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The Lock Artist Paperback – 8 Jul 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Paperback, 8 Jul 2010
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; Trade Paperback edition (8 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752891960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752891965
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 2.6 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,756,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


It is a tale of blessing and curse, horror and redemption, a boy who is utterly locked out and a man who can bypass any security system, skilfully woven in the spare, elegant prose of unforced authenticity. (GUARDIAN)

Never has a narrator been more eloquent, more heart breaking and more moving - and all without speaking a word... An utterly absorbing tale.9/10 (PETERBOROUGH EVENING TELEGRAPH)

The talent that Steve Hamilton has developed over the course of the Alex McKnight series is in full bloom here in this daring and deeply satisfying novel. (REVIEWING THE EVIDENCE)

This reluctant safecracker is one of the most attractive, original and complete protagonists I've encountered in a lond while, in one of the most consistenly enjoyable and moving novels of the year. (MORNING STAR)

'Steve Hamilton knows how to build tension - it is slow, but inexorable. The reader is given an indication of how things will shape up from the outset, but this in no way spoils the narrative - the sequence of events is compelling. (LEICESTERSHIRE LIFE)

A coming of age novel disguised as a thriller, this is an exciting rollercoaster ride through trauma and emancipation. (CATHOLIC HERALD)

Book Description

Prize-winning crime author Steve Hamilton's hugely commercial mainstream breakout tells the extraordinary story of a safe-cracker trying to unlock the key to his past.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The story begins with Michael introducing himself from jail. He asks you to think back to the summer of 1990 and recall the terrible events that ended up with him being known as the Miracle Boy. Of course we are not able to do this, but it has the effect of making you instantly intrigued and wanting to find out what happened to him. The things that happened that day were so traumatising for 8 year old Micheal that he is left unable to speak. His future is changed forever and he is sent to live with a batchelor uncle who owns a liquor store. School becomes a nightmare for him, until he discovers a talent for opening locks. Unfortunately this leads him into a high school prank that goes wrong. He ends up in trouble with the police taking the blame and refusing to name the others involved. As a result he ends up doing community service for the man whose house he broke into.

Whilst doing community work he strikes up a special relationship with the mans daugher Amelia. Unable to talk they converse though drawing, leaving pages of a comic book for each other that tell a story. Although unable to speak, Amelia is the one person Michael might tell his story to.

Amelias father is in trouble with the mob and to get himself out of trouble he uses Micheal and his special abilities as a bargaining chip. Michael graduates from locks to safes and is soon involved in a million dollar heist gaining the name The Lock Artist. All the time he is planning a way to turn the tables on his employers and find Amelia again.

The book is gripping, it tells the story in a series of flashbacks into the past, mixed up with the Michael's safecracking exploits in the present day. This could be confusing but its not.
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Format: Paperback
This a great book originally written to my mind from the perspective of someone suffering the phycological after effects of an extremely traumatic childhood experience. Its great in many ways. The author sets up questions from the beginning by writing the main characters perspective at the present moment and reflecting on the way that the character got here today. Several of the main questions and ideas are left to the latter parts of the book to be revealed which kept me as a reader enthralled to the end.
It probably says something that I read this book flat out in two days from cover to cover and never having read anything by this author before want to read more. The story is essentially about a teenager getting to grips with life in his late teens and on to his twenties but the concept of the phycological effects foisted on this individual make the book in my opinion unique and interesting.
I would normally try and compare the novel to others that I have read and similar sort of authors, but I don't think I can in this case because its very original. All I can say is that if you like fairly fast paced, original and intriguing books this may well be the book for you.
A journey of self discovery is described by the main character and it may well be that like me you the reader will discover something about yourself reading this book.
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Format: Paperback
Every once in a while I come across an author who can make their characters leap off the page. An author who can make me vividly 'see' the environments and situations created for me. As those pages are turned it's almost as if a movie is being unspooled before my very eyes and I can actually 'hear' the dialogue being exchanged by the players within the tale. For non-readers, these claims may seem fanciful. However, for those of you who enjoy a good book I'm sure you know where I'm coming from. On this occasion, the writer who recently blew me away in this manner was Steve Hamilton with his novel The Lock Artist - what a humdinger of a story!

The book is narrated in the first person by 'Mike' AKA 'the miracle boy' - he informs us in the first chapter that he has been behind bars for nine years. He then tells us his story about how, at a young age, he develops a skill for picking locks before progressing onto safecracking. He also lets us know that, since the age of eight, he has been unable to speak on account of a traumatic childhood experience. To tell you more would undermine the rest of story that 'Mike' relates.

I just thought that this was a super thriller by an author who knows how to ratchet up the tension and deliver a cracking story. The Lock Artist is up there with the best and held me captivated all the way through to the last sentence. A highly recommended read.
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Format: Paperback
From the cover splurged with hype to reviews from the NY Times like "Too good for words", music to this thriller fan's ears!

Me - I'll readily read anything I can get my hands on, from Shopaholic to Tom Clancy but it's always thrillers that get me going the most. So I raced off through the first chapters of "The Lock Artist" both impressed at the emotion conveyed and the interesting perspective of a boy who doesn't ever say a word on an imposed journey to become a safe-breaker or "Lock Artist".

I have not read any of Steve Hamilton's books before, so I didn't have any expectations other than the stellar reviews. The book starts you off in the first person narrative and you immediately can not fail to build a rapport with the character and be intrigued by the promise of what's to come. The premise is certainly original and I can think of no other plot similar but by the end I was left feeling underwhelmed - like Steve nearly had it but not quite and the potential didn't quite surface.

I'm afraid the offered-up explanations of how safe-breaking works (author's note that this was masked so as not to result in a "how to guide"), took maths to a higher level than I'm interested in and I zoned out for a couple of pages - the only real low point for me.

Are these books more targeted to a younger reader maybe? Some of the violence and dark moments make me think not. Overall it is definitely a page-turner but a little too simplistic. I don't want to knock it too much as it was a very easy read and if the film is ever made, I'd go and see it in a heartbeat.
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