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Company Of Thieves [Mass Market Paperback]

Gil Roscoe
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Contrasting Views Dec 27 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
After reading this first novel by Mr. Roscoe I shared the book with several other friends. At an evening dinner we got to discussing the story and it was interesting how the males and females who read the book had vastly different reactions to the way the plot unfolded. One comment by a female was why Warren had to assult Maggie as he was conning the cons and acquiring all the rare coins for himself. This seemed to be out of character for someone he really cared for. My personal reaction to the story was that it's characters were well developed and the action flowed smoothly until the final chapter when I expected a more dramatic ending. I wanted him to end up in Canada and when he entered his hotel room was greeted by all his co-cons, then what would he do to get out of that mess. One final comment, I recently watched the TV series "Thieves" which is also about con artists and wondered how they could almost duplicate the general theme of Roscoe's novel without giving him credit for this similarity. It was good leisure reading and can't wait until his next novel.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Promising, but not quite Hiaasen Sept. 21 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Warren Allison, a minor league ex-con is trying to go straight. He works a graveyard shift and is trying to get enough cash together to put himself through college. Then he gets a call identifying him as an ex-girlfriend's grandfather and informing him that his ex (who was also his minor con partner) conned someone out of a fortune in opals. He tracks Maggie Weaver, the ex, back to Omaha and she not only agrees to pay him for his silence but also introduces him to her employer - a romantic con corporation.
Maggie persuades him that he should join her on a new romantic con, in New Zealand. Reluctantly Warren agrees, attracted by the potential financial gain and his renewed relationship with the very desirable and provocative Maggie. With the game afoot they trot off to steal some very rare coins from the family of New Zealand's Prime Minister.
The plot was excellent. Yes, I was expecting another twist or two towards the end, but it was well worked nonetheless. The characters were fun and the concept of the story top notch. Unfortunately the execution lacked a little for me. The dialogue was stale and some of the descriptions of New Zealand an obvious indulgence of the author. This book had wonderful scope to be very funny indeed but unfortunately it remained only mildly amusing throughout. Perfect scenes abound (like meeting the Prime Minister unexpectedly in his own home) with wonderful scope for humor but far too many pass leaving you wondering why there were there at all.
Comparing this book to the works of Carl Hiaasen is an injustice to the master of this genre. Company of Thieves has the potential to be as good, but cannot stand up to the scrutiny of someone familiar with Hiaasen and looking for a really funny yarn. This book is worth reading but do not expect the highs promised by the cover.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A solid three and a half stars Aug. 10 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Gil Roscoe's novel "Company of Thieves" is a nice light read for the summer. The front cover states that it's "a dark caper in the tradition of Hiassen." This is somewhat true.
The main character/rogue, Warren (a.k.a. Tom), is likeable enough. He works a graveyard shift gig but wants to return to college. An old flame (read: ex-partner in small time crime) re-enters his life with a chance-of-a-lifetime scam that will get him the money he needs to further his education.
The two travel to New Zealand (!) to commit their crime. Their objective? A set of coins worth a tidy sum!
I personally think that this is where a truly funny storyline was passed up. Warren and Maggie set their sites on the son of New Zealand's Prime Minister. Warren, now posing as Tom, gets a job as a dishwasher at the cricket club in an attempt to befriend the young man and get Maggie involved with him. However, women aren't exactly this guy's cup o' tea.
Rather than pursue this as a potential storyline, Gil Roscoe settles for going after the younger sister. I think some laughs could have been had in the other realm. Warren would have truly been a fish out of water had the author gone that route. Or possibly, maybe the world's greatest con man! Who can say?
That very tiny nitpick having been said, "Company of Thieves" is a fine novel. It's a quick and entertaining story. I will certainly pick up Gil Roscoe's next novel.
I give it a solid three and a half stars.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining novel July 26 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Con artist Warren Allison left Omaha intending to clean up his act and start life fresh. He moves to Los Angeles where he works night using a machine to stuff envelops with telephone bills. Once he has enough cash, Warren plans to attend college and study entomology.
Warren's plans change when he receives two calls from Australia asking him about his granddaughter. A third caller, Willem Block asks to meet Warren, who in his early thirties insists he has no grandchildren let alone children. Willem shows Warren the picture of his fiancé who stole a fortune in opals from him. Warren recognizes the picture as Maggie Weaver, his girlfriend form Iowa who vanished one day. Instead of helping Willem, Warren finds Maggie and soon joins her in Iowa where he begins his return into the world of scam, but at a much higher and more dangerous level than when he previously participated with Maggie as his partner.
COMPANY OF THIEVES is an entertaining novel starring a flawed protagonist who cannot resist the adrenaline high of a clever sting. The plot moves forward at a rapid pace although the big business nature of con artists as a "Fortune 500" company seems stretched even for fiction. Still, Warren is a fabulous player who cannot resist the lure of the con while Maggie is marvelous yet nasty. Gil Roscoe is no con man as a writer as he provides the audience with a very entertaining tale.

Harriet Klausner
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