BOOK CLUB: The Honourable Thief

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Author: Meaghan Wilson Anastasios
ISBN: 978-1-76055-252-6
RRP: $32.99
Publication Date: 31 July 2018
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

Dan Brown meets Indiana Jones, now that’s an awfully big call to make if ever I heard one. I have enjoyed a couple of the Dan Brown novels, and movies, and I loved the early Indy movies – though how much of that was Harrison Ford I couldn’t be sure. Either way this definitely intrigues me enough to want to check out The Honourable Thief. I’m picturing action, artifacts, and evil bad guys out to make the big bucks – or take over the world.

The Honourable Thief is an action packed tale of heroes and thieves, passion and honour set against a backdrop of history.

Istanbul, Turkey 1955. Even that is enough to have me picturing Indy with his hat and whip.

Discredited archaeologist Benedict Hitchens was once world-renowned, now he is a shell of his former self who still knows how to turn on the charm.

In his younger years, full of optimism and out for adventure, Hutchins was determined to prove a theory he held about Achilles. He was led to Crete where things seem to have fallen apart for him.

Hutchins is now faced with a chance to restore his reputation, solve the mystery of the disappearing enigmatic stranger and prove his theory but it’s a chance fraught with danger and possibly dire consequences.

10 of our members are reading The Honourable Thief and I look forward to hearing what they think. I also look forward to the day I have time to pick this one up and immerse myself in the history.

Meaghan Wilson Anastasios can be found on her Website, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

The Honourable Thief is available through Pan Macmillan, Angus and Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to Pan Macmillan 10 of our lucky Beauty and Lace Club Members will be reading The Honourable Thief so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

13 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Honourable Thief

  1. The Honourable Thief

    I love anything to do with archeology and the mysteries of lost treasures so was excited to read a new authors adventure with archeologist Dr Benedict Hitchens. It is Benedict’s life’s ambition to prove that Achilles was a real historical figure and what an adventure he has in doing so.

    The story is a little like an Indiana Jones adventure with the added benefits of well researched descriptions of the geography, culture, history and mythology of Turkey and Greece.

    The book which is set predominantly in Turkey and Greece goes back and forth in time from the late 1930’s up to the mid 1950’s.
    Benedict a charming good looking man is, or should I say was, a renowned archeologist until he was discredited following an incident in Turkey with stolen antiques. He was pedalling replica antiquities on the black market with his ‘business partner’ Ilhan Aslan to make a quick dollar to fund his research and dig.
    He then meets the mysterious Eris on a train while leaving Turkey after being dismissed from his position in Turkey. The treasures she holds fascinate him as they have a direct relation to his hunt for Achilles. Eris disappears and Benedict sets out to find her and the treasures in the hope it will salvage his life and his
    professional status. He is under suspicion for having something to do with Eris and the treasures disappearance and his life spirals downwards . He not only has the authorities watching him but his reputation is in ruins.
    It took me a while to get into the story and you have to keep up with the changing time periods and countries but I did enjoy the read. It is well written and there were some lovely romantic moments in the story. It is an engaging adventure that I’m sure will appeal to many readers.
    Note: Although a fictional account the book is inspired by real events, a fact I found quite fascinating.

    1. Hi Karyn,

      Thanks so much for diving into Benedict Hitchens’ world! I’m really glad you enjoyed ‘The Honourable Thief’, and appreciate you taking the time to write such a thoughtful review. I hope you join me for the second book in the series, ‘The Emerald Tablet’, due at about the same time next year.


  2. Meet Benedict Hitchens, a lovable, affable rogue who I envisioned looking like Indiana Jones but scruffier. ( I always picture the characters in my head as I am reading)

    There was always a climax to this book and the story built up to it spectacularly. I loved the thread of Achilles, was he /wasn’t he a real person that cropped up every now and again throughout.

    However, I did have a bit of trouble following the timeline and occasionally had to flick back to make sure I knew what period I was in but on the whole thoroughly enjoyed my read.

    I also enjoyed the character, Karina, the fiery lady in the story but had a hard time picturing them together, they just seem like two completely different characters and we had to wait for 3/4 of the way thru the book to find out what happened.

    Overall, There was just the right amount of romance, low times, fighting and adventure. Well done Meaghan Wilson Anastasios on your debut novel, may there be many more to come.

    1. Thank you, Katrina! You made me blush!

      It’s great to hear you enjoyed the story. It certainly was enormous fun researching and writing it, and you’ll be pleased to know there’s more to come – ‘The Emerald Tablet’ is out next year, and in it you’ll learn a great deal more about the mysterious Eris. Benedict will also move a step or two closer to redemption! The novel’s set in the midst of the Suez Crisis, so the political climate is extremely tense, with danger and betrayal round every corner. I hope you have a chance to read that one, as well!

