winner Giles Blunt delivers an exhilarating game of cat and mouse with a
most unlikely—and likeable—pair of thieves
Eight years ago, Owen Maxwell was
saved from a foster home by the arrival of his uncle Max from England.
Once a promising Shakespearean actor, Magnus “Max” Maxwell has since put
his dramatic skills to new use: a master of disguise, a virtuoso of
foreign dialects, and a performer to his core, he has become an
extremely successful gentleman thief. Every summer, Max and Owen take a
road trip across the United States, pulling off elaborate robberies
along the way. But this year is different. Their first, dazzlingly
executed summer heist captures the interest of the Subtractors.
Long believed an urban myth, the
Subtractors are a gang of vicious thieves who prey on other thieves.
They will abduct a fellow crook known to have completed a lucrative job
and proceed to “subtract” parts of his body until he tells them where
they can find the loot. “No such creature,” Max says, when Owen first
suspects that they may be in the Subtractors’ sights. But in this, as in
so many things, Max will prove to be disastrously wrong.
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