Debut Review: The Good Thief’s Guide to Amerstdam by Chris Ewan

Good Thief’s GuideTitle: The Good Thief’s Guide to Amsterdam
Author: Chris Ewan
Publisher: Long Barn Books
Published: 2007
Price: 12.99

I’ve been meaning to get my hands on this book for quite some time. Any book that can survive the fire of Susan Hill has got to be good, right? Yes, definitely. Is it a big blockbusting bestseller? Not really and I don’t think it’s meant to be.

Charlie Howard writes crime novels about a career thief; a career he also dabbles in from time to time. So when someone asks him to steal two monkey figurines he can’t turn it down can he?

Chirs Ewan has created a wonderfully entertaining character in Charlie Howard. He has an English whit and good manners for someone who breaks into houses for a living. And in any detective novel a good main character is a must. The other essential is a mystery and Ewan’s storytelling is compelling and compulsive.

It’s not a blockbuster thank god as there are no big car chases, fire-fighting shootouts, or explosions. Instead he’s built a complex tale from a few simple building blocks with enough false bait to keep you hooked even when you find out you’ve been pulling on the wrong line for quie some time. It harks back to tales where it’s brains that count like the tales of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Colon Doyle and the detective stories of Agatha Christie.

I’d usually be wary of a writer writing about a character who writes but in this case it allows some interesting conversations and some insight into both the main character and the unfolding events. Ewan also manages to capture the spirit of Amsterdam making the city a vital character of the story.

I’d whole heartedly recommend this book for anyone who loves detective stories with a definite English twist and for anyone who loves a great read I’d say you should buy this too. There is loads of potential for a sequel and I personally hope it’s not going to take too long to come. I guess the only to make sure there is is for enough people to go out and buy this book first. What you waiting for?

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