Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Amateurs by Marcus Sakey (review #114)

The Amateurs by Marcus Sakey
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Dutton
Format: Review Copy

I LOVED this book! It was exactly what I needed. I am really trying to focus on my mood these days when it comes to reading and also trying to meet my challenges at the same time. It may sound tricky but it's working out. I seem to have a little variety with my challenges and a good mix of books on my shelf and to review to pick from.

This book wasn't a planned review. I inquired with the publisher about his newest book and they offered to send me this one instead because the new one was not ready yet. I had read his novel Good People a few years back and really enjoyed it.

Sakey's books have one of my favorite types of set ups in mysteries. He puts ordinary people in extraordinary situations. Harlan Coben and later Dean Koontz are good authors for that as well.
You can easily identify with the characters; who they are, what drives them, the mistakes them make, etc. And when things go horribly wrong, you sort of see it coming but you can't stop reading!

The Amateurs is all that and a bag of chips. Alex, Ian, Mitch and Jenn are four friends who call themselves the Thursday Night Drinking Club. Every Thursday they come together to drink a local bar where Alex is bartender. They are all seemingly happy, somewhat together individuals with little care in the world and are up for almost anything.

Alex is trying to make enough money to pay his child support for his daughter, Cassie. Jenn is a travel agent who longs for adventure. Mitch works in a hotel and is secretly in love with Jenn. Ian is fun and dangerous and secretly hiding a controlled drug habit.

Alex is called to do a side job for his boss, Johnny Love and doesn't know how to say no. Feeling trapped and desperately wanting more money for his kid, he agrees but he also gets the idea for a side job of his own. Turns out Johnny has a safe full of cash and Alex just happens to know the combination.

Somehow able to convince his friends to set up a fake robbery, they go for it. Good people making quick decisions based out of desperation and a need for adventure. Makes sense. Of course it will all go to hell.

And to hell it goes, indeed. Not only did they steal from Johnny, Johnny owed a guy named Victor a different kind of payment. Now the web has gotten bigger and it's not just his weasel boss that he screwed. Alex and his friends also screwed some big time bad guys.

Review: 5/6
Without giving too much away, let's just say, this one was fast paced and full of action. It was hard to put down. Sure it was a tad bit predictable at times. Will it make an awesome movie? You bet! The four friends were indeed Amateurs and they freely admit it. What they did might not be above or beyond anything that anyone of us would do? Who knows? This was a well crafted, fun suspenseful read. I'm going to continue to keep an eye out for Marcus Sakey!

Book Club Pick:
Another fun read for me, that's it!

Author Website:

Happy reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

*Thank you to Dana Kaye Publicity for sharing a copy with me to read.


Misha said...

I really like the sound of The Amateurs. I love a well-written and action packed mystery novel. Thanks for the review, Michelle!

Gina said...

See that's one of the reasons I shy away from challenges...the reading mood dilemma. Seems like you've got a handle on it though...congrats! From the sound of it, the author has made a new fan...and I can certainly see why from your review. Definitely has potential. Happy reading! ^_^

Tales of Whimsy said...

This sounds great. Cool review. Thanks for bringing something totally new to my attention :)

Marce said...

Oh Michelle you definitely know how to choose and recommend them. Exciting review, definitely adding to my Wishlist.

I have never heard of this author before.

Senator said...

Hahaha, this sounds like a great book. I couldn't help but be reminded of the Animorph series... kind of. Heh.

On another note, y'all need to read "The Thirteenth Tale" by Diane Setterfield for your book club. It lags a wee 3/4 of the way through but ends with a bang.

Sheila Deeth said...

I like the sound of this.