Monday 20 June 2016

Book ~ "Criminal Enterprise" (2013) Owen Laukkanen

From Goodreads ~ From the outside, Carter Tomlin’s life looked perfect: a big house, pretty wife, two kids - a St. Paul success story. But Tomlin has a secret. He’s lost his job, the bills are mounting and that perfect life is hanging by a thread. Desperate, he robs a bank. Then he robs another.

As the red flags start to go up, FBI Special Agent Carla Windermere hones in on Tomlin from one direction, while Minnesota state investigator Kirk Stevens picks up the trail from another. The two cops haven’t talked since their first case together but that’s all going to change very quickly.

Because Carter Tomlin’s decided he likes robbing banks. And it’s not because of the money, not anymore. Tomlin has guns and a new taste for violence. And he’s not quitting anytime soon.

Carter Tomlin's life falls apart when he is laid off from his job.  He has a family and a nice life in St. Paul that he has to support but no one is hiring.  In desperation, he spontaneously robs a bank one day.  That got him a couple thousand dollars, not enough to even pay his mortgage, but it gave him an alternative to declaring bankruptcy.  As he robs more and more banks to support his life and family, he sets up a small accounting firm to hide what he is really doing for a living.  The robberies start getting bigger and bolder as he takes on a couple partners.

FBI agent Carla Windermere is assigned this case along with her senior partner but they don't get along as they both have their own theories about who is doing the robberies.  Carla's former partner, Kirk Stevens, is back to trying to solve old cases.  He'd love to be back in the action with her but he promised his wife he wouldn't put himself in danger by being a hero.

This is the second in the Stevens and Windermere series.  Though there are references to the first book, it works as a stand alone.  I had read the first one when it came out in 2012 and enjoyed it.  I said at the time I could see them teaming up for a series and then forgot about it.  I came across the fifth one in the series and read it in April so now I'm going back to catch up on the series.

I liked the writing style and found the story interesting.  It's written in third person perspective with a focus on the various characters.  It was interesting to watch Tomlin go from a desperate man just trying to find money to support his family to enjoying the power of doing the robberies.  As a head's up, there is swearing.

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