No Such Creature
Author: Giles Blunt
About No Such Creature: A pair of thieves — one old, one young — spend the summer travelling across the American southwest, visiting unusual tourist spots and robbing Republicans.
Review of No Such Creature
When Owen was ten years old, his parents were killed in a car accident and he was adopted by his great-uncle Max, a professional thief. After Owen started high school, the two spent his summer vacations travelling to different areas of the country in their enormous Winnebago. Owen picked the tourist destinations they visited and Max planned which Republicans to rob.
This summer, Max and Owen are visiting the southwest. Along the way, they encounter the daughter of a thief that Max greatly admires and discover that they're being pursued by a mysterious group known as the Subtractors. However, Owen is concerned that Max is not the man he used to be.
"Max, how can we keep putting on shows if you forget where you are half the time?"
"Rubbish. Just got turned around, that's all."
"I don't know. There were a couple of moments I thought you zoned out when you were dancing with Evelyn del Rio."
"I was having fun. You remember fun, don't you?"
"You're worrying me these days, Max."
Max did a King Kong imitation, drumming on his chest and hooting. "Fit as a fiddle," he said, "and ready to roll. Las Vegas, Tucson, Dallas—not to mention Savannah, Georgia—the Max and Owen show is going to bring down the house!"
...from page 28
I've read every book in Blunt's John Cardinal series and enjoyed each of them to different degrees. The most noticeable difference between the series and this stand-alone novel was that there was much more humour in this book. It wasn't without some serious and some sad moments but, in general, it had a much lighter feel.
Max and Owen's exchanges were entertaining, with Max always spouting Shakespearean-style phrases and young Owen being the serious and responsible one. There were also some interesting accomplices including Roscoe the trivia buff and dim-but-dependable Pookie. Even the bad guys were kind of odd. The story took some twists and turns, of course, and the ending was satisfying, if somewhat open-ended.
Although the book was very different from the Cardinal series, Blunt's writing was as superb as always. New readers and long time fans will not be disappointed.
What an adventure. Owen gets to travel all summer with his uncle doing shows. Read robbing Republicans. Something he has been doing for a number of years. This year they attract the attention of the Subtractors, a group of thieves that steal from thieves. They help out a beautiful young woman. She joins them for a little while and the fun begins.
Wow what a ride this is. I could not put it down. I liked the characters I was supposed to from page one. The pacing is right on the money, just as I think I can put the book down for a moment to get some work done Mr. Blunt teases with a little tidbit that sucked me in until it was resolved. If you are going to read this do not make any other plans.
Reviewed by PB on 19 February 2009.
- Joan Barfoot, London Free Press, 18 October 2008
- “Blunt successfully walks several distinct lines as he combines a dab of satire, a domestic comedy of sorts and traditional crime fiction replete with the necessary menace and suspense, all to good ends.”
- Jack Batten, Toronto Star, 19 October 2008
- “But more than anything, at the end of the novel, the reader's hopes are that Blunt will soon return home to northern Ontario and John Cardinal.”
- Luanne, A Bookworm's World, 24 October 2008
- “Definitely not your typical crime story, but boy is it a good one!”
- Janet, Reading for the Joy of It, 31 October 2008
- “There is a sweetness to the telling that is new to Blunt's books, with the grace, compassion and emotion I already expect when I pick up one of his novels.”
- Yvonne Klein, October 2008
- “...though Blunt may have left his series in the far north, he has retained all those qualities that sustained it even as he moves to the sunny southwest.”
- Robert J. Wiersema, Vancouver Sun, 22 November 2008
- “Yes, it was a risk for Blunt to branch out in this way, but it certainly pays off. And it's definitely not a risk for the reader.”
- Hilary Williamson, BookLoons Reviews
- “No Such Creature is great entertainment — don't miss it.”
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Added 22 December 2008.
Updated 30 March 2013.