Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Professionals by Owen Laukkanen

First Sentence:  Martin Warner checked his watch as the train slowed for Highland Park.
Four former college students decide to make their fortunes through kidnapping bankers in a way that the police won’t be involved.  It works well, until they kill one mark, the husband of a mobster.  Now they have both the mob and the FBI hunting them down.
Sometimes a debut book can be enjoyable, yet somewhat painful to read.  This was such a book.
The premise was actually quite clever, although not recommended as an employment opportunity.  The four students were appropriately naive and, as often happen in a group, one makes a disastrous decision that changes the course of everything.  The result is going stupid, but not violent crimes, to the criminals being hunted.  This does increase a drastic increase in the tension and suspense of the story, yet you also know that thinks cannot possibly end well.
There is a nice reversal of roles; the male cop being afraid to fly, while the female calms him down; the male being a local cop—“Police work.  Sometimes it made Stevens want to be a long-haul trucker.”-- the female is an FBI officer; the male having an understanding wife, whereas the female does not. 
One, however, really has to question whether the FBI fly their own agents all around the country, rather than use local agents in each location, as well as a local cop.  And would a local cop really be released from all his other cases—I just don’t believe they only work one case at a time—to fly around with the FBI.  Fiction is great, but some semblance of reality is also nice.
The Professionals” has a plot that really is far-fetched and elements, and actions, which are hard to believe.  I mean, really hard!  Still, it is an exciting book with a twisty plot and action that keeps one reading all the way to the end.  
THE PROFESSIONALS (Pol Proc-Stevens/Windermere-Illinois-Contemp) – Okay
      Laukkanen, Owen – 1st in series
      G.P. Putnam & Sons – Oct 2012

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