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No Such Creature [Paperback]

Giles Blunt
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 4 2009
Tooling across the American southwest in their giant Winnebago, Max and his nephew, Owen, seem harmless enough, the actorly old fellow spouting Shakespeare like a faucet while his young charge trots him through select tourist destinations along the road. But appearances, as you might imagine, can be deceiving.

Old Max is actually a master thief, and young Owen's summer vacation is his careful apprenticeship in a life of crime. Pulling heists is scary enough, but ominous signs point to the alarming fact that The Subtractors are on their tail, criminal bogeymen who stop at nothing to steal from other thieves. The road trip soon turns into a chase, by turns comic and horrifying. The most disturbing twist: Owen's slow realization that the person he loves most in the world is the one who can do him the most harm.

From the Hardcover edition.

Frequently Bought Together

No Such Creature + Breaking Lorca + By the Time You Read This
Price For All Three: CDN$ 43.96

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Product Description


“One of Canada’s best crime novelists.”
The Globe and Mail

“The reader won’t soon forget the cast from this top-notch thriller.”
Ottawa Citizen

“A strange, enthralling, wonderful novel.”
The Vancouver Sun

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Giles Blunt grew up in North Bay, Ontario, and is the author of the acclaimed crime fiction series featuring John Cardinal. The most recent Cardinal novel, By the Time You Read This, was a Globe and Mail Best Book and was nominated for the Duncan Lawrie Dagger, the most prestigious crime fiction award in the world. After spending twenty years in New York City, Giles Blunt now makes his home in Toronto.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something Different from Giles Blunt Oct. 24 2008
By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
I have long been a fan of Canadian Giles Blunt and his John Cardinal crime series. Blunt is another one of those authors I just know is going to be a good read.

I was surprised to find that this was not part of the series, but a stand alone book. After the first twenty pages I was hooked and could not put it down.

Owen has been raised by his great uncle Max since he was orphaned at twelve. Max is a failed thespian, but is a very accomplished but genteel thief. Owen is now eighteen and their road trips across America robbing rich Republicans have honed his skills as well. Using acting skills, disguises and charm they have so far steered clear of violence. Owen is thinking of packing it in after this summer to attend Julliard and study drama. He plans to tell Max soon. It is in Vegas that things start to go sour. There is a shadowy legend among thieves about a gang called the Subtractors - mysterious men who steal from other thieves and use whatever means necessary to get what they want. And it looks like they want the riches from Owen and Max's last job. On the road with them now is Sabrina, the daughter of a former 'associate' of Max, who is running from a problem as well - named Bill.

As Sabrina says "Living with a criminal - or being one - is like living on the Titanic. You just know it isn't going to end well."

This is a story that grabs you and just doesn't let go. I kept turning pages well into the night. The plot is great but it is the witty dialogue and characters that stand out for me. The character of Max fairly leaps off the page, larger than life. Max's soliloquies, his manner of speech and pronouncements on life are funny yet poignant.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Captivating Dec 29 2009
By Toni Osborne TOP 100 REVIEWER
I have read and enjoyed immensely the entire Giles Blunt collection of novels. "No Such Creature", is a stand alone that is totally different from the John Cardinal series. This novel has a humorous side to it, has a much lighter concept which is mixed with serious and sad moments.

This is a tale of two unconventional thieves, one an old English actor and the other his great nephew. It is a story of sightseeing and larceny while travelling across the American southwest in a Winnebago.

Problems arise during their last summer's adventure, Max and Owen encounter more than they expect when they discover they are pursued by a mysterious group known as the Subtractors, and also Max's old friend who wants part of the take....This is a multitude of crime capers with drama and violence. The lack of honour amongst thieves adds to the excitement. This was not enough for Mr Blunt he also adds romance and romantic competition with the introduction of Sabrina, all this creates interesting predicaments.

I found this novel quite captivating and comical. Max's theatrical approach to his profession and his Shakespearean language add humour to the suspense. The dialogue is highly entertaining and the characters quite likable, Max and Owen bicker throughout the novel but it is obvious that they are family. Sabrina's description of her life with a criminal father is very moving.

This is a fun and enjoyable read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine read May 4 2009
I've been reading Gills Blunt's novels set in Northern Ontario since he started writing them. The lead in those stories, Chief Inspector Cardinal has always been the right sort of detective. Smart enough to solve crimes, yet human enough to have his own flaws. I think it is this combination of Ontario settings and great characters that have kept me coming back to Blunt's detective stories.

No Such Creature is a bit of a departure for Blunt. Rather than focusing on the law enforcement angle of things, Blunt focuses on the criminal aspect. Owen and Max are two criminals with their own moral code. They only steal from Republicans. They only steal from well-off republicans. And they never steal in their hometown of New York.

Did I mention that Max and Owen are family? And that Max is Owen's Great Uncle? Also, did I mention that Max and Owen always play a part, like in a play, when doing the crime and are dressed in full costume? Well, they are.

This is one highly entertaining novel. I read the novel cover to cover in about a week. I likely would have finished it sooner had I not had three other novels on the go. The book was lighthearted, and made me want to know what happened to Max and Owen. Would they fall prey to the gang of thieves following them? Would they pull off one last capper? What would happen?

Blunt did a fantastic job of making me, the reader, want answers to all these questions. And that, I think, is the sign of a good writer.

While I am glad to see Blunt taking a break away from his successful John Cardinal series, I hope he returns to his Northern Ontario roots shortly.
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