      Till then,

  3. Reading about Meaghan Wilson Anastasios is incredibly interesting – “a scriptwriter for film and TV and an accredited member of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts. (AACTA)” WOW. Wondering how on earth she manages to fit so much in! “The Honourable Thief” is Meaghen’s first solo novel but not her first novel or published work. “The Water Diviner” was co written with her husband Andrew. Her work as an archaeologist in the Mediterranean and Middle East provides authenticity for this novel.
    Set in the preceding years and following after World War 2 with a sometimes believable archaeologist as the main character, much is incredibly interesting. I found the wartime exploits detailed in Crete to be very well written and interesting. I took much longer to read this book than I normally do because I kept going back to make sure I had the timelines correct. I found that slightly challenging.
    The cover hints at a future novel. “Introducing archaeologist Benedict Hitchen on his quest for redemption…….” and I’m pleased that this is the introduction with more to follow in “The Emerald Tablet.” With Meaghen’s background in film and TV I could well understand if this became a film and/or TV series.
    Thank you for the opportunity to explore a novel reasonably different from my usual reading, Beauty and Lace. Thank you to Pan McMillan and to Meaghen Wilson Anastosios. I have no idea who is responsible for the cover – it is a work of Art.

  4. American Ben made some mistakes while working as an archeologist in Turkey. He ruffled some feathers and made an agreement to “redirect” some of the finds into the black market. The latter being one of his worst mistakes.
    Earlier, while completing his thesis in Greece he fell in love and became a local. The appearance of a second non-local, a French man, into the small town in the early years of the war (WWII) was a bad sign, if only the locals could see it. This man caused turmoil for Ben and his family and the war shaped a new man in Ben. Perhaps this is why he made bad decisions later in Turkey.
    His biggest mistake, following a girl, finding a great archeological find and his passion for Achilles. Years of disrespect, police attention, the reappearance of the French man and an inability to return to his Greek family in his shame, can Ben survive all and get back his reputation?

    A great story that bounces back and forth through time in a way I found easy enough to follow. History, passion, trouble and a good ending, although not what I had hoped for. Thanks for the read, looking forward to any future tales

  5. The Honourable Thief is the first solo novel from Meaghan Wilson Anastasios. Meaghan’s career as an archaeologist in the Mediterranean and Middle East and a fine art auctioneer has provided the knowledge and background needed to write this novel.
    The story, which is set across the 1940s and 1950s, tells the story of Benedict Hitchens, an American archaeologist who has an obsession with Achilles believing he was a real historical figure. Benedict did once have an excellent reputation as an archaeologist but he is now discredited and we are introduced to him in Istanbul, Turkey in 1955. He is working with local man Ilhan Aslan on an illegal deception that is designed to make them both rich.
    The story jumps around, back and forth in time, to tell us Benedict’s story as to how he came to where he is now and we learn of the tragedies he experienced during the Second World War.
    I quickly got into this book, enjoying the history and the characters. I was soon invested in Benedict (he is a bit of a charmer) and wanted life to improve for him. So I was little bit surprised and disappointed that he fell for Eris’s tricks so easily, as a bit of a conman himself you would have thought he would be more alert and aware of possible scams. But perhaps that is because as a reader I had been told of his future.
    Despite this I did enjoy the novel and would like to read more about Benedict and the ending of the novel does seem to leave his story open for a sequel. I’ll look out for it.
    Thanks to the Beauty and Lace Book Club and Pan Macmillan Australia for the opportunity to read this enjoyable novel.

  6. Thanks to B&L for the chance to read this book. Unfortunately this was not my cup of tea. I can see from some of the other ladies reviews that it was very enjoyable for them.
    This was very much an Indianna Jones type of book and was set in the 1950’s. There was a lot of mystery and action and artefacts. The book is well written and in line with the history of archaeology, it was just not relatable for me.

    1. I really appreciated your honesty in your review, Jennifer. Very well written review – reviews of books not totally enjoyed are so much more difficult than those we love, in my opinion.

  7. Mystery, intrigue, deception – this book read like a plot for an archaeological adventure filled movie. At times I could almost hear the soundtrack.

    The story jumps between time periods and locations a fair bit so definitely better to read in longer sittings as I did find myself having to refer to previous sections a fair bit.

    All in all I enjoyed the read and would definitely go see the movie (if it is made), I can’t wait to see if Benedict Hitchens matches my mental image.

  8. Many thanks for the chance to review this book- it was very well researched and had a great factual and atmospheric feel for both the time and the place. I was very interested in this historical aspect as I usually steer away from historical books but I surprised myself and did like that part. The characters were well described and did enjoy the way the story developed. There were a few places that yes, Indiana Jones came to mind but the story itself around Achilles and Eris had hooks enough to keep you interested in its own right. An easy to read, romping style, in this historical adventure.

  9. I’ve just finished reading The Honourable Thief by Megan Wilson Anastasios and I have to say that this book did not disappoint! It promises an action packed tale of honour, passion, heroes and thieves and it delivers all of that and more. Benedict, known as Ben, is a charming character who is easy to like. As a reader I found myself invested in his quest and wanted things to turn around and go in his favour. A riveting tale I would recommend for anyone looking for an action packed adventure.

  10. Thank you to the Beauty and Lace Book Club, Pan Macmillan Australia and the author, Meaghan Wilson Anastasios for the opportunity to read The Honourable Thief.
    I enjoyed reading of the exploits of Benedict (Ben) Hitchens a once world-renowned archaeologists and his life long passion to bring about the truth about Achilles. Was Achilles a figment of myth or a real historical hero?
    I believe that the authors background as an archaeologist and fine art auctioneer gave an authenticity to the plot, locations and historical periods described in this novel.
    I did not encounter any difficulty following the time changes throughout the plot and found myself actually wishing that Ben would accomplish his life-long goal instead of being continually struck down by back luck or timing or both.
    I will be eagerly awaiting the next offering by Meaghan Wilson Anastasios.

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