Ordinary Decent Criminal, An

An Ordinary Decent Criminal by Michael Van Rooy


Ordinary Decent Criminal, An

Winner of the 2006 Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book by a Manitoba Author


Montgomery “Monty” Haaviko has done the crimes—robbery, assault, embezzlement, arson, smuggling, attempted murder—and has lived the criminal lifestyle, where nothing is permanent. Crime may look easy, but a career criminal can’t even follow a TV series. For Monty the endless danger and fear, along with a hard-to-kick drug habit, became too much. Now, all he wants to do is settle down in a quiet Winnipeg neighbourhood with his wife, his baby son, his dog, and his pet mouse, and try something new: an honest job and life as an ordinary decent citizen.

But going straight is hard, even for a guy who was an ordinary decent criminal. And it gets harder. When Monty ends up with three dead break-and-enter artists in his living room, he discovers there are those who won’t let him forget his past. Detective Sergeant Enzio Walsh knows all about Monty’s criminal history and thinks he’ll be the one to put Monty away for good. And then there’s Jean Robillard, a minor crime boss and uncle of one of the dead men on Monty’s floor. He’ll settle for nothing less than Monty’s body on a slab.

Fortunately for Monty, he doesn’t have to face his nemeses alone. His wife, Claire, at one time a hairbreadth from leaving him for good, is standing by him. And he has plenty of tricks, scams, and schemes he can use to clear his name and save his life.

Winner of the 2006 Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book by a Manitoba Author

Short-listed for the 2006 Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction

Advanced Praise

[An Ordinary Decent Criminal] is funny, fast-paced and so hugely compelling it's hard to put down. Van Rooy has all the elements—a terrific protagonist, a twisting plot and a writing style that snaps along."

Winnipeg Free Press

Fast, entertaining, and a bit creepy. 
So Many Books blog
Fast-paced, witty and full of terrific lore -- learn how to booby-trap your backyard! -- this is a distinctly edgy exercise in underdog revenge.
Houston Chronicle
If you like your crime novels hard-boiled with plenty of wry, dark humor and unpredictable twists, you should read Van Rooy. You won't be disappointed.
Caruso Noir
Van Rooy is not merely a capable writer but a quite gifted one; he draws us into the story pretty much immediately and never really gives us an opportunity to turn away. Definitely a writer to watch.
Booklist Review
Exceptionally readable entertainment.
Kirkus Review
Admittedly, a career criminal yearning for the straight life maybe an anomaly, but there’s just something about this guy that makes youwant him to succeed. And that’s thanks to this author’s stellar storytellingand appreciation of the changeableness of the human heart.
curledup.com review

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