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Island of Thieves

Review

Island of Thieves

Van Shaw is one of the more interesting characters inhabiting the crowded world of contemporary thriller fiction. Glen Erik Hamilton’s creation is the grandson of a legendary master thief. Shaw learned the trade and a great deal of wisdom at his grandfather’s side, and thus inherited more than tools and connections. This has not prevented him from getting into trouble but ultimately assists him in getting out of it. He needs all the help he can get in ISLAND OF THIEVES, the sixth and latest installment in this heralded series.

"[T]he book’s saving grace is the propensity of interesting adversarial characters --- two in particular --- and the frequency with which Shaw has to think on his feet (and with his hands) to get himself out of a jam."

The plot is somewhat complex. Shaw, through his own on-again, off-again legal counsel, is contacted by a representative of Sebastien Rohner, an eccentric and enigmatic business magnate who has a number of scientific and high-tech interests. Rohner hires Shaw to test and evaluate the safeguards that surround his extensive art collection. Shaw passed the test with flying colors but learns that it is merely the first step in his employment with Rohner, who wants him to guard the entire collection against possible theft. The money offer is an excellent one that Shaw cannot refuse, despite some misgivings.

Shaw’s doubt is well-placed. He barely has gotten boots on the ground at Rohner’s island estate, where the billionaire is hosting an international summit, when an important guest is murdered. Due to his checkered background, Shaw is considered to be the prime suspect by the police as well as his new employer. When a second employee of Rohner is killed, and a witness identifies Shaw as being in the immediate facility, he is arrested.

Shaw quickly escapes and is on the run, not only to clear his name but also to identify the real villains. This task takes him from Seattle to New York and back again, with the cat-and-mouse vignettes at which Hamilton excels being liberally sprinkled throughout the book. Resolution takes place where the plot kicked off --- on Rohner’s island retreat --- with a touch of subtle irony to keep things interesting.

Sometimes the number of individuals and layers to the story had me at sea, and I had to go back to determine why certain events were taking place. But the book’s saving grace is the propensity of interesting adversarial characters --- two in particular --- and the frequency with which Shaw has to think on his feet (and with his hands) to get himself out of a jam. Those who have been with Shaw for a while will find much to love here as they follow the thread to the next installment of the series, which hopefully will reveal itself sooner rather than later.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on August 13, 2021

Island of Thieves
by Glen Erik Hamilton

  • Publication Date: July 27, 2021
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • ISBN-10: 0062978543
  • ISBN-13: 9780062978547