I received an Advanced Copy of this novel for review from the publisher via NetGalley.
So, you know you’re reading a really good book when you have no fingernails left, your bottom lip is bleeding and you’ve uttered,‘Oh for goodness sake!” at least half a dozen times. Bonus points you’ve almost tossed the book (or ereader) across the room.
Among Thieves begins as a story about a team of ex cons, led by James Beck, who have joined forces to not only help other men fresh out of jail but right the wrongs of the world… sort of like a modern day expanded A-Team. Beck has weapons specialists, financial specialists, even an on call doctor to stitch up wounds. James has collected a motley crew of individuals that has become his family.
Manny, who serves as cook and resident Guy You Don’t Want To Piss Off, has a problem– his cousin, a Wall Street stock broker, has been assaulted and forced out of her job. She’s been black balled from the finance industry and can’t get a job at another firm. She wants revenge and her ex con, frightening and terrifyingly large cousin with big guns is just the man for the job.
Beck steps in because if he doesn’t, all hell will break loose. When Manny wants to kill someone, he’s virtually unstoppable. Beck formulates a brilliant plan to extort money from Milstein, owner of Summit Financial, Olivia’s previous employer–severance, plus pain and suffering, since Alex Crane, a fellow coworker, broke two of her fingers in an attempt to throw her off the trail of some illegal trading practices.
The ruse should work and go off without a hitch… should being the operative word. Milstein doesn’t like being told what to do. He calls in his drug addled, all the way crazy biggest client Markov to alert him of the attempt to extort money, knowing full well Markov will deal with Olivia and Beck. And here’s where things just get nuts.
What should have been a simple, “pay her the money you owe her and everyone goes away,” becomes an increasingly convoluted scheme to take down Markov, a Russian mobster, and all of his gun wielding associates. Beck gets in more fights and beats off more goons in a 48 hour period than Jean Claude Van Damme– he’s almost unbelievably skilled at kicking mercenary butt.
Beck’s seemingly apparent flaw, though, is his attraction to Olivia and this is dangerous because what seems like a frightened, trapped woman is nothing but and James Beck– and Manny and the entire ‘family’ are embroiled in a scheme that goes so deep, the US Army is involved.
The saying is that there is no honor among thieves and the theme of this book proves that to be true. You can’t trust a thief to keep his word. Or hers. This book was a tumultuous ride that wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy, but every once in awhile I had to take a break because I found it hard to breathe. I’m pleased to find out that this will be a series, because I could deal with much more of James Beck and his Band of Not So Merry Men.
Four star read, worth the panic attack!