Jo's Reviews > The Lock Artist

The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton
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's review
May 27, 2011

it was amazing
Read in May, 2011

I had never heard of Steve Hamilton before this book, but after reading this, he is an author I am deffinatly going to be reading again. The main character Micheal is a young man who cannot speak after witnessing some awful tragedy when he was small. A tragedy that we dont get to discover until quite a way into the book but by the time we do find out what happened, you have imagined all sorts of things but never exactly what did happen.

Micheal discovers when a kid that he has a way with locks, he can open any of them. As a school prank he goes with friends to the home of a player on a rival football team so that they can play a prank on their star player. The prank goes too far with Micheal being held accountable to the owner of the house, Mr Marsh and whatever punishment he dishes out. Mr Marsh has a daughter Amelia who Micheal falls in love with, and starts to break into the house just to see her at night when she is sleeping. He communicates with her through a comic strip that they take turns drawing and they become close. Mr Marsh however is in big trouble with the mob owing them big time. He discovers Micheals talent as a lock pick and puts Micheal in touch with a man called The Ghost.

The ghost sets Micheal to work in his shops backroom, practising on safes of all shapes and sizes until he can open any safe in front of him. Ghost then gets Micheal in touch with a gang who he does work with not realising just what kind of world he is getting into. He passes the tests of the mob and becomes one of the main members of the gang. A world of double crossings, murders and more money than he wants is opened up to Micheal. But all he wants to go back to Amelia. This is harder than he thought because her father has sent her away where he thinks Micheal will never find her, but he does. In order to show her why he cant talk, even though he really wants to tell her how he feels, he takes her to the home he shared with his parents. The scene of total horror. How he was locked in a safe too scared to make a sound incase the horror should find him and kill him. Death came close to Micheal but he was saved to live a life of silence and intrique.

I picked this book up thinking why on earth would I want to read a book about the mob and safe cracking, but its not that at all. I genuinely couldnt put it down and couldnt get the pages turned fast enought. The book does flit between time zones but its very easy to keep up with where you are in Micheals life. The New York Times says on the back that this book is too good for words, they are right. This is one book you wont regret reading, only that it comes to and end.
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