CRIMINAL KARMA by Steven M. Thomas

Book Quote:

“Being a criminal was my karma, and I wasn’t complaining. The hours were flexible, the money was good, and freebooting was way more interesting than swinging a hammer or sitting on a numb ass in front of a computer screen eight hours a day.”

Book Review:

Review by Bonnie Brody (OCT 24, 2009)

If you’re looking for a good caper and heist book, a thriller to boot, this may be just up your alley. Rob and Reggie are two burglars with their eye on a set of large pink diamonds. At first, their plan to steal these diamonds fails and they have to go at it again. With the second try, things really heat up as they become involved with a crooked ashram in Santa Monica, California. Baba Raba, the Guru of this ashram, also has his eyes on the diamond which he expects to get from one of his disciples, Evelyn. Evelyn is a good-looking but sad woman who is searching for her long-lost daughter and grandchild. Baba Raba is stringing Evelyn along with promises of finding her daughter and grandchild if she gives him her diamonds.

Rob and Reggie are both clowns and excellent burglars. In fact, this book would make a good buddy flick. I kept thinking of actors who could play this pair as I read the book – think Bruce Willis and Woody Harrelson or Colin Farrell and Brad Pitt.

As Rob said in order to justify his doings in the burglary business, “The world of business and government were packed like a college student’s Volkswagen with crooked connivers who, unlike me, topped their sundae of sins with the pickled cherry of hypocrisy. I knew I was a bad guy, and tried to be as nice about it as I could. They thought they were good, which gave them license to be ruthless as hell.”

The book is filled with lots of action and turns of event. It quickly becomes evident that Baba Raba is not just a guru, but has his hands in the real estate business and is mixed up with some very non-ashram types. He also hires muscle-bound goons to watch over his ashram, not what one would expect. Rob is an expert in yoga, especially tantric yoga and this gets a lot of play in the book, especially when Baba Raba attempts to use Tantra on his young fledgling female disciples.

There are some interesting characters that appear throughout the book. The one that I found most unique was Ozone Pacific. He is a boy who got his name because he was left on the street by his mother with instructions not to go beyond the cross streets of Ozone and Pacific. He goes by the nickname ‘Oz’. He has been waiting for his mother for six years and has become a regular of the street people of Venice Beach. For the most part, he is taken care of and watched over rather than victimized. Expect to see some of the Venice Beach freaks that you’d expect – – muscle men, mimes, chain saw jugglers and the like. The book is peopled with them and they are all unique and eye-opening.

For a quick-paced action thriller with interesting characters, this may be the next one to put on your reading list.

PUBLISHER:Ballantine Books (July 28, 2009)

AMAZON READER RATING: stars-4-5from 11 readers
REVIEWER: Bonnie Brody
AUTHOR WEBSITE: Steven M. Thomas
EXTRAS: Excerpt (scroll down)

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October 24, 2009 В· Judi Clark В· No Comments
Tags: ,  В· Posted in: California, Thriller/Spy/Caper

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