Monday, November 13, 2023

Review: The Theft by Aaron Frale


Genre: Comic Crime/Thriller


“Certain death? Conspiracy that goes to the top? Robbery gone wrong? All in a day’s work…

F hired me to do a straightforward job, but there was a slight snag in the operation when what I stole was stolen from me. Three goons showed up at my door to not so politely tell me that I have 24 hours to deliver F’s goods or my body will never be recovered.

The real tragedy is that I haven't had my morning coffee...

Those punks better watch their back. Nothing comes between me and my coffee.”


When not writing Aaron Frale is also the guitar player for Spiral, a progressive metal band based in Montana, and the host of a podcast called Aaron’s Horror Show. He has books in multiple genres including science fiction, horror, and fantasy. The one thing the books normally have, regardless of genre, is what he calls “a comedic twist.”


One quality about the protagonist of this book that jumped out at me from the first page is that he is a … I can’t use the word I want to and get away with it in some of the places where I’ll be posting this. I guess saying his butt is intelligent might fly. It turns out that this becomes more and more extreme as the tension level ratchets up which, since he makes his living as a criminal and tends to upset crime bosses which can result in serious repercussions, it happens a lot.

The result is a thriller, as you can’t help but feel the tension, hoping that he’ll somehow make it through each of the situations he (sometimes literally) falls into. But the more intense things come, the more humorous the things that he thinks and says become. You can’t help but laugh, or at least be amused, but with what is going on it might be a tense laugh. It makes for an interesting dynamic and an enjoyable read.

One thing that I’m not sure what to think of are the footnotes. Yes, I’m serious, footnotes in fiction. What you’ll find if you follow them is they take you to a section at the end of the chapter (or you can just wait and read them when get to the end of the chapter instead). These have what I’ll describe as side notes, background, or quick stories that aren’t needed for the main story, but provide additional background for what is going on or has happened to the character in the past. As I said above, I’m not sure what to think of them, but a reader could just ignore them and page past them at the end of each chapter and have no issue following the same story, but if you’re interested and don’t mind getting sidetracked, go ahead and read them. Whatever works for you.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK


Some adult language.

Format/Typo Issues:

This review is based on an advance reader copy so I can’t gauge the final product in this area.

Rating: **** Four Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 40-45,000 words

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