Caravan of Thieves
Dutton, August 2012
From the publisher—
Rollie Waters is the smartest guy in any room. Working as an undercover marine, he knows all the angles, and he’s never less than two steps ahead of trouble—a skill he learned from the con artist father who raised him, though he hasn’t seen Dan in years. Like Dan, Rollie knows how to offer cheap gifts with one hand while stealing the family silver with the other. But, unlike Dan, Rollie is not a criminal.
Rollie’s childhood was a mesh of perfectly believable lies stretched so thin that he barely knows who he is. It’s only when he’s working undercover, inhabiting a false identity, that Rollie is comfortable in his own skin. The danger of deep undercover work makes use of his talents and keeps him out of trouble. Most of the time.
After he’s yanked out of his latest assignment and tossed in the brig, he’s only partly surprised when the officials in charge mention one name: Dan Waters. U.S. government money—a lot of money—has gone missing, and they think Rollie’s father took it. The only way to find Dan is to trace the frail tendrils of truth scattered among Rollie’s childhood memories. To do that, he’ll have to go deep into the undercover identity of a lifetime: his own.
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a copy of Caravan of Thieves by David Rich.
All too frequently, thrillers give the reader a lot of action and derring-do but they don’t spend much effort on such niceties as the psychology of the characters or the details of the geographic setting. Caravan of Thieves is a happy exception to the rule. One of the real pleasures I found in reading this book was how much I came to understand both Rollie and Dan and how they each had come to an acceptance of their relationship, past and present. In many ways, this book is a study of the bond between a father and a son and how a rift that is seemingly impossible to repair is, when all is said and done, not so insurmountable after all.
Along with that journey of possible reconciliation, the author treats the reader to a rollicking adventure that fans of Reacher and Bourne will love. Rollie, despite his familial issues, is a strong man physically, as would be expected with his military career, but also emotionally and mentally, and the reader can’t help feeling he’s exactly the right man to track down the missing loot. Perhaps he’ll also discover just who the bad guys are and why his own superiors are so sure he can do the job. There are reasons Rollie is good at undercover work and the villains of the piece are about to find out what those reasons are.
The pace left me breathless and, just when I thought I might have the answers, Rich would throw in another twist. Finely drawn settings—I felt I was right there on the banks of that river—add to the entertainment along with a light coating of humor. A surprising conclusion was the icing on the cake for a few hours very well spent and Rollie’s next escapade can’t come too soon for this reader.
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, September 2012.