Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
An Ordinary Decent Criminal

An Ordinary Decent Criminal

A Thriller

Montgomery "Monty" Haavik Series (Volume 1)

Michael Van Rooy

Minotaur Books


Trade Paperback

Be nice. Nice is good. Nice sets a standard. Then, when you get mean, the shock is strongest.

Montgomery "Monty" Haaviko has done the crimes and has lived the criminal lifestyle. His trade secrets——could fill a book. Now all he wants to do is settle down with his wife and baby and work on building a straight life. But for a man who's never held down a legitimate job and who faces the daily temptation of returning to his past, it isn't going to be easy. When Monty foils a robbery in his new home, killing the intruders, he quickly finds there are those who don't want him ever to forget what he once was. Detective Sergeant Enzio Walsh knows all about Monty's history and is determined to use it to put Monty away for murder.

A couple of drops of Krazy Glue on the tips of your fingers eliminate fingerprints

Not since Jack Reacher has there been such a quick-thinking, hard-edged anti-hero whom readers will root for against all odds. Monty imparts his hard-earned criminal knowledge via sharp asides straight out of the hit show Burn Notice or the bestselling Beat the Reaper, because he knows it's going to take all of the tricks he has to prove his innocence, protect his family and avoid the allure of the life he left behind.

A dying man can do a lot of damage.


Praise for An Ordinary Decent Criminal

An Ordinary Decent Criminal would have Quentin Tarantino smiling from page one. Doubt me? Read page one.” —Michael Koryta, author of The Cypress House

“A fast and funny tale about an ex-con going straight the crooked way.... Exceptionally readable entertainment.” —Kirkus, starred review

“Van Rooy's debut novel is gritty, full of plenty of dark humor and suspense” —The Oregonian

“Monty Haaviko… is a very engaging protagonist and narrator with a story arc that takes him in one direction and then another, back and forth, until the tale reaches its rewarding and appropriate conclusion (leaving the door open, incidentally, for a sequel or two). 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

“A fairy tale worthy… of Quentin Tarantino. Michael van Rooy… makes his hero a MacGyver of crime, who spouts handy lawbreaking tips even as he creates elaborate booby traps or sets up the bad cop for a fall. He's really committed to his new life with his wife and baby, and that makes him a charming rogue instead of a smart-aleck lowlife.” —The Charlotte Observer

“Canadian author Michael Van Rooy introduces an appealing antihero, Montgomery Haaviko, in his debut, a gritty, offbeat suspense novel... [with] enough dark humor to please Elmore Leonard fans.” —

“Astonishingly good…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 (Canada)

“A commentary on justice and vengeance, and a handbook on criminal practice in a fun-packed, eminently readable romp.” —Prairie Fire Magazine

“Michael Van Rooy is one of those few writers who really stand out in a genre otherwise flooded with mediocre books. His protagonist is as tough as any character I've ever read, but he also has smarts and a huge heart. This is truly one of the best books I've read all year. Michael Van Rooy is Canada's best-kept secret in crime fiction.” —Steve Hamilton, Edgar Award-winning author of The Lock Artist

“Extraordinary writing… Van Rooy has created a contemporary hero who defines an individual's struggle against the weight of a society that has judged and found irredeemable. Admittedly, a career criminal yearning for the straight life may be an anomaly, but there's just something about this guy that makes you want him to succeed. And that's thanks to this author's stellar storytelling and appreciation of the changeableness of the human heart.” —

“This witty, fast-past, edgy, action thriller will keep you cheering for the bad guy in this debut novel from Canadian author, Michael Van Rooy.” —

“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.” —

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Michael Van Rooy

MICHAEL VAN ROOY was a full-time writer who lived in Canada. In his diverse career, he worked as a teacher, a newspaper editor, a bartender, a cheesemaker, and a casino dealer. He won the 2009 John Hirsh Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer. He passed away suddenly in January 2011. He will be missed.

Michael Van Rooy

Laura Neufeld



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