By Peter Spiegelman
Alfred A. Knopf, $24.95, 320 pages
It’s been quite a while since I’ve read a thriller that actually thrilled me. Thick as Thieves is a gritty, no-nonsense yarn about a group of criminals planning and executing a heist of the ill-gotten gains of an offshore banker. In the best noir tradition, the angels have filthy wings and nobody is quite who they seem. This is no happy-go-lucky Ocean’s Eleven tale filled with a merry band of misfits; the angels of this book have trigger-finger tempers and a pathological need to betray one another. All except for Carr, the team’s leader, seemingly the only one of the crew able to carry the burden of a conscience, and the central piece to this puzzle. He has a gumshoe’s eye for detail; one can almost imagine Humphrey Bogart playing him in a black-and-white film adaptation.
Peter Spiegelman has written a humdinger of a novel. The dialogue is sharp, and the pacing is fast as a whip. The tension is palpable, and the outcome is always in doubt, even to the very last page. If you’re a fan of crime thrillers with quick pacing and razor-sharp dialogue, this book will be a pure joy to read.
Reviewed by Brad Wright