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  • Mandy McHugh

Safecracker, Ryan Wick: A Review

I have a soft spot for heist movies. Give me witty thieves with chameleon properties and a healthy dose of sarcasm, and I am a happy girl. However, until Safecracker, I've never read a suspense/thriller narrative that focused on the world of heists.

Mave is a professional thief, born in a family of thieves, who is an expert at cracking safes. He's funny, smart, and has a particular set of skills that make him bad news for rich hedge fund managers with rare coins. He accepts a job doing just that, but his heist is interrupted when the mark comes home unexpectedly with a woman--who, as it turns out, has a similar motive. She murders the mark and escapes with the coin, a series of events that endanger Mave's livelihood and thrust him into a precarious situation with a cartel boss. Without giving too much away, Safecracker is a hell of a book. Well-paced, quick-witted, and exploding with action, Mave is an enticing narrator who, in spite of your best intentions, you will find yourself rooting for. Yes, he's a thief, but he has morals and standards and cares deeply about the few real relationships he holds dear. How can you not root for an antihero of this caliber? The supporting characters are equally likable, Liz being perhaps my favorite. Mave and Liz reminded me so much of Ray Donovan and Lena--and that is always a winning combination in my book. On top of this, there's no shortage of brutality that is jarring compared to the lighthearted sarcasm of our MC. Here, Wick proved to be at his best, as the visceral imagery jumped off the page. It's a fine line between blatant gore and what I like to think of as "gore with a purpose." and these scenes allowed us to empathize with Mave in a way that pushed the plot forward and gave depth to Mave's character arc. Overall, Safecracker is a fun, fast-paced, smart read with unforgettable characters and a steady stream of cinematic action. I'd recommend this to anyone who loves Ozark, Ray Donovan, heists, or lovable antiheroes. Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for honest review consideration.

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