The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell

Any new book by Katherine Rundell is a cause for rejoicing! Each time you think she cannot get any better and each time you are seduced all over again. It is the breath-taking clarity of her prose which just makes you yearn for an audience to which to read it aloud. From the opening sentence: Vita set her jaw, and nodded at New York City in greeting, as a boxer greets an opponent before a fight, you know that Vita Marlowe is going to be a character that lives with you. She and her mother have travelled to New York to rescue her beloved Grandfather, swindled out of his home and possessions by a thoroughly satisfactory villain- Sorrotore a notorious conman with Mafia connections. While her Mother takes a legal route, Vita, who does not allow her disability to stop her doing anything, ventures out into 1920’s New York and makes friends. A young pickpocket and two especially talented boys from the Circus across the road from her building reluctantly agree to help in her plan to find the hidden treasure and restore the family home. Sam and Arkady are beautifully nuanced characters with their own secrets and battles for representation and inclusion to win. This is a thoroughly nail bitingly tense and action packed adventure with genuine peril for all the youngsters. The setting is richly and vividly evoked and the reader is completely immersed and genuinely reluctant to leave at the thoroughly satisfying conclusion. This book is an absolute joy to read but also had some profound and beautiful things to say about love and grieving.

About this month's reviewer

Joy Court is Reviews Editor for The School Librarian journal and Chair of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals. She is also a Trustee and member of the National Council of UKLA where she sits on the selection panel for the UKLA Book Awards.