good thief's guide

Title: The Good Thief’s Guide to Berlin (Good Thief’s Guide #5)

Author: Chris Ewan

Reader: Simon Vance

Category: Mystery

Audio published: September 1, 2013 by AudioGo

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Add: Goodreads

Purchase: Amazon | IndieBound

Charlie Howard, part-time writer, part-time thief, has been engaged in a veritable spree of larceny and misappropriation since moving to Berlin. He’s supposed to be working on his next novel. But high rent and a love for thrill-seeking has been hard on his word count. But Charlie’s larcenous binge is interrupted by the call to duty on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government. Four embassy employees are suspected of stealing a sensitive item. Charlie is to break into their homes, find the culprit, and recover the stolen property. But there’s a catch. The item is so sensitive, Charlie isn’t told what he’s looking for. Not its size, not its weight, nothing. He’s only told that he’ll recognize it when he sees it. Charlie has been a successful thief because he follows his own rules, the first being “Don’t get caught.” Well, after he enters the first suspect’s home, he has to add a new rule: “Don’t admire the view.” As Charlie stares across the street, he sees something he really wishes he hadn’t: a woman being murdered. And that’s just for starters. What follows is a wild adventure in the former cauldron of spies.

This is my first meeting Charlie Howard, the writer/thief who stars in The Good Thief’s Guide to Berlin. This is the 5th in the series and while I felt like it stood alone well, I may a understood the characters a little better had I started at the beginning. Charlie is smart and sarcastic and I love how Simon Vance read the book. It’s no surprise, really, that he seems to capture Charlie perfectly.

If you read the blurb, you know Charlie’s in Berlin and has got himself involved in a bit of a mess. He’s looking for a “package” that everyone else seems to be looking for too, the Russians, the Americans, the French, and none are too nice about it. He’s not a step ahead either; the bad, bad guys, as opposed to our thief who is a good bad guy, always seem to know where he’s going to be.

I like Charlie’s attitude – he’s always got a quip ready, even when it’s a life-or-death situation, and it is a fun mystery, even if it feels like a little too much. Too many black cars and thugs, too odd a “package.” There’s kidnappings and close escapes, even a nutty man who lives under an abandoned amusement park. All of that is part of the fun, but even though it is violent, it still feels light-hearted, because really, could all this actually happen. The plot is a bit twisty, but with no really astounding moments.

There’s a touch of romance with Victoria, his agent. I do wonder if this has been simmering for a while or if it’s new in this installment. I hope the second, because drawn-out non-romances tend to annoy me. And of course, his “arrangement” puts her in grave danger too, not surprising.

Overall, it was enjoyable to listen too, but it didn’t hold all my attention.

The Good Thief’s Guide Series

  1. The Good Thief’s Guide to Amsterdam
  2. The Good Thief’s Guide to Paris
  3. The Good Thief’s Guide to Vegas
  4. The Good Thief’s Guide to Venice
  5. The Good Thief’s Guide to Berlin

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This was my first read for R.I.P. VIII, a reading event embracing the ghastly and ghostly, mysterious and grim. R.I.P. VIII is hosted by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings.

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