Book Review: Weasel Words
Reviewed by Robyn-Lee Samuels
A satisfying tale of two thieves who steal from the rich and keep it for themselves
Bernard and Melody Earls are a married couple with looks, smarts, and no money. When Alexander Hamilton Plaskett hires them to steal a family heirloom from his brother Paul Revere Plaskett, they get tossed into the world of the wealthy. There’s a snag in their plan though: the statuette they’re meant to steal is guarded by an unhackable security system.
Weasel Words is a quick plot-driven read with a strong payoff. Lehman’s skill comes through early in the book. He quickly sketches the characters, setting, and stakes of this heist to keep the reader aware of what’s going on and looking forward to the action. The pace ebbs and flows throughout the narrative as the duo faces obstacles and a fair amount of distraction. From a structure standpoint, this novel is sound.
As the plot unfolds, Lehman shines a spotlight on issues in Bernard and Melody’s marriage. As they attend soirées in an effort to do reconnaissance and get closer to their mark, Bernard’s insecurities and jealousies surface. Melody’s beauty grabs the attention of all, and she fears that Bernard’s jealousy may blow their cover and jeopardize the mission. Lehman focuses on this emotional struggle as a way to create tension and resolve the plot, but it’s also his way to address the socially-engrained sexism in our society.
The novel’s shortcomings are in its stereotypical portrayal of Bernard and Melody’s relationship. Whenever they leave their apartment, Melody takes hours to choose an outfit, even when the one she’s wearing is fine. And with every outfit change, there’s a discussion on nail polish. This is clearly a device to establish Melody as a fashion-savvy character who cares about her appearance, which is fine, but Melody’s character has little personality beyond being beautiful and needing to change outfits. And since Melody is beautiful and coveted by every man at the Plaskett mansion, it makes Bernard feel like a partner who is insecure and possessive.
Weasel Words is a book full of tropes with an ending that makes sense and still feels earned. The characters may not be complex, but they’re definitely unique and the plot serves them well, making it an overall enjoyable read.
In the end, Lehman wraps up the story with a satisfying package of action and resolution. The book’s length works wonders, too—the plot has the right amount of time to breathe and develop into something heist fiction lovers can really appreciate.
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense / Crime
Print Length: 244 pages
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