Good Behaviour, a collection of three novellas, was released in 2016 by Brilliance Audio and performed by Julia Whelan.
Blake Crouch comments in between each novella about the inspiration for Letty and how the drama series for TNT, based around her character, has evolved, including his collaboration with a TV writer and producer. Michelle Dockery, who played Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey, is cast as Letty.
In The Pain of Others Letty Dobesh is fresh out of prison and in no time has reverted back to her old ways. In the process of robbing a luxury suite in a hotel in North Carolina, she’s forced to hide in the wardrobe when the guests, Chase and Arnold, return unexpectedly. She overhears them plotting to murder Chase’s wife. Letty is in a quandary. For obvious reasons she can’t go to the police, so the decision she makes is the only thing she feels she can do.
Sunset Key finds Letty all but destitute, fixating on scoring the drugs and alcohol she’s addicted to. She’s persuaded by an old friend and fellow thief, Javier, to spend the night with a wealthy business man on his private island. It’s his last night of freedom before serving a long jail sentence and Letty is lead to believe there will be a huge payoff. The job seems fairly straightforward to Letty….and the twist was totally unexpected.
In Grab, Letty’s reputation precedes her and she’s sought out to help with robbing a casino in Las Vegas. This will be a job like no other and Letty’s character development is marked. The planning and execution of the very high risk caper is fascinating. Suspense and tension is high and again, there’s a great twist in the tail.
Letty ordered breakfast. As the morning grew warm, she thought about her son.
In better times – mostly while high – she imagined sweeping back into Jacob’s life. Saw them in parks. Parent teacher conferences. Tucking him into bed at night after a story.
But she didn’t want to entertain those fantasies now. She wasn’t fit. Had nothing to offer him.
She couldn’t get the hotel concierge out of her mind. She wondered if he could assist on scoring her a teener and a pipe.
Three times, she started down the lobby. Three times, she stopped herself.
It was the memory of the Atlanta motel that kept turning her back. The image of her skeletal reflection in that cracked mirror. The idea of someone someday having to tell her son how his mother OD’d when he was six years old.
Letty is a unique heroine, troubled, gorgeous and flawed, a thief with a compassionate side. It’s almost impossible not to become invested and root for her as she makes wrong decision after wrong decision, trusting those who only want to use her. Her life hasn’t been a bed of roses; her father was abusive, she lost her parental rights to her young son and the only way she can suppress her drug craving is to drown it with the high she gets from her criminal activities. Letty’s good intentions and internal struggles play out through each story as she tries and ultimately fails to turn her life around.
This is a departure, at least from the Blake Crouch books that I’ve read previously, being a straight crime story, but no less enjoyable and exciting for that. He’s an amazing storyteller. And, as always, Julia Whelan’s narration is spot on.
About the Book
Fresh out of prison and fighting to keep afloat, Letty Dobesh returns to her old tricks burglarizing suites at a luxury hotel. While on the job, she overhears a man hiring a hit man to kill his wife. Letty may not be winning any morality awards, but even she has limits. Unable to go to the police, Letty sets out to derail the job, putting herself on a collision course with the killer that entangles the two of them in a dangerous, seductive relationship.
Good Behavior comprises three interlinked novellas (The Pain of Others, Sunset Key, and Grab), which together form a novel-length portrait of Blake Crouch’s all-time favorite character creation, Letty Dobesh. This edition is the complete Letty Dobesh collection.