NOT YOUR AVERAGE HEIST : ANDREW NETTE'S ORPHAN ROAD
Andrew Nette is one of the best writers of and about crime fiction. Check out his site Pulp Curry (www.pulpcurry.com), just to know how sharp he is. He used his knowledge of the genre to create the Aussie heist novel Gunshine State that made Surfer's Paradise into an element of the story with his professional robber Chance. His latest, Orphan Road, has Chance dealing with one of Down Under's most notorious crimes as it delves into larger ones of his country.
After fleecing a cult with his partener, Leigh, they get information connected to The Great Bookie Robbery, Australia's version of The Brinks Job or Lufthansa Heist. Part of it's fame comes from the fact that it is believed that much of what was stolen was unreported since the victim's were organized criminals. A contact of Chance's gets a line that jewels and other loot where part of it and he knows where it might be. Chance rounds up a crew (one of the best parts of the book) and they go to work. Soon they learn that the treasure is not only connected to the Bookie Robbery but to neo nazis and crimes of The Catholic Church. It's d not long before the professionals take it personal.
Nette serves up a satisfying heist novel, then puts a knowledgeable spin on it. He leans into the "hang out" aspect of the genre with some engaging professional bad men and women. However he has the heist take more of a different turn than going wrong with Chance and company out for justice as well as the jewels.
Nett has a great heist hero in Chance. He creates the hard boiled tough guy, then grounds him with shades of human complexity. He proves more dangerous and cunning as his emotions rise.
Orphan Road is a heist novel that moves past the heist. Like a bebop musician, Andrew Nette takes a on classic standard with some new riffs and opens it up into something fresh and exciting. Here's to Chance taking on another score soon.