Owen Laukkanen is a Canadian author whose debut novel ‘The Professionals’ garnered him instant success and critical acclaim. Owen went to the University of British Columbia where he pursued their Creative Writing Program. However, he didn’t immediately delve into the literary arena following his graduation from British Columbia. Rather, he spent three years working in the world of professional poker.
Order of Stevens & Windermere Series
Success for Owen came when his debut thriller hit the book shelves. Critics called the book, which chronicled the lives of a group of young college graduates turning to a life of crime in a difficult job market a brilliant piece of work.
Owen Laukkanen primarily writes crime thrillers and he has proven that he is quite good at the task. Law Enforcement Agents Kirk Stevens and Carla Windermere, Owen’s creations, have continued to mesmerize in the many crime thrillers he has written since ‘The Professionals’.
It should be noted that, while Owen Laukkanen loves to write, he also works as a commercial fisherman.
Owen Laukkanen Awards
Owen really hit the ground running, with his debut novel garnering him a nomination for the Anthony Award and Barry Award. He also earned a nomination for the Spinetingler Magazine Best Novel: New Voices Award this along with the International Thriller Writers’ Thriller Award for Best novel.
However, Owen is hardly a one-hit wonder, and the novel he followed The Professionals’ with also earned him a nomination for the ITW Thriller Award for Best Novel.
Because there is always so much hullaballoo surrounding Owen’s novels and because his works always attract such critical acclaim, it is only a matter of time before Owen snags a notable award of his own, this as opposed to the many nominations he keeps collecting.
Best Owen Laukkanen Books
If you have never read Owen’s books, and many people will admit that they have never even heard of him, and you are thinking about sampling his style, these two books should easily give you a taste of what you can expect:
The Professionals: For Four friends, the job market is a nightmare. So it comes as no surprise when a joke about turning to kidnapping to survive becomes something more real. And against all odds, the four recent college graduates pull it off, executing quick, low risk and highly efficient jobs.
However, when they kidnap the wrong man, they attract the ire of two groups they were looking to avoid at all costs. Kirk Stevens, an experienced Investigator and Carla Windermere, a young FBI Special Agent are challenge enough on their own, determined to bring the hammer of the law down on their rebellious opponents.
The organized-crime outfit looking for payback only exacerbates matters. A deadly pursuit ensues, crisscrossing the country and interspersed by a series of increasingly explosive confrontations.
It doesn’t take all the parties involved long to realize that only those who are willing to sacrifice everything to succeed will come out on top.
This explosive page-turner filled with twists, surprises and complex characters is an amazing debut novel. Any book can engage readers with rapid pacing and breathtaking twists.
Most of the fluff on the shelves today succeeds at doing just that, which is why most such books are so forgettable. This novel works because it is plausible. Everything actually makes sense.
The plot is intriguing enough; Owen Laukkanen uses the harsh economy as the tool that finally pushes four young minds over the edge and into a quagmire of crime. The Professionals could have been more mindless fluff, but it isn’t.
Kill Fee: The Richest Man around is assassinated, and Kirk Stevens and his occasional partner Carla Windermere witness the whole thing. The shooter, a young man, could have been described as being unremarkable if not for his odd eyes.
The sunny day takes an unexpected turn as events lead the two law enforcement agents down numerous blind alleyways, eventually bringing them into contact with a sinister social media website even as they attempt to identify the dead-eyed shooter’s next target.
Anyone who read the first two books from Owen Laukkanen already knows that he writes some truly impressive protagonists. This book shows readers how good Owen is when it comes to creating amazing villains.
This is another page-turner that keeps you hooked because, like Stevens and Windermere, you are not always in the loop, and you cannot help but think that you are missing an important piece of the puzzle that you can only discover if you keep reading.