You can't keep a good thief down . . . Charlie Howard is back and robbing the city of Berlin blind, until he witnesses a murder being committed right before his eyes
Charlie Howard, part-time writer, part-time thief, has been engaged in a veritable spree of larceny and misappropriation since moving to Berlin, Germany. He's supposed to be working on his next novel. But high rent and a love for thrill-seeking has been hard on his word count.
But Charlie's larcenous binge is interrupted by the call to duty—on behalf of Her Majesty's Government. Four embassy employees are suspected of stealing a sensitive item. Charlie is to break into their homes, find the culprit and recover the stolen property. But there's a catch. The item is so sensitive, Charlie isn't told what he's looking for. Not its size, not its weight, nothing. He's only told that he'll recognize it when he sees it.
Charlie has been a successful thief because he follows his own rules, the first being "Don't get caught." Well, after he enters the first suspect's home, he has to add a new rule: "Don't admire the view." As Charlie stares across the street, he sees something he really wishes he hadn't—a woman being murdered. And that's just for starters. What follows is a wild adventure in the former cauldron of spies.
With The Good Thief's Guide to Berlin, Chris Ewan shows why he was voted as one of America's favorite British authors by a Huffington Post poll. Clever and wildly entertaining, this is a mystery series that is "big fun" (The Seattle Times).
A burglary assignment brokered by Charlie Howard's agent, Victoria Newbury, proves much more trouble than it's worth in Ewan's outstanding fifth Good Thief's Guide mystery (after 2011's The Good Thief's Guide to Venice). A representative of the British embassy in Berlin offers the professional thief a tidy sum to break into the homes of four people in search of something that the embassy official won't describe ("You'll recognize it when you see it"). The first apartment Charlie burgles has nothing of obvious value, but before leaving, he glances out the window and sees a murder in progress across the way. Torn between doing the right thing and self-preservation, he calls the crime into the police and watches as they enter the building and emerge without corpse or killer. Meanwhile, his search for the McGuffin attracts the attention of certain parties who aren't hesitant to use violence. Ewan perfectly blends tension and humor in a neatly constructed plot.