Review: NO SUCH CREATURE by Giles Blunt

Owen Maxwell and his great uncle, Max, travel around the US ostensibly selling wigs and other accoutrements to theatrical companies for their productions. Max is highly theatrical himself and often quotes Shakespeare to his young charge. Owen, just 18, is tired of the uncertainty of life with his uncle, especially given the fact that selling disguises to acting troupes is just a cover for their real profession – which is thievery. Preferably thievery from wealthy republicans. Max and Owen have a couple of cohorts whom Max hires when they have capers planned, one of whom (Roscoe) adds considerable flavour and humour to their jaunts as he contributes Jeopardy-like trivia questions whenever their occupations has them spending time together’.

Enter Sabrina, the daughter of an old friend of Max’s. Sabrina is a young woman of considerable charm who hits it off with Owen. Sabrina is followed relentlessly by an admirer who stops at nothing trying to save her soul from the devil, or worse, Max and Owen. Into the mix we have three felons who are very interested in Max and Owen’s spoils from various jobs. When Sabrina, Max and Owen hit the road in a Winnebago, they are followed by four people who are desperate to find them, Bill, Sabrina’s saviour and the three felons. What ensues is in turns harrowing, comical and sometimes a bit sad.

The only problem I had with the story was the abrupt introduction of Sabrina. She seemed to come out of nowhere. That leant a sort of credibility issue to the plot – not that other readers wouldn’t have problems with credibility overall – I just usually run with a plot and ignore those sorts of issues. However when a character is introduced awkwardly it has a tendency to take me out of a story. (Everyone’s a critic, eh?!) Other than that small hiccup though, I enjoyed this novel.

This was a bit different from anything I’ve read lately so I’m happy about that but even more, since I hadn’t read anything by Giles Blunt before it’s nice to find a new to me author that I enjoy. I will check out his ‘John Cardinal’ crime series.


Literary Feline on January 4, 2009 at 10:06 PM said...

I have a Giles Blunt book on my shelf waiting to be read but it isn't this one. I like the premise of this one though and will probably seek it out at some point. I am glad you enjoyed it overall, even with the one little bump. It can be really detrimental to my enjoyment of a book when I'm pulled out of it for whatever reason, so I know what a pain that can be.

Myckyee on January 9, 2009 at 9:27 PM said...

Literary Feline, yes I dislike that too, but I liked this book enough to check out his others. We'll see...


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