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The Lock Artist

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  9,570 Ratings  ·  1,249 Reviews
At the age of eight, Michael survives an act of violence so horrific that the local press dubs him "The Miracle Boy." An orphan now, and no longer able to speak, Michael soon discovers the one thing he can do better than anyone else. Whether it's a locked door with no key, a padlock with no combination, or even an 800-pound safe . . . Michael can open them all. It doesn't ...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 526 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Center Point (first published December 29th 2009)
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Safe-cracking is an ART, and 18 year old Michael is a tumbler-aligning Picasso. Unfortunately, this talent has made him an extremely valuable commodity to some rather dangerous folks. Further complicating Michael's very unusual life is that he hasn’t uttered a single word for more than ten years, ever since he was traumatized by a singularly horrific event that he experienced at the tender age of 8.

Michael’s journey in The Lock Artist is told in the first person as he writes his story down in
Maggie Stiefvater
Jan 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, recommended
Wow, am I ever on a reading roll. Considering I normally adore fewer than ten novels in a year (about one in six or seven of the books that I read), it seems impossible that I should find another novel I adore so soon after reading Where Things Come Back. But I adored The Lock Artist. Those of you who read my review of Where Things Come Back will remember that I was longing for a book about guns and helicopters and magic, but found Things instead. Turns out that The Lock Artist was the book I wa ...more
How many times have I seen or read about a character picking a lock? I’m a crime/mystery fan so it’s gotta be in the hundreds. Maybe even over a thousand. It’s such a common cliché we don’t even think about anymore. A door is locked, and a character pulls out their little case with their tools and picks it . Yet this is the first story I’ve ever read that actually explains what it takes to pick a lock or open a safe. Surprise! It’s not as easy as it is in the movies, but it makes for a helluva g ...more
Dec 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting and suspenseful story of a mute teenaged safecracker.
The book provides such detailed intstructions on how to pick locks and open safes that I was finally able to let myself into my neighbor's house and steal those photos that he's been using to bribe...
Oops. I've said too much.
Bill Khaemba
“I didn't know that once you've proven yourself useful to the wrong people, you'll never be free again.”Image result for cracking a safe gif

Sometimes you just a fun book, one that will just entertain you regardless of the prose, writing style and all that jazz... I was in need for that so when I picked this up after reading so many sad stories it kind of got me in a happy  mood. It was so fascinating and the plot was so cool that it seemed like I was watching a spy thriller movie.

Image result for heist gif


The perspective of the story is from a 17-year-
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Feb 08, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jeanette by: Charisse
"Mute artistic safecracker" hardly sounds like a promising profile for the main character in a thriller, but it works. There's a lot of originality here that makes this fun to read.

Michael was rendered mute by a traumatic experience at age eight. Now he's in prison for a robbery gone very wrong, and he tells the story of how he ended up in his current situation. He alternates between two story lines that eventually converge (sort of). One is the story of his young life as a mute, and how he bec
Dec 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book won the 2011 Edgar Award for Best Novel of 2011 (Edgar Awards are given annually by the Mystery Writers of America). That means those in the business of writing mystery novels recognize the superior quality in this well crafted tale. I heartily concur.

It jumps back and forth in time, and teaches us how to become an expert safecracker along the way. The narrator is a distinctive young man, Michael--something terrible happened to him when he was a child, before he came to live with his U
Liz Nutting
Apr 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
About a quarter of the way through The Lock Artist, by Steve Hamilton, I began pondering one of those meta-questions about reading: What are the qualities of a book that make you not want to put it down? That compel you to read "just a couple more pages" until you wake at 4:15 a.m. with the lights on, your glasses perched on your nose and the book stretched open across your chest? That make you willing to tote two or three extra pounds of hardcover book in your bag, despite the sore neck it caus ...more
Apr 09, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The problem of expectations – expect too much and disappointment ruins the tale. The Lock Artist appears on number of recommended or “Best” Lists and the premise, a teen-aged elective mute safecracker, sounds intriguing. It promised to be as original as Jonathan Lethem’s tour-de-force Motherless Brooklyn. Alas, this is not Motherless Brooklyn.

After a promising start, by cranking up the suspense by telling that our protagonist, Mike, suffered a traumatic event as a young child and was dubbed the
Nov 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This book blew me away. Michael is a traumatized 18 year old who hasn't spoken a word in 10 years. He is also a master lock picker with a natural gift for breaking into places. Throughout the story, told by Michael, we learn about his recent past and eventually about the horrible events of his childhood that left him unable to speak. I was shocked by how emotional the story was as I was expecting a fun crime thriller with an unusual plot. Instead, this is a powerful and sad story wrapped in the ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Please update page count 2 14 Mar 13, 2016 10:26PM  
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EXIT STRATEGY, the second book in the Nick Mason series, will be released on May 16, 2017.
More about Steve Hamilton...
“I didn't know that once you've proven yourself useful to the wrong people, you'll never be free again.” 17 likes
“Somewhere in the ocean, a shark was missing its cold eyes because this man had them.” 11 likes
More quotes…