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Ts the humour and the fun villains sucked out of the tale Rating 35 stars I m rounding down to 3 stars here on Goodreads That feels harsh as if this was a regular thriller I d probably have rated it 4 stars It is a Schaefer book though so it suffers from being judged against his other books than it does being compared to our average thriller tale Audio Note I m a fan of Susannah Jones and feel like she gave a good performance of this one If she has a flaw it is the fact that when I listen to Schaefer books narrated by Susannah Jones I tend to find them less humorous than normal I m not sure if that is just because she has the misfortune of narrating the serious Schaefer books or if it is simply the case that she just fails to deliver the subtle humour in the dialogue as well as the likes of Adam Verner and Christina Traister do 35 starsI ve read all of Craig Schaefer s previous books and I love them This novel is the little different mostly because of lack of the supernatural elements But it is still a gripping book with interesting characters Our protagonist is Charlie recently retired soldier who try to make a life as a civilian She gets a job as a profesional bodyguard where she fast prove herself and meet some interesting people I loved that she was EOD Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician wchich mean that she knew how to disarm bombs It s obvious that Crag know what he s writing about there are a lot of technical details about bodyguards work and of course a lot of action I may not like this as much as his fantasy books but I think it is a worthy read Overall rating 35 stars Read Lukasz my full review over at Fantasy Book Critic ANALYSIS Craig Schaefer s The Loot is his first official foray into the crime thriller genre I say official because technically in his debut series Craig has definitely explored aspects of the genre in a multitude of ways However with The Loot the first in the Charlie McCabe series he gets to fully explore his literary muscles in a different world that s perhaps nothing like he has done beforeWhen the story opens we meet Charlene Charlie McCabe as she returns back to her New England roots from her military tour She s an explosive devices expert who has managed to stay whole physically psychologically it s a whole different matter Arriving back she s confronted with a father whom she s not on good terms and later discovers has a gambling problem Taking on the onus of his debt Charlie has to figure out a way to help her dad in ten days She also takes on a job as a security detail bodyguard in a slightly unorthodox company managed by a brother sister duo Things get even heated when their client is made a target for bombing attacks and doesn t care enough to allow the security details to do their job Hemmed in from all sides Charlie is forced to consider her morals and utilize all the tricks and talents at her disposal to make things work on both the personal and professional fronts Right off the bat this book conveys a sense of urgency as we dive into a blue collar world with Charlie The home which she returns to is Spenser Massachusetts a poor area as one would imagine Not doing so well but still proud and surviving Charlie is able to fit in but it s not something that she enjoys The story is a lean one as we are immediately introduced to the main plot threads and from hen it s a race to the end Craig Schaefer fully utilizes the narrative thriller structure and gives us a story that keeps us guessing while also roaring towards a climax Characters are also another plus point be it Charlie or her coworkers such as her uirky bosses Sofia Jake Esposito Dom Da Costa and her prayers to certain goddesses Beckett a classical strong and silent type and a few others We get a solid cast of characters whom I m presuming will play bigger parts in the future books Also focusing on Charlie she s one tough cookie but at the same time she s also flexible with her morality when the need demands it I often dislike moralistically rigid characters and so Charlie was a welcome addition Especially when situations demanded that she go with the flow She not only does that but often bends the flow in unexpected thrilling directions I loved this aspect about her and I hope the author allows her to go full tilt The only thing that perhaps didn t jive with my overall enjoyment was the final end reveal about the titular loot which I thought was a bit too convenient Overall it was a subjective thing because the end twist was a brilliant one and it sets up the next book superbly The book also needed a bit meat within its middle chapters as the author really streamlined the story I wouldn t have minded if the secondary characters had gotten of a light shined on them perhaps that s what are seuels are for CONCLUSION The Loot is Craig Schaefer s first foray into a pure crime thriller story and as far as efforts go it s certainly a solid one Charlie McCabe is a fiery character but not an all consuming one She #S Of The Slow Burn #of the slow burn that smolders and is eually dangerous The Loot is the start of another exciting series from one of my favourite writers and I can t wait to see what he surprises he springs in the seuel The Insider That was good surprises he springs in the seuel The Insider That was good I wanted an easy read to start the Popsugar challenge and this was just right For prompts this fits the following from an author who has written 20 or books passes the Bechdel test the protagonist is in her twenties. Ues about a diamond heist gone wrong that’s been unsolved for decadesWith the clock ticking and chaos descending Charlie sees a solution to both problems but it won’t be easy and it won’t be pretty A “normal” life may await Charlie on the other side of this mess but part of her knows that the battle has just begu. .

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Looking for a job and a miracle the former because everyone needs a job the latter because her gambling addict father is in deep with the local leg breakers and even a job isn t going to pay the kind of money she needs in ten daysThe story got started fast and didn t slow downSchaefer is an author I follow and he s made the jump from urban fantasy to thriller extremely well Although he appears to be following in the footsteps of Zo Sharp who also writes about a female ex soldier called Charlie who finds a second career as a bodyguard Schaefer s Charlie is her own person and seems to be primed for a slightly different career trajectory to Sharp s CharlieCharlie is a sympathetic character who is easy to like a competent professional who is neither too hard to care nor too soft to step over a line and is clearly being set up for than one book Secondary characters Beckett and Dom have their own backstories and it s pretty clear that we re seeing the birth of a team hereThe plot moves uickly and it s clear that Charlie McCabe s world is going to be one painted in shades of grey there are no angels here Even Charlie and her team tapdance along the line It makes me wonder where they re going to end upI read this in pretty much one sitting it s a fast entertaining read and I ll certainly be waiting for Charlie McCabe books It just wasn t all that exciting And that makes me sad Guns bombs death threats actionthe book should ve had me on the edge of my seat andnothing I may not read mysteries as a rule mostly Stephanie Plum and that s because Janet Evanovich knows how to write a fucking funny book but I ve also read some great ones outside of her work The Speed of Sound and Where the Forest Meets the Sta I loved this It was riveting from the get go I loved the main character Charlie and read like I was watching a movie I can t wait to read another one of these My dearest shrimpiest Craig Schaefer You know just I much I lurves The Harvest Murder you and stuff You are after all one of the founding members of my Holy uintuplicity of Utter Awesomeness HoUA And my Super Extra Yummy Boyfriend SEYB Danny Faust s most beloved daddy and therefore my most beloved daddy in law and stuff Ergo I very uite a lot logically well umou know lurves Tim and Tobias (Tim and the Hidden People Book A1) you and stuff Also Revanche Cycle and stuff Also also Jessie Tem The Loot is a tough book to rate and review As a thriller the plot is fairly run of the mill but Schaefer s writing is engaging so the story still ended up being a fast paced and fairly compelling read which would make it a success if I was only rating it against the other thriller books I ve read Unfortunately for The Loot I m not just comparing this story to the stuff I ve read in the thriller genre over theears but I m also comparing it to all the other Schaefer books I ve read in the fantasy and urban fantasy genres The bad news for The Loot is that while it was a decent thriller it was a fairly weak Schaefer book compared to what we can normally expect from him The plot and set up was fairly run of the mill and cliche for the genre Sergeant Charlie McCabe had just returned home after serving 8 ears fighting in Afghanistan for the US army She takes up a gig as private security for a local firm Her first assignment is as part of a team tasked with keeping a shady executive safe after he and his firm are blamed for deaths after a mine collapse in one of their operations As an extra complication Charlie also has to deal with some personal stuff as her father #HAS FALLEN INTO DEBT WITH THE LOCAL BRANCH OF #fallen into debt with the local branch of Boston Mafia The story was engaging enough and Charlie was a likeable enough lead character so it was easy to root for her as she sought to keep her scumbag client safe and keep the thugs from breaking her deadbeat fathers legs The big problem is Schaefer stories are usually interesting than just decent and the plots are usually a lot less run of the mill We did get a bit of intrigue as Charlie s investigation did get them caught up in solving a jewel heist from esteryear but even that felt like something I ve read in 100 other thriller stories over the ears rather than anything fresh or original The biggest flaw this book suffered from when compared to Schaefer s other series was the lack of memorable or fun secondary characters Charlie herself was nothing special but I liked her well enough and found "it easy enough to root for her but the rest of the cast "easy enough to root for her but the rest of the cast a bit of a bust The other members of Charlie s security team were so forgettable I can barely remember their names and I only finished this book esterday Worse was the fact that the villains were eually dull and forgettable Schaefer villains are usually a ton of fun and so are the secondary back up characters so it was a real weakness for this tale that they all bombed in this book Hopefully the seuel will see fun characters introduced to add some much needed depth to the story I also found the humour to be a bit lacking compared to regular Schaefer books I think this a common flaw when Schaefer writes in the third person I find I enjoy his first person stories better He just just does that style of story much better even if he seems to prefer writing third person POV stories All in all this was still a good and enjoyable story but in the end I was still left a bit disappointed as it was not great when compared to Schaefer s other books This felt a bit like a cheap imitation Harmony Black book with all the fantasy elemen. Father she needs to get serious cash together fastHowever her father isn’t the only one who needs saving When Charlie’s first client a wealthy executive with a shady past narrowly escapes a bomb plot Charlie’s investigation leads her into the heart of Boston’s criminal underworld Along the way she stumbles upon cl. Sale Alert Kindle Deal Alert 199This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart35 Really There is No Supernatural in this StarsThe Loot is the first book in the brand new Charlie McCabe series by Craig Shaefer Charlie MacCabe just got out of the army She is used to high pressure situations having been part of the bomb suad in Afghanistan for the last eight Imagining Gay Paradise years but it seems like it is easier to diffuse a bomb than talk to her father I wantou to remember something no matter what they tell König der Welten 1 youou might stop wearing the uniform but Love, and Other Things to Live For you never stop being a soldier And a soldier needs a mission Sir she d said This mission is over he d told her Go find a new one Dismissed Charlie needs to do a few things 1 Adjust to not being in constant danger Oh oops scatch that keepour guard up at all times Check 2 Figure out how to come up with twenty thousand dollars in ten days Remember daddy dearest he has a little gambling problem and owes the mob some money Check 3 Find a new mission in life or at least a new gang to hang out with Check Double Check 4 Try to stay out of trouble with the mob Well that one might be a little harder than the othersCharlie thought that once she left the army she was done defusing bombs She is so so wrong Her new job has a contract to protect a dirt bag with skeletons in his closet and plenty of people with a reason to kill him One of those people just so happens to have a few skills in bombing 101 and is making Charlie feel nostalgic Auribus teneo lupum he saidCharlie stared at him over the mouth of her bottle Meaning It s Latin It means holding a wolf by its ears He set the cloth down and curled his hands in front of him pantomiming You hold on Treasure Trail / The Crimson Phoenix / Model Murder (The Shadow, you re screwed You let goou re screwed Damned if I do damned if I don t Pretty much wolf chow all around I like Craig Schaefer because he isn t afraid to have his characters make some choices that straddle the line between right and wrong Charlie is put into a situation where she might be able to come up with the money to save her dad but it means some bodies could need to be disposed of She is going to have to make a few calls that might not sit well with the reading audience I m fine because I like when characters aren t all good or all bad but somewhere in the grey areaThis is a solid first book in a series and I m interested in Charlie and her new job as a professional bodyguard for a company having some cash flow problems The other characters we get to spend some time with Beckett and Dom seem to have some good backstories happening We don t get to touch on them much but I like the direction this is headingThe only disappointment I really had for this was there is no magic monsters or things of a supernatural nature that go bump in the night #THIS IS STRAIGHT UP REAL WORLD WHO DONE IT WORLD WHO DONE IT straight up real world who done it mystery Because I ve read a lot of Schaefer books I was both a little surprised and disappointed Still it s a really solid start to a series and I ll be sure to check the next installment out too Narration Susannah Jones is a narrator I know will always do a solid job on her performance and The Loot wasn t any different I always think of the Rock Chick series anytime I hear her voice but I ve listened "To Well Over Twenty "well over twenty narrated by her and I m never disappointed I listened to this at my normal 15x speedListen to a clip As a die hard Schaefer fan I ll buy and read anything he writes It s good he writes in the genres I adore as a reader The Loot is his first thriller novel Having read all of Craig s previous titles I knew what to expect an intoxicating flood of action personal drama and suspense No supernatural elements this time though Charlie Charlene McCabe is a leading character that ou might recognize a retired and worn soldier who hopes to leave the war behind Unfortunately her father s gambling habit put him in deep trouble Charlie wants to help him but she needs serious cash to pay his debts before the violent loan shark teaches him a lesson Because retired EOD Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technicians aren t highly sought after in the labor market she accepts a job as a professional bodyguard When her client s deadly secrets come to light things go sideways but there may be the long lost loot to take away I loved the pacing of the story and its focus on the personal Charlene no longer fights for the country but she does for her family I prefer smaller scale narratives so I loved her determination to save her father from himself and dangerous bookie while simultaneously trying to explain the attempted murder mystery In terms of character development Charlie is compelling in her own right with her own personal demons that color many of the scenes Her troubled relationship with her father gives readers even insight into her mental space She may be willing to dip her fingers outside of the boundaries of the law but she s one of the good guys Some motivation behind the antagonists of this story seems a bit trite as do their tactics On the whole though the characters are well developed with backstories and moments of introspection that make them memorable I especially enjoyed stoic Beckett who may or may not have a lethal past The Loot is a gripping thriller and possibly a beginning of the exciting series with Charlie McCabe leading the charge I can t wait to read the seuel Oh I thought I ll just dip into this just read the first few pagesFamous last wordsCharlie McCabe is demobbed and. She fought for her country Now she’s fighting for her familyWhen Sergeant Charlie McCabe returns from fighting in Afghanistan she hopes to leave the war behind Instead she comes home to a father whose gambling has put him in deep trouble with a violent loan shark She finds work as a professional bodyguard but to save her.

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