Good Behavior

Written By: Blake Crouch

Published By: Thomas & Mercer

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                I had seen the promos for the new TNT television series, Good Behavior, and I was intrigued.  Here was a character that seemed to be a bad guy with some morals.  There seemed to be more to Letty Dobesh than met the eye and I wondered about the show, but I never had time to watch it.  Then I received an offer to read Blake Crouch’s original works that started it all.

                Good Behavior The Letty Dobesh Chronicles is actually a collection of three stories that were written by Blake Crouch long before the television series was ever thought of.  It all begins with The Pain of Others, taking place just after Letty Dobesh is released from prison.  A former junkie whose main source of occupation is stealing, we come across Letty looking for her latest score, working with employees of a high-end hotel to find the best targets for her special talents. 

Unfortunately, while she is in one of the targeted rooms, its occupant returns.  Hiding in the closet, Letty overhears a conversation about a hit being place on a woman by her husband, with the room’s occupant as the hitman.  Can Letty just finish the job and walk away or will her morals force her to try and stop the impending hit?

In Sunset Key, Letty Dobesh has fallen off the wagon again.  She cleans up just in time for a big job – the fleecing of a wealthy energy company CEO headed to prison thanks to a conviction of security fraud.  All she has to do is allow herself to be taken to his personal island with no weapons and no cellphone, spend the night with him, sneak past the ever-present security detail, steal a prized painting in his ultra-secure office and leave the island undetected.  Piece of cake, right?  What happens when Letty finds that the prey is actually the hunter?

Finally, we have Grab in which Letty, clean for a few months now, quits her job as a waitress and decides to head west to finally see her the son she hasn’t visited since before she was incarcerated.  Along the way, Letty feels the need to use.  There’s only one way for someone like Letty to fight off the urgent need…fuel that other need of hers – the need for the adrenaline rush of a big job.  She signs on to assist in a huge heist at a casino.  But when things go sour on the heist, Letty could find herself back in prison…or worse: dead!

The stories in Good Behavior: The Letty Dobesh Chronicles are captivating.  Right away, despite the bad things Letty has done to screw up her life, the reader finds her to be more than just an engaging character.  She has quite a few redeeming qualities about her and we root for her to succeed, even when she is doing something we know is against the law.  We realize that there is a heart hidden under that tough exterior and a yearning to do the right thing most of the time.

I loved the excerpts by the author in which he first explains how the television series came into being and then, after each story, explains how certain things were used and certain things were cut to create the series.  It’s unusual for an author whose work is adapted to screen to also be in a partnership with the series creator, writing each episode together.  That being said, it was interesting to see why the team decided that certain things had to be changed or left out until a later time.  Blake Crouch’s writing is fast-paced and captivating – so much so that I finished this book in a day’s time.  Good Behavior: The Letty Dobesh Chronicles is a great read for those who want their protagonists to be somewhat flawed with redeeming qualities.  A fun read!


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