The Lock Artist

The Lock Artist

Book - 2010 | 1st ed
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"I was the Miracle Boy, once upon a time. Later on, the Milford Mute. The Golden Boy. The Young Ghost. The Kid. The Boxman. The Lock Artist. That was all me.
But you can call me Mike."

Marked by tragedy, traumatized at the age of eight, Michael, now eighteen, is no ordinary young man. Besides not uttering a single word in ten years, he discovers the one thing he can somehow do better than anyone else. Whether it's a locked door without a key, a padlock with no combination, or even an eight-hundred pound safe ... he can open them all.

It's an unforgivable talent. A talent that will make young Michael a hot commodity with the wrong people and, whether he likes it or not, push him ever close to a life of crime. Until he finally sees his chance to escape, and with one desperate gamble risks everything to come back home to the only person he ever loved, and to unlock the secret that has kept him silent for so long.

Steve Hamilton steps away from his Edgar Award-winning Alex McKnight series to introduce a unique new character, unlike anyone you've ever seen in the world of crime fiction.

The Lock Artist is the winner of the 2011 Edgar Award for Best Novel.

Publisher: New York : Minotaur Books, 2010, c2009
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780312696955
Branch Call Number: F HAM
Characteristics: 314 p. ; 24 cm


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Aug 04, 2020

The novel the The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton is a modern classic novel which explores a very unique story and puts the reader face to face with believable characters living in a cruel world. The novel follows a young man named Michael, and explores his extremely unusual ability of being to pick any lock, no matter how big or complex it is. The enthralling and captivating book is guarenteed to keep readers’ attention and spark up numerous conversations. One problem with this book is that it rambles on a little bit toward the middle. I would rate this novel 14+ because it contains some strong language.

CCPL_Brian Jan 28, 2020

The action and pace build slowly and dramatically in this innovative thriller. Michael is an intriguing narrator and Hamilton hooks the reader by using a unique voice to tell the story. One cannot help but root for this tortured young man with such an extraordinary talent. As the story shifts between the shocking events of Michael's past to the challenges of his present, the reader is taken along for a ride on a poignant and emotional journey. The Lock Artist was winner of the 2011 Edgar Award for Best Mystery.

Jan 24, 2020

“I tried my hand at a few things and if I was any good at it, that meant it had to be either totally useless or totally against the law…”

-Michael, The Lock Artist

With that comment, the author draws us into this narrative and the main character – Michael – shares his career criminal recollections wearing an orange jumpsuit from a prison cell. He takes you on various jobs with memorable believable fellow criminals and reveals over time the circumstances that lead to how he arrived in his current situation. He was orphaned as a child through a car wreck where his parents were killed. As a result of the accident’s trauma, he wound up with selective mutism then went to live with his bachelor Uncle who didn’t know what to do with a kid. Michael has a natural propensity for understanding how locks work but also has a safe cracking teacher – The Ghost – who taught him the skills of a box man/lock artist. What job finally goes wrong that leads him to prison? How does he get his voice back? Check out this audio book to find out…

The reader, MacLeod Andrews, has great pacing and tonal variety in the telling of this tale. His voice sounds the right age and attitude for the main character – just shy of 18 years old and on his own.

This book caught me from the opening lines and kept my attention riveted throughout until the end. The author’s prose combined with the reader’s tone are a great match. The characters are distinct and memorable. Give this audio book your evening’s attention – you’ll be glad you did.

JCLTiffanyR Apr 30, 2019

My fave mystery of all time! The plot is ingenious and Mike, a.k.a. the Milford Mute, the Golden Boy, the Lock Artist (because there isn't a lock he can't open) is a one-of-a-kind main character. Mike has one of the most unique voices in fiction which is all the more remarkable because he's mute and doesn't utter a word. Mike speaks only to the reader, creating a rare sort of bond. Coupled with a tightly plotted story and spot-on pacing, this book is a winner. It's no surprise it won the Edgar for best mystery.

Sep 27, 2018

Thriller porn if that’s what you like. (1)Hero is unable to speak due to mysterious childhood trauma. (2)He finds an amazing ability to open locks and somehow (3)acquires a shadowy agent who connects him with criminals needing a rental safecracker. Pushed into the public school system, (4)his prodigious painting/sketching ability is discovered.

Then police catch him breaking-and-entering a rich guy’s house during a highschool prank. His punishment is to work-it-off at the homeowner’s discretion. He falls for the homeowner’s beautiful, troubled daughter who’s also a fantastic artist and they begin a relationship drawing cartoon panels for each other with soul-searching bubble speech…. If all this sounds interesting, go for it: I gave up.

Jun 05, 2018

I did not enjoy this book nearly as much as Exit Strategy or The Second Life of Nick Mason.

Jan 20, 2018

Rather extraordinary main character, in whose name the narrative is conducted, in which he tells about himself.
Involuntarily the reader something like falls in love with him, as happens with many characters of the book.
In spite of certain composition in which chapters about past alternate with chapters about most resent past and almost present, there is an organicity in composition, that is always difficult to achieve in this kind of composition.
It seemed to me superfluous to describe in details how to open locks and safes.

May 30, 2017

Very good, inventive, different, absorbing.

Jan 31, 2017

Narrated in the first person by a character who is mute. Not quite a thriller yet the tension level created by the author is simply fantastic. Published in 2011, it's the best book I've read since Station Eleven. Incredibly insightful as to the human condition. Just a wonderful read. even if you're not into mysteries and thrillers.

BostonPL_LauraB Sep 28, 2016

This one read pretty slowly and took awhile to get into. The reasoning for this is because the main character is mute and there is very little dialogue. But overall, I did enjoy it and was completely different from what I usually read. Not quite a thriller, yet deals with criminals in a unique way and perspective. Felt a bit like YA, yet it's shelved in the adult section. All around pretty interesting though.

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AmyCPL Mar 27, 2013

The quiet people, on the other hand... I usually make them uncomfortable as hell, because they know they cant compete with me. I'll out-quiet anybody.... I'm the undisputed champion of keeping my mouth shut and just sitting there like a piece of furniture.

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