The second in my series of CWA Gold Dagger Award reviews is for The Lock Artist, a book that is also shortlisted for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award, which is specifically for thriller/adventure novels. The book also has won The Edgar Award for Best Novel of the Year. Accolades like that give a book a lot to live up to, but that isn't a problem for author Steve Hamilton.Michael Smith is a young man with a past, a very traumatic past. At the age of 8, he became an unwilling celebrity, alternately named in the press as the Miracle Boy, the Boy Wonder, or the Terror Tyke.
The event that gave him those monikers also left him speechless...literally. Though he no longer speaks, Michael has developed his senses of touch and hearing to such a fine point that they provide him with a career path no high school counselor would recommend.
Now a freelance lock picker and safe cracker, he finds love, money, and a group of people that are as close to friends as he's ever had. As Michael's story unfolds, the tumblers begin to tick over on the locks that hold the secrets to his past.
Hamilton gives The Lock Artist a fast pace, heightening the suspense by dropping back a few years to offer clues to Michael's childhood, and then shooting forward again to his nerve-wracking present. It's a wild ride with a damaged young man that wants desperately to escape. (2011 - St. Martin's Press)
These aren't necessarily the healthiest snack, but then Michael's life in The Lock Artist isn't all that healthy, either. But the crackers are really good and can be eaten on the run, which fits the book perfectly.
1 12-oz. package of oyster crackers
1 1-oz. package of Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Whisk together the seasonings with the dressing packet and the oil. Add the crackers and then toss until the crackers are evenly coated. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven, stir them and then bake another 10 minutes. (Recipe from Hidden Valley dressing packet)