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Something Missing

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  3,872 ratings  ·  875 reviews
A career criminal with OCD tendencies and a savant-like genius for bringing order to his crime scenes, Martin considers himself one of the best in the biz. After all, hes been able to steal from the same people for years on endvirtually undetected. Of course, this could also be attributed to his unique business modelhe takes only items that will go unnoticed by the ...more
Paperback, 294 pages
Published July 14th 2009 by Broadway Books
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Kerrie No. I agree with Christine, older teens may like it but it would be too slow for younger kids. Also, the main character is a thief and the book…moreNo. I agree with Christine, older teens may like it but it would be too slow for younger kids. Also, the main character is a thief and the book details how he is successful at it. Not something kids should emulate.(less)
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Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,872 ratings  ·  875 reviews

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Matthew Dicks
Mar 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
This is my book, so obviously I like it a lot. It's available to the public in July of 2009.
Connie G
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Martin was put out of his mother's and stepfather's Connecticut home when he turned 18. He tried to support himself with a job at Starbucks while taking courses at a community college, but sometimes there would be no food on his shelves. That's when he started his other "job", entering people's houses when they were gone and taking items that would not be noticed. Martin has OCD tendencies and is very meticulous in his planning, leaving no evidence behind.

After stealing from the same homeowners
Dec 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
This book was so much fun. I love Martin's methodical manner, and I love that our protagonist is... not exactly normal. It's fascinating "watching" him pack up and plan what and how he is going to steal what he steals. It's never at risk to the "client," and his methodical nature is very near charming. This isn't heavy reading, but it's certainly fun!
❀Aimee❀ Just one more page...
I really enjoyed this book. It was highly descriptive, probably some would consider it slow moving, and at times the author drew out a suspenseful moment by describing the characters internal dialogue or by revealing a story from the past to add meaning to the moment. The character is an endearing thief. You learn how he came into his career choice, what motivates him, and how he views himself.

I love books where you slowly become more close to the main character through slow revelations instead
Feb 14, 2010 rated it liked it
This is a book written from the POV of a man with OCD, so it's not surprisingly that it's a bit obsessively detailed. And while I love the fantastic premise -- a careful thief spends months and years researching, burglarizing and re-burglarizing his "clients" so they never even notice anything has been stolen -- spending time with Martin, who can't make a simple decision without reviewing all his options in meticulous detail, can get a little tiring.

Matthew Dicks writes as if he's got OCD
Jun 04, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, humor
OK, this is a good little book. Funny, quirky - just my style! The only weird thing is that there are a LOT of product placements throughout the book - almost on every page! It might just be my conspiracy theory side talking, but it really freaked me out when I noticed it! Other than that, great book, but I feel like I'm going to have to go out and buy a Subaru Outback or some Tide detergent after I finish the book.

Oct 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Long build-up describing the details of Martin's strategies at his profession, efficiently told climax and resolution. I found it fascinating. The concept reminds me of the DiCaprio movie "Catch Me if You Can." The vibe reminds me a bit of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time or The Rosie Project.

But Martin does *not* have OCD... he's careful because he has to be... he may have been successful in this job because he's naturally tidy and observant, but that is not a mental illness.
Apr 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Paul by: BOTNS Retreat
Martin Railsback is a thief. He repeatedly breaks into the homes of his clients and steals only that which will not be missed a couple of rolls of toilet paper, an earring that hasnt been worn in years, etc. For Martin this seems almost like a game that provides him not only with enough goods and cash to live on, but also more than a few thrills. But Martin isnt a villain at heart, nor will you think he is. One day, he realizes that something terrible is going to happen to one of his clients ...more
A good read, yes... Somewhere between As Good As It Gets, a great film about how love can be the best agent for change, specifically in regards to serious illness & Klosterman's The Visible Man, one of my favorite books regarding morally questionable career choice involving secretly spying on others in their private lives; while not necessarily a violent wrong, wrong nonetheless. (Obviously similar to Monk... But I feel like the media over sensationalized that one, negating what it or really ...more
Aug 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Matthew Dick's Something Missing is what can only be described as a quirky read. Last night we discussed this book in an online Booksonthenightstand group. When trying to decide where to place Something Missing the group was at a loss. Certainly not a mystery and not exactly humorous, though it is funny; Ill call it just plain good fiction and worry no further.

Martin, the main character, a man who burglarizes homes, taking only items that will not be missed, is someone you should dislike but
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The book for review is Something Missing by Matthew Dicks. I would place this in the genre of fiction.

Meet our main character Martin. Hes a thief. But not your everyday run of the mill thief. He could come into your home and you would not even know he was there for all your big-ticket items would be left in tact.

He has clients, or that is what he calls the people he robs. But what does he take? Things you would never notice even if you tried. Some of his items could be two ounces of laundry
Mar 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-as-an-arc
Martin is an OCD thief. Yeah, kind of like Monk the obsessive-compulsive detective, but better - he takes things he needs from people who don't notice that the items are missing (for example, a stick of butter, 2/3 laundry detergent, and only the occasional earring). He has a small select group of clients, and lives his life pretty quietly, with one good friend and no girlfriend (though he believes he has a relationship with a waitress). Until the day he knocks a toothbrush into the toilet...and ...more
Susan J.
May 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
In Mathew Dicks charming debut novel, Martin Railsback has an unusual daytime jobhe robs from a select set of clients hes developed over the years. He rarely goes after big ticket and such...but raids his clients pantries and refrigerators for edibles and their linen closets for towels.

