Something Missing by Matthew Dicks must make the reader sympathize with and care about Martin, who makes a living by breaking and entering upper middle class homes and systematically robbing the owners. The author succeeds by giving Martin many positive attributes (kindness, empathy, a strong work ethic) to counterbalance his antisocial career.
Martin’s obsessive compulsiveness proves useful in his career as a thief, albeit a conscientious, thoughtful thief who has real fondness for his “clients.” The book describes in detail his methods and the scrupulous recordkeeping he develops so his thefts will never be detected.
An uncharacteristic slip leads to personal involvement with actual people and not just their “things” and eventually results in a romantic relationship. Martin is a complex character who grows from a fascinating, yet rigid and circumscribed, thief to a man who welcomes, rather than avoids, connections and relationships.