, and lastly as a man trying to win his way back into society using money for good and making recompense for past discretions.

I love the concept of thieves imitating DEA agents to raid drug houses. The...more
Johnny
A good first novel. It hits the ground running and through the first two-thirds, it has a pace and story that is consistently strong. It just couldn't find the ending.

While I can see what the author was trying to do, the story ends at about pages 200 and the book ends closer to 300. Rather than tell two stories concurrently and retain the momentum, he tells two stories consecutively, the slower story second. It makes for an unsatisfying end, as the end of the book is what you are left with.

I'll...more
MomIsReading
I couldn't go beyond a 3 star for this book regardless of its high rating here and on Amazon. The first part of the book was slow, then it became non-stop action which I found page turning, but then the last part of the book felt like an immense let down to me. I felt no closure from the main drama and the ending was somewhat disappointing to me. Had the book continued with the fast pace and had a climactic ending, who knows? This book has movie potential but the last 1/4 of the book would have...more
Jon
Dope Thief is easily one of the best books I've read this year, a remarkable combination of action and dread, brains and heart, with everything I look for in great crime fiction, and more. While the "mystery" on the cover is certainly a misnomer, there is mystery within it, as well as a great plot and characters that live and breathe and suffer and change and stay with you long after you have put the book down. An excellent read.
Kelly

Don't be fooled by the words "A Mystery" on the front cover, or the adjectives "noir" and "fast-paced" on the back. This is as tender and subtle a portrait of a criminal mind I've ever seen. Effortlessly beautiful and heartfelt, even as the bullets fly and the wounds open. If In Cold Blood was set in a meth lab, and written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, you'd have DopeThief.
Dennis
Dec 31, 2008 Dennis rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
My book, coming from St. Martin's Minotaur in May. Hope you enjoy it!
Clayton Lindemuth
Dennis Tafoya’s Dope Thief presents a reviewer with problems: How to praise the book adequately, without giving away the fundamental surprise that makes it so worthwhile?


I don’t know how to do that, so I will limit myself to comments about Dope Thief that have more to do with the mechanics and art of it, and not the story. About the story I’ll limit my comments to these: you will not be disappointed, period. It is fast paced, lots of turns, surprises, relationships, danger, reality. Everything i...more
J.F. Juzwik
This story opens by introducing us to two friends who make their living posing as DEA agents with the purpose of robbing dealers of their cash and their 'product'. They're very good at it too. But, sometimes, even Lady Luck has a way of saying 'f*$k you', and then even the best laid plans can go tragically up in smoke.

Okay. It's simple and predictable, right? You know exactly where this is going, right? Wrong. While it is true that these two do make a big mistake and steal from someone they shou...more
Patrick O'Neil
This book's premise is great. Dope fiends posing as cops ripping off dope dealers – excellent. I found it at my local Goodwill in the $1.99 hardback section and was totally stoked. The title: Dope Thief jumped out at me, and for the most part the book delivers. Dennis Tafoya's characters are vivid, and well formed. His plot is believable, intriguing, and at times gripping. Yet, unfortunately Tafoya gets a little caught up in trying to weave a back-story for his protagonist that really, if it had...more
Maddy
PROTAGONIST: Ray and Manny, ex cons
SETTING: Philadelphia
SERIES: Debut
RATING: 4.5
WHY: Ray and Manny met 20 years ago in juvenile prison. They've created a great scam where they impersonate DEA agents and rob low-level drug dealers of their stash and cash, no violence required. Of course, it's only a matter of time before a job goes out of control. After it does, and bad drug kingpins are looking for them, Ray experiences an ephiphany and goes on a redemptive journey to combat the futility of his...more
Charisse
Jan 16, 2010 Charisse rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Charisse by: Bob
OMG I have driven down all of the roads so far in this book - I know these areas so well, it's like coming home..... ummmm minus the meth labs in the farmhouses, of course!!!

4 1/2 stars

Wow - the first 2/3 of the book was a wild ride complete with selling drugs, doing drugs, shooting drug dealers and drug makers. The last 1/3 of the book was beautiful - heartfelt, warm as our "dope thief" tries to make his world right. This is a great first novel. Thank for the tip, Bob :)
Christiane
I've been lucky with the latest books I've read, as they were all pretty good reads.
This book starts out with a great story line - 2 druggies rip off drug dealers, using some old DEA windbreakers and badges they picked up at a yard sale. It's a quick read (at least it was for me, but aren't they all?) and held my attention pretty much the entire way through.
I'm not saying it's the read of the year, but if you've got the time, it's a good one to read.
Alicia
I wish, for both my sake and the author's, that this book hadn't been published at nearly the same time as Beat the Reaper. The premise is fantastic, but the execution, for the majority of the book, I found lacking. I can't help but think that if I hadn't loved Pietro so much, I would have found Ray more endearing.
Robert Intriago
I read the kindle version and sombody did a poor job of editing. I gave it a 4.5. The action is great and the story of redemption is very good.

