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Book Review: Criminal Enterprise by Owen Laukkanen

Criminal Enterprise by Owen Laukkanen is a fictional crime book which asks what happens when ordinary people take a shortcut to making money because they perceive it as their only option.

Carter Tomlin has been fired from a high powered job but is still trying to maintain his high style of living which his wife and kids came to expect. However, Carter can’t find a job and constantly feels like a failure. One day Carter decides to rob a bank. The ease of making money is sweet, and he gets hooked. Carter realizes that the thrill of easy money is nothing compared to the thrill of power when he is armed and dangerous.

On Carter’s trail are Agent Windermere of the FBI and Agent Stevens of the BCA. The two agents are very different and have to deal with bureaucracy and family issues which simply help Tomlin continue on his rampage.

Criminal Enterprise is an entertaining thriller which provides a gripping read. The plot is engrossing, and the action scenes are fast paced while keeping characterization a priority.

The most interesting character in the book was protagonist Carter Tomlin. The reader can see how Tomlin went down a slippery slope and started justifying his anti-social behavior to himself and others using circular logic. Tomlin discovers he gets a thrill from having power over other people and even has to pretend to rape his wife in order to bed her. The way Laukkanen weaved this part of the man’s psychology into the story was fascinating and gave the story multidimensional angles.

While I enjoyed the story very much, the relationship of the two heroes, Agent Windermere of the FBI and Agent Stevens of the BCA, seemed forced and didn’t flow as smoothly as the rest of the book. Maybe because I didn’t read the first book in the series, The Professionals, I missed something which happened even though the author does a good job re-introducing the characters.

Criminal Enterprise has excellent writing, an interesting story and exciting characters. While the book might seems long, the chapters are short and the language is easy and readable.

  • 416 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399157905

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