Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Something Mis ing - Matthew Dicks










Anyone remember "Memoirs of an invisible friend" by the same author?  Dicks is his real name, but that book was published under Green in the UK for some reason or another.  Great cover, eh?   Have a look on Amazon where there are loads of second hand copies from America, but no UK publication that I can find.  Pursue it!  Read it!  This is why:

Martin (a criminal with OCD tendencies and a savant-like genius for bringing order to his crime scenes) is unlike any hero I've ever come across.  A man alone, literally.  Well, you can't do what he does in the way he does it and talk to anyone about it, even if you are a genius.  I took this gentle man to my heart within pages.  A burglar who steals more toilet rolls and sugar than he does valuables; but when he does steal valuables he is very very thorough indeed and makes a good living selling things that the owners will never miss - or not for years, even if they are valuable.  Thorough?  a burglar who takes pics of the house before he does the stealing so that he can put everything  back in its place before he leaves the house.  A burglar who has a spread sheet for each of his 'clients' so that he knows when they are on holiday, when they go out for meals etc.  He never burgles a house with a dog (self explanatory really) or children.  The day he is surprised by a talking parrot nearly gives him a heart attack - and is a gem in the telling - especially as this African Grey has a huge vocabulary, and Martin, after the initial shock, realises that anything he says in his own voice to the bird is likely to be repeated by it and then the owners will wonder why this has happened..... so he starts in a whisper, and then finds that he likes the company!

He has a couple of friends, but he'd be a difficult man to love, frankly.  His life starts to change one day when, surprised by the early arrival home of a 'client', he has to hide in a wardrobe, and he overhears a conversation that takes him down a different route altogether.  A route that is helped a lot by his computer, a spreadsheet and a little sprinkle of genius.