I found the ending a bit too hollywood and the character of the supporting actors a bit lacking. I wish he would have done a little more development of Manny and Michelle. Overall a good start for a new novel. I plan to read the second one. Thanks Bob for the heads up.
Marie
I couldn't stop reading this novel. It has been days since I finished it, and it still resonates with me. The out of control actions of the main characters, then their scramble to save themselves, and a beyond touching turn of events make this a highly recommended read. Add in great imagery, and action packed drama laced with guns and dope, and you've got the makings of greatness. Don't miss it!
Bill
Not at all what I expected. Especiallyfrom the blurbs about the book. Yes, it's very hard-boiled. Yes, it's a thrill packed ride. Yes, it's gritty and explosive and graphic. But it goes in such an unexpected way at the end - light and hope and redemption at the end of the long road. The more I think about this book, the more I like it.
Scott
Disclaimer: the author is on my friends list and performs a similar function in real life. But both these things came to pass after a mutual friend sent me a galley of "Dope Thief" to read. This is the real thing, hard core Noir the way many attempt and few achieve.
Craig
while it took about half the book to achieve that "I can't put it down" feeling, it did finally come then. Pretty interesting summer reading about down-and-out guys who steal from small-time dealers. While at times dark and hopeless, redemption and hope reign. Well done.
Skip
I did not enjoy the first 200 pages of this book, which were about two losers ripping off drug dealers. Yet, the book turned interesting when one of the losers meets someone special, sees the light, and rejoins humanity in a robust way.
Chuck Barksdale
This is one of my favorite books. I was fortunate to review it for MostlyFiction.com a couple of years ago. Here's the link to that review:

http://bookreview.mostlyfiction.com/2...
Emily
If you like Dennis Lehane or George Pelecanos, you're going to love Dennis Tafoya. Fantastic characters and a plot that was simultaneously easy to follow and impossible to anticipate. Read this book!
Sandi
This debut crime novel was both gritty and seemingly realistic and had the added bonus of delving a bit deeper with the characters and the aftermath and effects of criminal behavior.
Hollyannparker
Wow -- this is terrific. A very quick read, but not in a junk-food sort of way. Thoughtful, nuanced and surprising. Not my usual genre really, but I'm so glad I read it.
Dj
hard-core crime just the way i like it. intelligent, realistic violence, no bullshit, no punches pulled. a great debut by tafoya. i'll be very anxious for his next.
Hanna Howe
Such a great book! Set in and around Doyelstown (where I live) but should be a pleasure for anyone. Suspensful, from the heart, and totally engrossing.
Dave Brown
Violent...hardcore...and a smart ass main character = right up my alley...Plus, it's always a nice change of pace to pull for the bad (vs. the 'badder') guy.
Jonathan
A brilliant first novel by a writer who is certainly going to continue hitting them out of the park. Smart, gritty, funny, sad, dangerous and superb.
Adam
literary noir in the vein of george pelecanos. also, the first crime novel i have ever read that took place in bucks county, pa (awesome!).
John Langan
I really enjoyed this book. Living in southeast PA, I really enjoyed the area references. Dennis Tafoya paints a vivid picture throughout! Loved it!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 14 15 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Mixed Blood: A Thriller
  • Empty Mile
  • The Kill-Off
  • The Wounded and the Slain (Hard Case Crime #31)
  • Shame the Devil
  • King Of Swords (Max Mingus, #2)
  • The Increment
  • The Long-Legged Fly (Lew Griffin, #1)
  • A Touch of Death (Hard Case Crime #17)
  • Bordersnakes
  • I Should Have Stayed Home
  • How the Dead Live
  • True Crime (Nathan Heller, #2)
  • Plunder Squad (Parker, #15)
  • The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death
  • The Weight
2738082
Dennis Tafoya is the author of two crime novels, Dope Thief and The Wolves in Fairmount Park, both from St. Martin’s, as well as numerous short stories. He is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, the International Thriller Writers, and the Liars Club, a Philadelphia-area group of writers, producers and other creative types. He lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where he is currently at work...more
More about Dennis Tafoya...
The Wolves of Fairmount Park The Poor Boy's Game The Effective Organization: Practical Application of Complexity Theory and Organizational Design to Maximize Performance in the Face of Emerging E Tales from the Cobra Wars: A G.I. Joe Anthology Liar Liar

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »