An unusually successful collaboration which conveys the detective's expertise--McDermott worked for the NYCPD--in a chatty, entertaining prose. Distinguishing between crude amateurs and shrewd professionals, McDermott offers examples of memorable burglars like Fat Albie Hirsch and Monkey Joe, recognizing if not quite respecting competence, inventiveness, and adaptability--it's amazing what a piece of celluloid can do. Generalizing from these common and uncommon techniques and tossing in a few shivering-in-the-warm-rain asides, he provides specific suggestions for safeguarding houses, apartments, and hotel rooms as well as businesses, banks, and industrial buildings. The precautions sound reasonable rather than paranoid. ""While no one device will solve all your problems, a good alarm system is the single most effective precaution"" for a private house. A pick-me-up for pick men? More like a guide for the perplexed.