Harrison is one of the Godfathers of Leverage. If you stroll around in the eternally crowded pub in my head, past Ellery Queen, just before Simon Templar's booth, having a beer with Alexander Monday you find Slippery Jim DiGriz.
DiGriz is the gentleman con/man thief of the future, eventually recruited as a sort of spy just because, well, it seemed a shame to waste a man of his talents. DiGriz is a fighter, a hacker, a con man, a thief and a mastermind -- we just split him up into a bunch of different characters. But even more important than the mechanical influences is the thematic one, the paragraph I can still quote a third of a century on, hearing my own twelve-year old voice in my head:
"We must be as stealthy as rats in the wainscoting of their society. It was easier in the old days, of course, and society had more rats when the rules were looser, just as old wooden buildings have more rats than concrete buildings. But there are rats in the building now as well. Now that society is all ferrocrete and stainless steel there are fewer gaps in the joints. It takes a very smart rat indeed to find these openings. Only a stainless steel rat can be at home in this environment."*DiGriz is one of the reasons I always shake my head when some fans ask "Wouldn't law enforcement have caught up with our guys by now?" There are still gaps in the joints, plenty of room for cunning justice- rats of the 21st Century.
Whatever caper you're on now Harry, give 'em hell.
In the comments, toss me the crime book or TV series you read you still hold dear. The detective, the spy, the con man -- who are your rats in the joints?
*This is the reason the hacker in The Core was named "Rat." In one of the script cuts which made that movie less cool, in the original script Aaron Eckhardt's character recognizes the quote, setting the foundation for he and DJ Qualls' friendship. (Blame the Paramount exec who was convinced we were making Das Boot.)