The Good Thief’s Guide to Paris by Chris Ewan
Published by: Minotaur Books
Published on: September 2009
Page Count: 280
Genre: Mystery/Crime Fiction
My Reading Format: Audiobook provided to me by the publisher for consideration
Audiobook Published by: AudioGo
Narrator: Simon Vance
Audiobook Length: 8 hours 20 minutes
Available Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook and audiobook
After publishing his memoir, we find Charlie Howard in Paris, teaching a Frenchman named Bruno how to break in to his own apartment. Charlie meets Bruno at an after-party following an impromptu book signing at a local Paris bookstore. Charlie would have rather been cozying up with Paige, a young American woman who set up the signing, but she is occupied with other males at the bar. Knowing it was a mistake to take 500 euros to teach this man the tricks of his trade, he accepts the job anyway. A mistake it was, and from there Charlie is soon on the run from the French police, the chief subject in a murder investigation. Charlie has more to worry about than just the police. Victoria, his long time agent and confidante, is determined to meet him in person. Charlie is going to have one come to Jesus moment after another if he doesn’t do some artfully dodging.
This second novel in the Good Thief’s Guide series gets off to a fun start with Charlie and Bruno breaking into the apartment, but overall, Charlie seems rather sad as Paris begins. He can’t seem to get any traction on his current novel and his arthritic fingers could very soon get in the way of his thieving livelihood. His humor has a morose edge and his relationship with Vic, a part of his life that keeps him centered, is strained. Simply because he doesn’t have the time to dwell on it, Charlie seems to perk up when his freedom is on the line. The adrenaline rush he gets from the chase and dangerous heists pushes him out of his fog. This gave a good deal of insight into his character.
While Charlie may have begun the novel more somber, The Good Thief’s Guide to Paris has many hilarious moments. The scene when Charlie and Vic come face to face was well worth the wait. The two clicked just as well in the same city as they did over the phone in The Good Thief’s Guide to Amsterdam. There is also one scene in particular that brought tears to my eyes I was laughing so hard. When Charlie is in a real pickle, he describes it like no one else.
As befitting Charlie’s mood, Simon Vance’s narration is not as light-hearted as it was in the first book. You could hear the strain in Vic’s voice while she spoke on the phone with Charlie. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to me any longer, but I was impressed with how well his narration picked up on and expressed the tone of the writing.
Listening to The Good Thief’s Guide to Paris made me glad that I started this series. Like the Maisie Dobbs and series, I find that I enjoy coming to a book already invested in the characters. This novel fleshed both Charlie and Vic out, giving them and their relationship more depth. While I love Charlie’s antics, I appreciate very much that he’s more than a good thief who makes some less than stellar decisions that lead him into peril. I look forward to further adventures in Las Vegas, Venice and beyond.
I’m posting this review today to participate in Jen at Devourer of Books‘ weekly Sound Bytes meme. If you have an audiobook review to post, why not participate with us?