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House of Thieves: A Novel by Charles…
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House of Thieves: A Novel

by Charles Belfoure

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As payment for his son's gambling debts, an architect uses insider knowledge to help a gang of thieves pull off heists. Meanwhile his wife and children, unbeknownst to one another, also discover the thrill of a life of crime.

I liked it, didn't love it. It was well-written but I didn't like it as well as the author's first book, The Paris Architect. He lost me when I couldn't buy into the premise that independently of one another the entire family would get involved in the criminal underworld. And enjoy it. But if, unlike me, you can suspend disbelief, it would be a great read that makes the The Gilded Age, with the stark contrast between the have and have-nots, come alive.
( )
  janb37 | Feb 13, 2017 |
A novel in which the lines of criminal intent, personal satisfaction and the ultimate need to protect one's family are blurred. In a society where your character is solely based on what you project, walking the tight rope of lemming propriety, actions needed to protect one's family, from themselves and from society, may end in an impossible choice. What happens when you're forced to discover that you are really good at being really bad? ( )
  Sovranty | Nov 30, 2016 |
What crimes would you commit to protect your family? John Cross exemplifies Gilded Age respectability: a talented architect, welcoming society matrons to a fete honoring his son George's graduation from Harvard. Within 24 hours, that world is horrifically overturned. George has been harboring a secret gambling addiction, racking up staggering debts. James Kent, the underworld raconteur holding his marker, offers a stark choice. George (and the rest of the Cross clan) will be killed unless John uses his architectural blueprints and inside knowledge to help stage heists of the mansions of upper class New York. Thus starts a rollicking, action packed thriller from dazzling Newport and Fifth Avenue Palaces to the hovels of wretched street urchins, from debutante balls to gambling and opium dens.

Charles Belfoure excels in presenting agonizing moral dilemma. His first novel (which I quite liked), The Paris Architect, has its WWII protagonist balancing his lust for fortune and professional acclaim with a fear of Nazi reprisal for designing hideaways for Jews. In this second effort, the stakes are higher for the hero. Who hasn't said in an offhand way, "I'd kill to see my children/husband/mother/brother"? As we witness the body count rise in The House of Thieves, the true cost of this complicity becomes very real.

The two main characters -- John Cross and James Kent -- were most real in their ever heightening conflict. The others felt less fleshed out to me. Some bits, particularly at the beginning were slow going. Once we got beyond the introduction of the various era this personae, the action took hold and I raced to the end. ( )
  michigantrumpet | May 13, 2016 |
I first rated House of Thieves a 3 star. After a good nights sleep, I changed the rating to a 2 star. I have to agree with a previous review; this book is a beachread. House of Thieves is entertaining, predictable and full of disbeliefs, so much so, it is comical. ( )
  WanderRoxyBooks | May 5, 2016 |
The son of a well known architect has a gambling addiction and gets in debt to an East coast criminal boss. John Cross, the architect, is forced to use his knowledge to help plan robberies at various buildings to get his wayward son out of hock. Before it is all over every member of his family is affected in some way by people from the underworld. John Cross tries to extricate them from the lowlifes. The book is methodical as it moves to one of two possible endings - He is successful or he is not. Nice but not an overwhelming effort. ( )
  muddyboy | Jan 28, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 149261789X, Hardcover)

From the nationally bestselling author of The Paris Architect

"The world of old New York comes alive in this beguiling tale of mystery and intrigue... Charles Belfoure definitely has the touch." —Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Patriot Threat and The Lincoln Myth

The Debt Must Be Repaid — or Else

In 1886 New York, a respectable architect shouldn't have any connection to the notorious gang of thieves and killers that rules the underbelly of the city. But when John Cross's son racks up an unfathomable gambling debt to Kent's Gent's, Cross must pay it back himself. All he has to do is use his inside knowledge of high society mansions and museums to craft a robbery even the smartest detectives won't solve. The take better include some cash too — the bigger the payout, the faster this will be over.

With a newfound talent for sniffing out vulnerable and lucrative targets, Cross becomes invaluable to the gang. But Cross's entire life has become a balancing act, and it will only take one mistake for it all to come crashing down — and for his family to go down too.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 14 Apr 2015 01:15:47 -0400)

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