Robert Rivers is an honorable thief who has made a living conducting well-planned heists on the various businesses that dot the idyllic environs of Southern California. But during a routine robbery of a local steakhouse, Rivers comes across something that shakes him from his comfortable existence. Stuffed inside the restaurant's safe, alongside the money, is a photograph of a teenage Vietnamese girl. Though Rivers tries to enjoy the money and move on, he finds himself haunted by the picture. Soon, Rivers comes face to face with the realization that there are dark things afoot in Orange County-deeds that make his heists look like fun and games. And when an old friend shows up hoping to get in on the action, Rivers is forced to wrestle with questions of loyalty and conscience that just might lead him to some kind of redemption.
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by Thomas Hardy
by Jack Higgins
by Steven James
by Steven Pressfield
"CRIMINAL PARADISE starts off sounding like an unusual story about the workings of a small-time criminal's brain. Soon we realize that Robert Rivers may be a thief, but he's also a pretty good guy, a hero. Patrick Lawlor sounds a little young for the 40-something lead character, but he's suitably menacing as the real villain and totally convincing as the "hero's" two henchmen. Lawlor does justice to Thomas's story of conscience and crime, lending a solid storytelling style to a disturbing tale. In a case of a semi-bad guy versus a really, REALLY bad guy--guess who wins. This is one of those books for which a happy ending seems impossible, but the author pulls it off. M.S. (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine"
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