When I first read this book I thought it was just okay. This was primarily because toward the third act of the book we have moments of tedious description and factoids about the world that bring the narrative to a crawl.
However, having gone back and thought about it some I've realized that this book is an absolute delight.
I would not say that it is an expressly brainy read, though it does give a rather humanizing look at the criminal element and how it is they can come to be. No, I would say that this book oozes cool more than anything else.
I hate to compare the story to the Ocean's movies because they are so sub-par, yet that is the first group of books that comes to mind.
Indeed, this books tells the story of the thieves that have practically invented the modern con. Before them it was low and dirty, something that only happened in the backstreets of a dirty town. Yet, here are these charming men, these charming bastards.
They are well read, well groomed. They speak with ease and exude charisma. They dress richly and eat and drink some of the finest food.
They are gentlemen in every sense of the world and yet...where did your coin purse go?
What about that investment money?
And just as suddenly as they show they are gone.
But it is more than than. There is magic in this world. Magic that, in this book, is not dived into and tickled out until there is nothing magical about it.
There is also grime and danger.
A lot of danger actually. Like, you've seen The Godfather right? Remember the horse-head thing? Yeah, well, fuck that.
That scene is a wuss, at least when stacked against being drowned in a barrel of horse piss it is.
As far as the second story-line of a young Locke and Co. goes I'd say that it was rather intuitive to see these little snots grow into the tight group of accomplished con men.
If this book is any indication of what Mr. Lynch has up his sleeve then I look forward to more of this series. It is rare to read a book so expertly crafted as this, especially for a first effort.