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Will "White Collar" Thriller fans accept a "Blue Collar" Mastermind?
Drawing inspiration from real life masterminds who tend to be blue collar, a new novel turns the classic sophisticated "Cary Grant style" cat burglar on its head.
The character of Matt Huntington starts out the book as a college graduate who is under employed in a working class railroad job. He takes to a life of crime more out of economic frustration than any attempt to steal the American dream. When asked why he departed from the standard classy sophisticated safe crackers made so famous by actors such as David Niven, Carey Grant, and more recently George Clooney Ostresh replies, “Two reasons. First, I think the character speaks better to a generation of college graduates who find that their degrees are not as valuable as they once were. Second, it is just a more accurate portrayal. Real safe crackers tend to come from more blue collar backgrounds than the print and film industry would have you believe.”
So will this new twist on the heist genre appeal to readers? Certainly high class escapism has been part of the formula for reading stories about clever cat burglars. Is turning a back on that tried and true formula a particularly good idea? In the author’s words, “It might not be the best bet to attract dedicated readers of heist fiction but I hope it might attract a new following to the genre. The truth is that heist fiction, especially in the current economic environment, can be used to explore a lot more interesting issues than just, Oh Gee…Look how clever I am!”