In the first half of the novel, Martin meticulously details his client selection process, as well as how he goes about undetected in his clients homes, how he decides what to take, and how he
May 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Yes, Martin Railsback is a thief. He breaks into homes and steals, selecting the same group of residences, repeatedly. The funny thing is, no one notices. Martin only pilfers items, that will not be missed. A roll of toilet paper, a dish towel, a can of soup. He has a touch of OCD, which works perfectly, for this unusual, but productive career. He is as meticulous, as a brain surgeon.
The twist in the story, arrives, when Martin inadvertently becomes a sort of guardian angel to his beloved
Oct 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Swell book-it doesn't have a lot of dialogue at first (the only interaction he has for around 150 pages is with a parrot), but the idea of a thief who thinks of the people he robs regularly as his "clients," a thief who is rather attached to the people on his client list and only steals what they won't miss, is wonderful. The description of his adventures was thoughtful and original, and the character of Martin truly lovable.
May 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book was recommended by Bethany Scott quite a while ago & I'm glad I finally got around to reading it. It was a quick, light piece, quirky & amusing. I also had to give it an extra star for the mere fact the main character uses a d10 to randomize some of his decisions!
I really loved it. Let's see if I can explain why because it is different. For most of the book, it's pretty slow paced and goes into excruciating(I know that sounds bad but it's not) detail about the main character's daily routine.I found this fascinating, but others may be turned off by it.I felt like it helped me get inside Martin's head. The protag is a 30-something guy with OCD who works part-time at Starbucks as a cover for his real job as a thief. He's quite endearing actually. Martin has ...more
Jun 02, 2010 rated it liked it
it's a little hard for me to decide what I think of this book.

Taken at face value, as simply a book with characters and plot, it's a cute, light, fun read. It's a bit slow at the start but the pace picks up near the end. For light, mindless reading, this serves its purpose.

As a concept, I'm somewhat less sold. It's a bit like reading only half of the book, The Collector, wherein we see someone whose behavior is clearly aberrant, but from his perspective only. I don't care how many good deeds a
Feb 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literature
What a wonderful debut novel about a lovable thief! Martin is believable, sympathetic, and twisted all at the same time. I love how Martin refers to his victims as "clients" and his life of crime as "work".

A must read for anyone interested in suspense, mystery, psychology, and literature.
Aug 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful story, full of ironic humor, suspense, and feel-good incidents. It's also squeaky clean, with a complete absence of profanity and only a couple of very-minor sexual references. This was a fun read and, given that it's the author's first novel, I'll be watching for his next.
Jun 02, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 If a thief broke into your home, would you know? What if he didn't move anything out of place and only took a roll of toilet paper, two cans of beans, and a disposable razor? Martin is this kind of thief. He thinks of the people he steals from as "clients," and knows as much about them as anyone. He checks their computers and their calendars and knows their schedules. He breaks in (usually he can find a spare key to duplicate) frequently and documents everything, and he only takes things he ...more
Kara Babcock
I couldnt remember why I had added Something Missing to my to-read list, so I was somewhat sceptical going into it. Matthew Dicks writing style didnt improve my opinion at first. Something about Marin, a burglar who only robs select clients and only takes items that wont be missed, changed my mind. Somewhere along the way, Dicks made me care, not just about Martin but about the proposition that he could help the people he is otherwise stealing from.

I can even point to when my opinion began to
Eileen W
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a book club pick that I found myself really enjoying. It is interesting, humorous, suspenseful....with a satisfying ending.
Lisa Parker
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fun read. Ive never actually liked a thief this much before lol! ...more
Jacqueline Masumian
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another FUN READ from Matthew Dicks. As he did in his delightful Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, Dicks has created a quirky character who is utterly believable and endearing.

Poor Martin. Severely OCD, almost friendless, possessing only a suggestion of social skills, he makes his living robbing people's homes. The endearing part is that he only steals from people (always a couple, one with no pesky kids or dogs to foil his plans) what he knows they won't miss or couldn't possibly need, things
Sep 18, 2019 rated it liked it
A fun light read, vacation perfect. Painstakingly slow at the beginning, appropriate to the main character, accelerating to a pat finish at the end. (My copy used the word "wretched" instead of "retched". But it could be argued that retching makes you feel pretty wretched, so maybe it works.)
I absolutely loved this book. It really sucked me in and the whole thing was awesome. I love thieves and Martin certainly is an odd one, thinking of people as clients.
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
An amusing read. Would make a nice vacation or beach book.
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook, 2019-books
I stayed up far too late listening to this oh so enjoyable book :)
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club-picks
I cannot remember the last time I laughed as hard as I did whilst reading Something Missing. Hilarious, quirky, feel-good story that everyone should read!
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Matthew Dicks is the internationally bestselling author of the novels Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, Something Missing, Unexpectedly, Milo, The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs, and the upcoming novels The Other Mother and Cardboard Knight, as well as the nonfiction Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life Through the Art of Storytelling. His novels have been translated into ...more

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“Dandy," Martin replied, once again pleased with his response. A girl can make a guy feel good, great, and even fabulous, but how often does a lady hear that her man is feeling dandy?

Not often, he guessed.”
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