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Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan

Prince of Thieves

by Chuck Hogan

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4301238,978 (3.8)12
Claire Keesey finds herself attracted to two men--Doug MacRay, the leader of a crew of criminals and bank robbers, and FBI agent Adam Frawley--but her relationships are complicated by Frawley's plans to eliminate Boston's criminal element.


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I read this because I loved the movie The Town. I figured the source material would be as good. It was but I will warn you. It is an extremely moody and sad piece. I feel terrible upon finishing it. ( )
  CSDaley | Mar 28, 2018 |
I'm so glad I didn't read the book first; I would have never gone to the movie. The movie was very good - a lot of things were different, but a lot were the same, also. I would not read this book again. ( )
  mtlkch | Jun 21, 2016 |
who would have thought a romantic crime novel would work. great read
2nd time February 2016
3rd time 6/5/19-6/25/19 ( )
  jimifenway | Feb 2, 2016 |
PRINCE OF THIEVES by Chuck Hogan is an excellent story of four thieves, with Doug as the prince among them; the victim Doug falls in love with; the FBI agent who pursues all five of them, maybe confusing his mutual attraction to the victim with his duty; and the Boston town they live in. How could anyone rate this as anything less than a five-star novel?

At first this book seems too detailed when it describes the bank heist. But soon you will discover that this is necessary to understanding how and why Doug is the prince. Not only is he the brains behind their plans, he is also the compassionate one who feels responsible for the other three and for the innocent victims.

This is an unputdownable book. If I could find a Web site or Facebook page with Hogan's contact information, I would tell him so. ( )
  techeditor | Jan 25, 2015 |
Grime stained and radiating the sour smell of beer and bodies, Chuck Hogan’s [Prince of Thieves] is a blue-collar book, like Charlestown, the blue-collar, Boston neighborhood from which it is born. Irish and Catholic and fermented with blood, this oldest neighborhood in Boston spawned the largest number of bank and armored car robberies, per capita, than any other neighborhood in the United States in the 1990’s.

Hogan seized on the underbelly of Charlestown to tell the story of Doug MacRay and his crew. The book opens with the crew pulling a “Morning Glory/Jack-in-the-box” robbery of a Charlestown bank – the crew breaks in overnight and waits for the bank management to arrive, taking over the bank and waiting for the vaults time-lock to expire. The job doesn’t go exactly as planned, and one of the crew takes the bank manager, Claire, hostage for their flight, releasing her once they are clear. Doug keeps tabs on Claire, making sure that she hasn’t been able to identify the crew to the FBI, and then begins a relationship with her. The rest of the book follows Doug and his crew as they continue to pull heists and evade the FBI.

A plot summary doesn’t do the book justice, though, just as you might miss the soul of Charlestown by looking only at the grime and soot on the old buildings. Doug, it turns out, was a hockey phenom, drafted by the Boston Bruins, only to flame out in violence and drug abuse. During the last of his second bit in Mass. DOC, Doug finds AA, and begins to turn his life around. But back home, he can’t turn his back on friends and family and a way of life. Though born of violence and manipulation, Doug’s relationship with Claire is his chance to break free of all of the things in his life that keep him rooted in the Town.

Many of you may have seen the film version of this novel, “The Town,” from Ben Affleck a few years back. While the film is grounded firmly in Charlestown, the story is not quite as deep as told here in the novel. The film stands on its own as a fair representation of the Irish crook life, it doesn’t get at the soul of Hogan’s novel, which is really the battle for Doug’s soul.

Hogan gives Dennis Lehane a run for his money as the voice of blue-collar Irish Boston. Without seeding the story in that real blue-collar, Irish world, Hogan wouldn’t be able to pull off the story of such a character trying to break free of all the things that he’s been bred to believe he is.

Bottom Line: A heist book on the surface, and a story about breaking free at its soul.

5 bones!!!!!
A favorite for the year. ( )
2 vote blackdogbooks | May 15, 2014 |
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For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
-Matthew 6:21
To my mother: How great the darkness.
First words
Doug MacRay stood inside the rear door of the bank, breathing deeply through his mask.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Prince of Thieves, originally published in 2004, will be re-issued as a movie tie-in edition with the new title The Town in August 2010.
The 2004 abridged audiobook Prince of Thieves and the 2010 abridged audiobook re-issued under the movie tie-in title The Town are the same reading of the work as performed by the actor Donnie Wahlberg. These 6 hour abridged editions should not be combined with the complete unabridged print editions of Prince of Thieves or The Town. There are no unabridged audiobook editions available currently (August 2010). Thank you.
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