Review: The Professionals by Owen Laukkanen

What a ride! The Professionals is the kind of book that you get about 75% through, then you set it down because you don’t want it to end…then you spend the next hour looking at it, sitting on the table, until you can’t take the suspense and you grab the book and finish another chapter or two. I cannot wait for the movie.

Four friends sit around and talk about their lousy employment options. Student loans, a degree in history and looking forward to a lifetime of jobs in grocery stores and coffee shops will make anyone desperate. Desperate enough to consider a life of crime — or at least a few years of it. Kidnapping — easy targets, reasonable ransoms, no violence — seems like a good option if you don’t get greedy. Or as long as you don’t kidnap the wrong guy.

Now, the kids are on the run from the good guys as well as the bad guys. One mistake and things go from bad to worse. It makes for a fabulous read that’s part caper flick, part high-speed chase and perfect for a action thriller. I raced through this on the train from Sheffield to Manchester, finished it on the flight to Atlanta. I really enjoyed it — it’s the kind of book that leaves you torn between wanting to know what happens and not wanting it to be over quite yet. It’s not really fun — these aren’t fun situations — but it’s a good thriller and one you should put on your TBR list. It’s also a story that I think would make a great movie. Someone ought to option this for a screenplay. I’d buy a ticket (and I know how it ends!). There is also a second novel in the works, featuring the cops from this one, state police officer Kirk Stevens, and FBI agent Carla Windermere.

For more on The Professionals, visit the author’s website, My copy of The Professionals was an Advanced Reader Copy, provided free of charge.

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