Blunt, Giles. No Such Creature. Henry Holt, 2009. ISBN 978-0805080629 pp. $
Owen, orphaned at age 10 after his parents are killed in a car accident, was taken under the wing of his great uncle, who taught him everything he knows and introduced him to theatrical life of posing at the dinner parties of the elite to rob them of their cash and jewels. Now 18, Owen wants to quit their life of crime and pursuing acting at Juilliard, where he has been offered a partial scholarship, but he worries about leaving uncle Max alone, especially given his recent bouts of senility… and now, it turns out, the Subtractors (a band of thieves who steal from thieves by removing body parts until they get the information and goods they seek) may be after the gentleman thief duo.
The action is fast paced, the writing descriptive, and the premise, intriguing; Owen is a compelling character, in part due to Blunt’s skillful flashback. Point of view changes within each chapter, making the story occasionally difficult to follow. I had to put the book down at page 54 when a supporting villain had sex with a drug-addicted minor. A quick skim to the end revealed a plot point that I’d figured out on page 48.
This may be a fun and exciting read for James Bond or Ocean’s Eleven fans.