Richard Derus's Reviews > An Ordinary Decent Criminal

An Ordinary Decent Criminal by Michael Van Rooy
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's review
May 18, 2013

it was ok
bookshelves: pearl-ruled
Read in April, 2012

Rating: 2.5* of five (p107)

The Book Report: Monty Haaviko is an ordinary decent criminal. A robber, con man, drug addict salt-of-the-earth criminal, not one of your scumbag terrorist pedophile types. He's decided, now that he's got a wife and kid, that staying straight and off the drugs is the way to go.

Ever thought about how hard that'd be? It's hard. Monty finds that out when some bad men invade his home and threaten his family, and he kills them. Hell, I'd kill 'em too, and the cops would do their duty, arrest me, and the legal system would make frowny faces at me, and before too terribly long my life would go on in its accustomed dullness.

Monty's, well, maybe not so much. The cops beat him really bad, the criminals start hunting him, and his family is in danger the entire time. Why, all of a sudden, is everyone down on his narrow ass? What did he do? And how many more ways are we going to parallel Jack Reacher?

My Review: Which is why I gave up on p107. The late Mr. van Rooy wrote nice sentences, and plotted well, but frankly I'm not the biggest fan of ODC fiction, and reading someone else's take on a character I find only mildly entertaining isn't the best use of my eyeblinks.

With each word I jabbed a little harder into Robillard's eye and then I stopped and headed up the stairs. At the top I booked it down the alley, stopping for a second to open the hood and tear a handful of wires loose from Sandra's car. A few alleys over, I wiped down the three guns on a piece of canvas sticking out of a garbage can and dropped them one at a time into trash cans and down sewer gratings.

On the bus home I wondered about Shirley Holmes.

That's as far as I read. That's as good as any of the writing got. That's not bad, but it's not making my needle point north, and frankly (or barbraly, depending on your mood) that is what needs to happen these days for me not to abandon ship and search for the next high down a different alley.

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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Karla (new)

Karla There was a movie with Kevin Spacey called "Ordinary Decent Criminal" that I saw several years ago. I didn't note at the time if it was based on a book. Plot sounds familiar, though.

message 2: by Karla (new)

Karla After some checking, I guess not!

Richard Derus No, this hasn't been filmed. Now that the writer has died, I doubt it will be.

message 4: by Algernon (new)

Algernon it looks like I should try a Jack Reacher instead of this. thanks for the warning

Richard Derus Algernon wrote: "it looks like I should try a Jack Reacher instead of this. thanks for the warning"

That's how I'd play this lie, for sure. Thanks for commenting!

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