Sunday, February 20, 2011

Chuck Hogan: Prince of Thieves

Chuck Hogan brings us the story of a bank robber, who has known nothing else in his life but is wanting to change for a woman.

They are wearing mask, carrying guns and are lying in wait for the bank managers to get to work. Doug MacRay is Boston based career thief, who along with his buddies have become well known Bank Robbers. But this robbery is different for Doug, the prep-work was different he found himself asking more and more questions about Claire Keesey, the banks manager, questions that have nothing to do with robbing the bank but more personal questions. After the bank robbery Claire has been badly traumatized and it is the perfect entry for Doug into her life, while she is vulnerable and scared. But is Doug ready to leave his current life, he is surrounded by friends who look up to him and rely on him, but the allure of a better life with Claire is ever present. Doug may never reach this better life, there is always the next job to plan, and the FBI are getting closer that it becomes a cat and mouse game. However, in the world of Charlestown one is never sure whose the Mouse and whose the Cat.

Prince of Thieves, is the book that inspired the movie The Town, which is the reason I picked this book to read. I really wanted to read the book before I saw the movie, which I think most book lovers like to do. I have yet to watch the movie, as I just finished this book the other day, but I hope to watch it soon.

The first part of this book is fairly slow, other than the robbery at the very beginning. The book begins to lag after this bank robbery as Hogan begins to show who Doug MacRay is; his life, situation and his want/need to escape it. I did find myself not very interested in this book at the beginning as it was slow and times I would just put the book down and not read it for a bit (as you can tell by the length of time that it was as my currently reading book).  However, this lag is extremely important in setting up the rest of the storyline and the choices/decisions made by Doug. Once this period is over, (about a 100 pages in) the book becomes more fast paced and was able to draw me in and  had me wondering what is going to happen next and what decisions Doug, his Crew,  Agent Frawley and Claire would all make.

Doug is a pretty depressing character, his life is in a downward spiral, but he to want to change; Change his life, the people around him and possibly get out of Charlestown forever. But wanting it and doing it is easier said than done. He has a lot of history with Charlestowns and the people here, although he believes that she (Claire) can help save him and get him out of Charlsetown to a new life, he is still left questioning everything. Doug, I found, was a mixture of a hero and an anti hero. You want him to change and succeed in what he does, but at the same time his inability to walk away from bank robberies and his friends (who are slowly bringing him farther and farther down) makes you want him to get caught just so he is forced to make changes as you can see him as a better man (or who he could be if he maybe had a different up bringing).

Hogan does a great job of showing how one background can shape a life, but he also shows that one decision can change a life forever as well and that these decisions can also affect all the people around us in either a positive or negative way. Our choices shape who we are and the life we live.

I liked this book as Hogan has proved to me that he is okay with taking chance with his characters and no one is safe. This book is definitely more than just bank robbery book, it is about how your life and friends can shape a person and the choices  In a book like this it would seem counter or unrealistic if everything turned out okay, I applaud Hogan for not taking the easy way out. I would recommend this book to people who are thinking of watching the movie The Town, and for those who are looking for a different psychological thriller, with a little less thriller and a little more psychological.


I do not have a book that I have reviewed that is similar to this, so if you have read this book and can recommend something similar please leave it in the comments....Thank You!!

1 comment:

  1. The only experience I have with Chuck Hogan is The Strain and The Fall that he did with Guillermo Del Toro, and I loved those, so I'm certainly willing to give this one a read, even though it looks completely different.

    Oh, I added your button to my blog-we seem to have VERY similar tastes in books!
    I wish you had an email subscribe option!
    Have a great night!
    Kristin @ My Bookish Ways