“Everything you want to know about safe-cracking. It was okay, a bit tedious, but okay. closer to a 2.7.”2manyhobbies wrote this review Friday, September 6, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I started reading this only because I was on a Steve Hamilton binge and had finished his Alex McKnight series, which is an ok mystery series but nothing great. So I wasn't expecting much from this one, a standalone novel.
Surprise surprise. The premise is an unusual one, the first-person story of a man in prison, told in a seemingly haphazard manner, shifting from one time period in his life to another, giving the reader bits and pieces that slowly come together to form a whole picture. Young Michael, dubbed the "Miracle Boy" due to some unexplained (until the very end) trauma in childhood that rendered him selectively mute, is writing his life story while incarcerated, and early on we discover that he has a talent for picking locks, which leads to some obvious conclusions about his career path leading to his current demise. That premise captured my interest from the start and kept my attention until I finished the story. I won't say it's "unputdownable" but the character of the mute Michael lingered in my mind and I had to find out all about him. A lot of readers may not like the switching back and forth from one time period of the story to another, but the author makes it work and it maintains the suspense right to the very end. Excellent book and much better in my opinion than his Alex McKnight series.”
“Hamilton structures a quirky and innovative thriller around a young safecracker- or boxman- who has not spoken a word since a traumatic incident in his childhood. Raised in a rundown part of Michigan, Michael, named by the press "The Miracle Boy", finds amusement in opening locks he buys in a neighborhood antique shop. Indulging his love of drawing or spinning the chambers of the locks, Michael develops a unique skill that will prove invaluable to men who seek to exploit his talent. As Michael tells his story in chapters that alternate between the conflicts of the present and his past, from the days with comic books, drawing pads and Uncle Lido to a stint on probation, circumstances conspire to send the youth on a troubled road. Michael doesn't confide the exact nature of the tragedy that caused him to stop speaking, a fact that contributes to the mystery of his character, a young man who walks a solitary path, making the few choices available to him. And when fate delivers Amelia into his life, Michael senses his one chance at intimacy with another, a vague but promising future.
Shifting between the traumatic events of the past and the challenges of the present, Hamilton reveals the effects of trauma and poverty on an innocent child, a child who is not only a survivor but a young man of exceptional courage. There are no happy endings in this tale, but an example of the human spirit in the face of adversity and the healing power of love, even in the most extreme circumstances. Shocking, poignant and provocative, this unusual story is a blend of reality and hope in an indifferent world”
“Michael can't speak due to a horrendous family tragedy that occurred when he was eight. He does discover he has a special talent though, he can open any lock. Through a high school prank his talent comes to the attention of the wrong people and Michael, now eighteen, finds himself trapped in a life he never wanted. Micheal tells his story in a series of flashbacks that are easy to follow and are totally engrossing. I didn't expect to enjoy this book, but it turned out to be one of the best books I've read this year.”Iceangel9 wrote this review Tuesday, May 28, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A fine, taut mystery that makes you cringe for the future of the young lock artist. Highly recommend. Pg 8 "I was in my own little zone now. That warm little buzz, the way my heart rate would speed up until it was finally in sync with that constant bass drum inside my head. The fear I lived with every second of every day finally draining away from me. Everything peaceful and normal and in perfect tune, for just those few precious minutes."
“I read this book on my kindle which was not a huge success. Because the author uses a lot of flashbacks, I kept wanting to go back and re-read sections. Very hard with a kindle, you keep getting yourself lost. Good old paper book is the way to go! Interesting story with some intriguing characters”Liz Pasqualini wrote this review Thursday, February 7, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“book club”judy w wrote this review Thursday, January 31, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Its a good book, a little inapropriate at some parts and a little too much bad language, but otherwise, a good story, very suspensefull, tons of action and a book that will keep you reading. ”Alex wrote this review Wednesday, December 5, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“First book ever read by Steve Hamilton, signed copy given to me as a gift from a very dear friend....... Fast paced, it is told in recent (6 months prior...) flashbacks with every other chapter. The author is from Michigan and sets many of his stories there. This one took place in and around Milford and being familiiar with the area, it felt that much more realistic. I intend on reading more of his stuff. Basic story, traumatized mute teenager with a talent for lockpicking gets mixed up with the wrong people, falls for a girl from Milford Lakeland H.S., and spends most of the book trying to figure out how to do what's right and win the girl.... A story we've heard before, but told well. ”Adam Gentry wrote this review Tuesday, November 13, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I haven't read many crime novels but I had a really fun time reading this one. The protagonist was fascinating and fully fleshed-out and the action was exciting. The story is told from Michael's point of view, being written out from his jail cell. The technique of telling his story starting from two different points in his past definitely kept things fresh, especially since it allowed the novel to start with a more actiony scene that wouldn't have fit at the beginning of a linear narration. However, this structure also became confusing and at times it was hard to keep up with what point in Michael's life you were reading about. Overall, though, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a quick read with a unique protagonist.”Kailey-wa wrote this review Saturday, November 3, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No