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There's no end to Hank Thompson's troubles. Once a star high school baseball player, he's now reduced to tending bar at a neighborhood dive on Manhattan's Lower East Side. During his long life-skid, Thompson has picked up a drinking problem, a pair of bad feet, lots of debt and little ambition. But for Thompson, hero of Huston's dark, hard-driving debut, the worst is still ahead. It begins when Thompson agrees to cat-sit for his neighbor, a dubious character named Russ. Within a few days, Thompson is ambushed by a pair of Russian thugs who beat him so badly he has to have a kidney removed. While he's recovering, he discovers a key tucked under the liner of the cat's carry box. This turns out to be a crucial bit of information, as he realizes when the Russians return, led this time by a dirty police detective, and demand to know what Russ left with Thompson besides his cat. When they're spooked by a fire alarm, Thompson escapes long enough to get his hands on the stash everyone's after: $4.5 million in cash. But of course, his troubles aren't over. Bodies pile up at a dizzying rate but the mayhem is riveting, despite a few credibility gaps. Huston shows a masterful command of first-person narration, deftly chronicling Thompson's gradual slide from victim to avenger ("I'm tellin' you, Hank, watchin' you, it's like watchin' a egg get all hard-boiled. No shit"). The story moves with the speed of the best chase novels, and Thompson possesses a self-deprecating spirit that will keep readers rooting for him even as he edges closer to the point of no return.
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ISBN-10:  0345464788
ISBN-13:  978-0345464781
Author:  Charlie Huston
Publisher:  Ballantine Books
Date Published:  May 31, 2005
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review by . April 11, 2009
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CAUGHT STEALING was a fantastic novel from the beginning to the very end. I started reading this book and literally (and figuratively) did not put it down until it was over, several hours later.      There is an all star cast of characters that it is impossible not desire to learn about their motivations and anticipate their next moves. They are so unique it is almost laughable... almost. The pacing of the story is extremely fast and furious and the dialogue is sharp. I could …
review by . December 23, 2008
was a fantastic novel from the beginning to the very end. I started reading this book and literally (and figuratively) did not put it down until it was over, several hours later.    There is an all star cast of characters that it is impossible not desire to learn about their motivations and anticipate their next moves. They are so unique it is almost laughable... almost. The pacing of the story is extremely fast and furious and the dialogue is sharp. I could not help but be compassionate …
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Caught Stealing: A Novel
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