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Something Missing    by Matthew Dicks order for
Something Missing
by Matthew Dicks
Order:  USA  Can
Broadway, 2009 (2009)
Softcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Martin Railsback is a part-time barista whose real career is cat burglar. He steals everything from laundry detergent to jewelry, but never anything that will be missed. His victims become cash cows without ever realizing their homes are being regularly plundered.

Martin is unusual in his chosen field because of his obsessive-compulsive nature. He refers to his victims as clients. In fact he likes his clients. He spends months observing them before he enters their homes. He never chooses houses with pets or children. He prefers the homes of professionals, choosing upper middle class, two-income couples who have nice things and little time to enjoy them.

All goes well for years, but then Martin begins to make exceptions for certain clients which lead to trouble for this unusual thief . He has a client with a talking parrot. He likes the bird and thinks that if he is careful not to add to the bird's vocabulary, he'll be safe.

Martin has many rules that he follows. He is careful not to be anywhere near the client's houses when they return from work, but when he drops a client's toothbrush in the toilet he is unable to put it back where it belongs. He runs to the store and buys another of the same toothbrush, putting himself in jeopardy when the clients return before he can leave for the second time that day.

Something Missing is a good read with a character you won't soon forget. Martin Railsback is a sympathetic, decent fellow despite being a cat burglar. He cares about his clients and whenever he can, he tries to make their lives better.

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