by Stephen Buehler
I thought occasionally I’d take the time allotted to me on Writing Wranglers & Warriors to share a book that many may not know of.
First up is THE LOCK ARTIST by Steve Hamilton.
Steve Hamilton might be best known for his PI series featuring Alex McKnight. The first book in that series, A Cold Day in Paradise, won both the Edgar and the Shamus for Best First Novel. He has written 10 Alex McKnight books winning multiple awards.If you like PI books that are more than just solving the mystery these books are for you.
But THE LOCK ARTIST is a departure from that series. It’s a story of Michael, an 18 year old, who since a childhood tragedy remains mute. The astonishing skill Michael does possess is that he can pick or unlock any lock, with or without a key or knowing the combination. Unfortunately, the wrong people find out about Michael’s ability and force him to work for them. Michael looks for a chance to escape and return home where he wants to unlock the secret that has kept him mute for so long.
One of the most interesting aspects of the book is the voice. Michael is a mute yet THE LOCK ARTIST is told from a first person perspective. What he can’t communicate to other people in the book he communicates to the reader. Long after finishing the book Micheal’s voice stayed with me. You root for Michael throughout the book, wanting to know why he doesn’t speak. It’s a thriller, a mystery and a coming of age book all wrapped up into one. Without giving anything away the ending does not disappoint.
I don’t want to talk about too much about the plot as there’s plenty of twists and turns but I can state that THE LOCK ARTIST is an absorbing book. You fully enter Michael’s world and it stays with you.
THE LOCK ARTIST came out in 2010 and won the Barry Award for Best Novel, The Steel Dagger Award, the Edgar for Best Novel and was a finalist for an Anthony, a Gold Dagger and a Dilys Award.
I hope you check out THE LOCK ARTIST. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
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Stephen Buehler’s short fiction has been published in numerous on-line publications including, Akashic Books. Not My Day appeared in the Last Exit to Murder anthology and A Job’s a Job in Believe Me or Not –An Unreliable Anthology. He is expanding his novella, The Mindreading Murders about a magician into a novel and shopping around his mystery/comedy P.I. novel, Detective Rules. On top of all that he is a script consultant, magician and a dog owner of Seymour. http://www.stephenbuehler.com