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  1. An Ordinary Decent Criminal: A Thriller - Michael Van Rooy - Google Books
  2. An Ordinary Decent Criminal
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Read the first page. Michael Van Rooy's An Ordinary Decent Criminal is about an ordinary decent man, who just happens to be an ex-con and recovering addict. It's the first of three Monty Haaviko mysteries. Read them in order for best appreciation. Haaviko's desire to live a regular, predictable live is admirable, and it's easy to care for this honorable man.

Monty and his family are victims of a powerful and corrupt police investigator and a local crime boss: The pressures he faces to keep his promise are enormous but Monty's wife and beloved partner never wavers from his side. With almost inhuman self control and brilliant maneuvers, Haaviko establishes his right to live freely in the home of his choosing, to live under his own name, and his right to defend himself.

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An Ordinary Decent Criminal: A Thriller - Michael Van Rooy - Google Books

You know Van Rooy's a must read not only because of lavish reader reviews, but also because of really admirable writer reviews. Steve Hamilton says, "The protagonist is as tough as any character I've ever read, but he also has smarts and a huge heart. This is truly one of the best books I've read all year. Michael Van Rooy is Canada's best-kept secret in crime fiction. Jan 30, Bonnie Ferrante rated it really liked it. I don't usually read crime books so I don't have a lot of experience but this one seems different from the usual.

A fascinating study of a bad character trying to be good surrounded by people who won't let him. Amazing details on burglary, fighting, booby traps, etc. Some parts made me a little uncomfortable.

An Ordinary Decent Criminal

Read it in two days. Two local writers wer I don't usually read crime books so I don't have a lot of experience but this one seems different from the usual. Two local writers were supposed to read their work before he did. One was ill and I was asked to fill in for him. I was very nervous reading a YA fantasy romance to such a literate crowd, but it went over well. Michael went out of his way to congratulate and encourage me. When I bought this book, he wrote in it how "very much he enjoyed my reading.

We were all looking forward to learning from him through the ewriter in residence. I quickly read it and wrote the above review. I forwarded a first chapter of a YA historical novel I had discussed with him. A few days later, there was an email stating that he had died of a sudden heart attack. I was shocked and deeply saddened. He was only 42 and had a family with three children. This book is in the process of being made into a movie. Michael was working on the screenplay.

I hope the project goes through. The main character is a unique individual and the book would make a terrific movie. I hope his family gets to see it materialize. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I'm a little disappointed with this novel.


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It started so strong - with a group of intruders breaking into an ex-convict's home. He warned the intruders that he had a wife and child upstairs, and although they did not attempt to attack him at least in my opinion they weren't hostile - Monty Haaviko decides to kill them all. And so starts the whole process - cops coming to his house, being taken to the station where he was violently assaulted. The story leading up to this point moved fast, held I'm a little disappointed with this novel. The story leading up to this point moved fast, held my interest I was loving it.

At first I did not know where the story was headed. The author described every small detail about what Monty did - but I never followed. And it never made sense until there was a sentence later in the book about Walsh one of the cops who assaulted him being framed for insurance fraud, etc. Monty set Walsh up. I did like that Monty, although reformed and attempted to turn straight - still had the killer instinct in him.

But what pissed me off more than anything was that the author ends the book with Monty becoming a babysitter? Are you kidding me? I don't care that people thought that this man was reformed after Walsh got caught assaulting him again That is very unrealistic. Aug 16, Mark rated it really liked it. They say behind every successful man is a woman. Monty is no different.

His wife and baby son's lives are in his hands. When the three bad guys break in to his home he has to defend his family.


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  6. Monty just wants to be left alone. Left alone by the police, the local Winnipeg mob, his boss who fires him prematurely, his neighbors and their nasty notes and the landlord who is trying to evict him before his lease is up. See, Monty used to be a really bad guy, but having done his time is tr They say behind every successful man is a woman.

    See, Monty used to be a really bad guy, but having done his time is trying to live a straight life, if everyone will just let him alone. With the help of an occasional employer, his attorney and his wife and child, Monty tries to solve the problems of his corner of the world. This witty, fast-past, edgy, action thriller will keep you cheering for the bad guy in this debut novel from Canadian author, Michael Van Rooy. Apr 10, Amalyusuf rated it it was amazing. Monty Haaviko is introduced to the reader as an unemployed criminal with a range of past criminal offences that include theft, robbery, attempted murder and drug addiction.

    First, to reinvent himself as a reformed decent criminal, the main character Montgomery Haaviko changes his name to Sam Parker, marries the woman he loves Claire and soon becomes the proud father of a baby boy named Fred. In essence, the author portrays the main character Monty as a former drug addict and a self-proclaimed rehabilitated criminal whose aspiration to redeem himself as a reformed criminal began with the relocation of his family to their new home in Winnipeg.


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    4. Soon, Monty finds out that his desire to be a decent father to his baby boy, a decent husband to his new wife and his wish to rapture his past criminal behaviors are at risk as he is hunted by a small time crime boss Jean Robillard who is linked to the three dead home robbers one of whom is his cousin and a Winnipeg police Detective Sergeant Enzio Walsh who is looking to nail Monty for the murders of the home intruders.

      Sergeant Walsh is convinced that Monty has gotten away with murder and deserves to be locked up for his past crimes. In short, the central theme in this novel is the struggles of a small town career criminal that is grappling with self-redemption as he strives to be decent in the face of multiple barriers. In many ways through the successes and failures of Monty, the author reflects on the notion of someone being decent and criminal at the same time.

      Is the idea of decent inherently incompatible with having criminal behaviours and past? Or as sergeant Walsh believes, does being a lifelong criminal mean Monty pose predictable risk to the safety of his new community in Winnipeg? The author portrays Monty as a sympathetic character that is working hard to establish a life that is free of criminal acts and free of the day-to-day hustle and danger of being a career criminal. The author effectively helps the reader understand that for a man who never held a legitimate job and a man that faces the daily temptation of returning to the drugs and violence of his past, for all his faults, Monty needs to be acknowledged for his efforts to improve his life and provide a different life for his young family.

      Overall, I found the novel an ordinary decent criminal to be different in that it focuses on the life and struggles of a career criminal that is willing to reform himself for his family. In this case, the narrator is also the main character Monty. The quality of the writing is easy to understand and accessible for young readers. The book is a thrilling novel with rich and humorous plot lines. More importantly, as I read the book, on the one hand I found myself cheering for Monty to succeed as a redeemed decent criminal, on the other hand, I found my moral values and my sense of what is decent challenged by the very title of the book.

      Furthermore, I found that the plot unfolds remarkably well and but is also multilayered. In this context, the reader feels like they are reading two mystery books at the same time.

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      To combat impending challenges, there are intriguing scenes in which Monty spots potential pitfalls and he manages to escape out of them before they lead to his downfall. For example, Monty successfully accuses the police of breaking the law by physically assaulting him and forging his confession leading him to escape a prison sentence for the killings of the intruders. For example, Monty does not go to prison for killing the three intruders in his home, but Detective Walsh is committed to putting him behind bars for these seemingly self defense killings.

      So as Monty avoids prison for the two murders and he continues to enjoy the supports his wife, friends and lawyer, the reader is left to wonder if the conclusion of the story defies logic. Nonetheless, this is a fictional thriller novel that keeps the reader engaged and hooked to every page and plot. While the story is very fast-paced, the author uses language that is easy to understand.

      The plot is believable but also progresses at a fast pace for the reader to stay engaged. Through the narration of the story by the main character Monty, the reader is introduced to the world of criminals. Monty is no different. When the three bad guys break in to his home he has to defend his In his diverse career, he worked as a teacher, a newspaper editor, a bartender, a cheesemaker, and a casino dealer. He passed away suddenly in January He will be missed. Now all he wants to do is settle down with his wife and baby and work on building My library Help Advanced Book Search.

      My library Books on Google Play. An Ordinary Decent Criminal: What's a poor ex-con to do, eh? Monty's character is sort of a mix of a subtle Repairman Jack and Jack Reacher, and here he pulls out all of his old con man tricks to get both the good guys and the bad guys off his back, all while trying to find an honest job. Oh, and his wife Claire keeps a really big knife under the pillow at night. This book is well written, fun, and well-paced; it was tough to put down at night. This is book one of three books with the Haaviko character; I've read two of the three now, both excellent, and it's a shame that there will be no more.

      Author Michael Van Rooy, an award winning Canadian author, died unexpectedly late last year at a young age while on tour for the third book in the series. I look forward to reading his last book. He will be missed. I can't remember now how I happened to come across this book This was one of the best writing surprises in ages.

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      After slogging through far too many over-rated books of one sort or another, it's a complete gift to encounter An Ordinary Decent Criminal and I've already ordered the other two titles! This is comic writing of the highest order; sending up every typical good bad-guy hero with wicked imagination and flair. Any piece of writing that can make me laugh out loud has a whole lot going for it--I'm a tough audience. On one level it brought to mind the very first of the Dexter books--when it was fresh and kind of delicious the latter Dexter titles are neither of those things these days.

      But on another level, it was very much a brand-new, devilishly clever and madly imaginative creation. Author Van Rooy has moved to the top of my authors-to-watch list right now.

      Damon Albarn - Dying Isn't Easy (Ordinary Decent Criminal OST)

      I'm waiting with great anticipation for the other books to arrive. Sadly, I discovered that this wonderful writer died this past January at the age of Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. A litany of losing robber, arsonist, attempted murderer, the list of transgressions goes on and on has plagued the life of perpetual jailbird Montgomery "Monty" Haaviko. This ex-junkie and career felon has chased the worst side of bad decisions almost since the time he could walk. But growing older, fear and a new wife and child have done what a revolving door of incarcerations, overdoses and narrow escapes could not-made Monty attempt really, really hard to walk the straight and narrow.

      But, for a man with no skills other then the kind that will get you eight to ten with a chance for parole , surfing help want adds on Craigslist isn't a viable option.

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      But hey, starting a day care isn't out of the question yep, he's a hit with the toddler types. Before that avenue can be explored, there's the slight problem of him killing three home invaders before they ransack his home and do far worst to his family. To bad that one of the now cooling culprits' is nephew to a mini crime boss with a temper shorter then he.

      It also doesn't help that the local constable-one Detective Sergeant Euzio Walsh-has taken a personal interest in either relocating Monty permanently to prison or six feet under whichever get him the most headlines. What's a reformed criminal to do?

      Well, fight the powers that be rah! A life time of dirty tricks, shady deals and thinking way outside of the box has readied Monty for just such battle. But his main drive is to keep the one thing he can't survive losing; the hard-earned peace his made corner of the world has brought him and the people he must protect. Get some popcorn, this is one grand fight to witness This is a terrific, well written idea-a pretty shady crook makes effort to go straight.

      Haunted by his past with the aid of law enforcement prejudice, he utilizes his criminal skills to battle back. Excellent work with great references to the wonderful metropolis of Winnipeg Canada. One person found this helpful.