My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A fun read about one of the quirkiest characters I’ve come across in quite a while!
Summary via Goodreads:
A career criminal with OCD tendencies and a savant-like genius for bringing order to his crime scenes, Martin considers himself one of the best in the biz. After all, he’s been able to steal from the same people for years on end—virtually undetected. Of course, this could also be attributed to his unique business model—he takes only items that will go unnoticed by the homeowner. After all, who in their right mind would miss a roll of toilet paper here, a half-used bottle of maple syrup there, or even a rarely used piece of china buried deep within a dusty cabinet?
Even though he’s never met these homeowners, he’s spent hours in their houses, looking through their photo albums and reading their journals. In essence, Martin has developed a friendship of sorts with them and as such, he decides to interfere more in their lives—playing the part of a rather odd guardian angel—even though it means breaking many of his twitchy neurotic rules.
Along the way Martin not only improves the lives of others, but he also discovers love and finds that his own life is much better lived on the edge (at least some of the time) in this hilarious, suspenseful and often profound novel about a man used to planning every second of his life, suddenly forced to confront chaos and spontaneity.
Martin lives his life at a bit of a distance from everyone around him. Sure, this is necessary due to his unusual choice of profession. Then again, this choice was made possible by that distance. Chicken, egg…
He’s someone I was thinking about even when I wasn’t reading. There’s something sweet about him, even with everything he has going on. I cheered when he finally started reaching out.
I enjoyed the details of his tasks, but this is completely a book about a character. Every plot point, every interaction with setting and other characters just provided a way for me to learn more about Martin, and I enjoyed every minute of it.
I met Matthew Dicks at the Books on the Nightstand Booktopia Santa Cruz retreat. Even before meeting him, I’d wanted to suggest his most recent book, Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, for book club, so I didn’t want to read it yet, but considering how fun Matthew was in person, I really wanted to read one of his books sooner rather than later. I’m glad I did! I’ll also give my thumbs up to Booktopia for any book lovers wanting to meet other book lovers and be introduced to new authors.