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Review: Rat Burglar can't stop lovers in Adam Davies' 'Mine All Mine'

The screwball romantic comedy seems like a lost art form, so give Mine All Mine points for its ambition.

Our narrator, Otto Starks, is a "pulse," a highly trained security guard with superhuman senses and resistance to poison who protects priceless artwork.

His love is Charlie Izzo, a beautiful art history student who studies museum theft and looting.

You'd think they have a lot in common, but the catch is that Otto's job is top secret — he has told Charlie he's a baseball scout for the Mets. To make things right, Otto is planning his departure from the private security racket, so he and Charlie can sail into the sunset on a yacht aptly named the Clean Getaway.

First, though, he must nab the famous thief known only as the Rat Burglar. And unbeknownst to Otto, Charlie has her own secrets that will keep the two lovers apart — at least until the last chapter.

Maybe you can see a few of the plot twists coming from a mile away, but Mine All Mine is still a lot of fun, like a well-crafted pop song or a campy James Bond movie.

In his third novel, author Adam Davies demonstrates that he has a deft touch for laugh-out-loud moments and great dialogue, and he mines Generation X pop culture references to great effect.

He has an engaging story here; it's a shame he doesn't explore some of his themes a bit further. The Rat Burglar, you see, steals art to return it to its country of origin.

Otto prides himself on being "the good guy," but maybe it's the Rat Burglar who sees a bigger picture of right and wrong.

It's an intriguing idea, but it fades away amid the mistaken identities and madcap adventure.

Angie Drobnic Holan can be reached at aholan@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8573.

Mine All Mine

By Adam Davies

Riverhead Books, 304 pages, $14

Review: Rat Burglar can't stop lovers in Adam Davies' 'Mine All Mine' 08/16/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 11:17am]
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