I seem to have read what actually looks to be the follow-up to The Thieves of Heaven; The Thieves of Faith. I seem not to have liked that one. So why read this one? Maybe I thought, he can’t possibly do it twice. Or maybe I just wanted to return to the scene of a crime, I don’t know.
The plot? It does have one. He needs to steal some keys from The Vatican‘s absolutely most closely-guarded museum. But that’s the easy bit, just the start of his troubles. As that happens about half way through the book, you know Doetsch is gonna have to go some from there on to top it. Or bottom it. And he does. Well, maybe. Well, who cares.
I did read this and enjoy it up to a point. And that point was, where the main villain turned out to be quite obviously The Devil. Yes, him who used to be up there, but is now down here, with us. No getting away from it. It’s The Devil. To be fair, the book did have its moments and I rattled through it. But only after a talk with myself, where I managed to persuade myself to suspend belief, just this one (second) time.
To be more than fair, I liked Richard Doetsch’s dedication at the front and he means well. But…well, it was all a bit too, much. Too perfect. Too worked out. All the characters were so full-on and written to be demanding of our sympathy, that I came to resent them. You just knew what the main man and his wife would love each other unconditionally. You knew his best mate would be a great bear of a man, who would love him unconditionally. You just knew…well, anyone reading this could guess what the characters’ personality was and how they looked, just by Doetsch having written their names down in two columns; ‘good’ and ‘bad’.
And in the ‘bad’ column would have to be, from a European’s point of view, whoever came up with the medical system over there in the USA: Where a guy has to go out and rob the bleeding’ Vatican to get the money together to treat his dying wife! That’s The Devil, right there. He should have just flown her over to Denmark, while he was down there in Italy and I’d have helped look after her (I work in a hospital) for nothing. ‘To whom do I make the cheque out?’ ‘The what, now?’
I wouldn’t doubt for a moment if someone said this had sold by the truck-load. But either there are a whole load of people who don’t give a monkey’s about what they read, or a whole load of very disappointed people. I don’t know if he’s written a third one, but I’m gonna stop here. I think, if it hadn’t been for the fact that I write this blog, I’d have forgotten about this by the time I’d put it back on the shelf here at Speesh Towers.