Among Thieves by David Hosp

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Among Thieves by David Hosp

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Category: Crime
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Karen Inskip-Hayward
Reviewed by Karen Inskip-Hayward
Summary: A complex, but satisfying, thriller set in the US.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 400 Date: January 2010
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 978-0230707238

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In 1990, some valuable paintings were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum in Boston in the United States. The police investigation failed to find them and many felt they were lost forever. But soon the paintings and their whereabouts would be impacting on many people's lives…

Scott Finn is a Boston lawyer. When he is asked to defend petty thief Devon Malley, he expects it to be an ordinary case, but it turns out to be anything but. Finn ends up helping Devon's fourteen-year-old daughter Sally by letting her stay with him for a few days. His new responsibilities in loco parentis affect not only his lifestyle, but those of his two colleagues at the firm – former cop Tom Kozlowski and his girlfriend Lissa Krantz.

Meanwhile, we also meet two of Boston's current police force – Detective Paul Stone and his new partner Elorea Sanchez. Stone seems a hard-working guy and you sympathise with him, as Sanchez appears uncommunicative and awkward. But she has a great track record of solving crimes and this meant she was respected, if not widely liked.

On the other side of the law is Liam Kilbranish. The Prologue of Among Thieves explains how his family were executed in Belfast and this early tragedy fuels the anger and violence that is now part of his daily life as an adult, working for the IRA. He plans to recover the missing paintings to raise funds for the cause and he doesn't intend for anything or anyone to stand in the way of achieving his aims.

This thriller is well-written and holds your interest well, although some parts did slow the pace slightly. I found the plot intriguing but somewhat confusing, especially as there are at least eight main characters to follow. It occasionally took me a while to remember who they were and how they fitted into the wider context of events.

By the final third of the novel though, I was well into the story, understood who everyone was and was eager to find out how things were going to turn out. While not the best book I have ever read, it was a very entertaining and involving legal thriller and I enjoyed it.

The plot is an interesting one (based on fact, as explained in the Acknowledgements afterwards), but the novel's real strength is in its characters. Each one is well-described and all of them seem well-rounded with their faults and good qualities on display.

My favourite characters were those in the legal firm and I enjoyed the interplay between Finn, Lissa and Kozlowski. When young Sally Malley joins the mix, things become even more fascinating, as we see how their relationships change. Sally is a great character and as the mother of four teenagers myself, I found her to be very believable and recognisable.

Overall, it is well-paced, exciting, well-written and with excellent characterisation. I would definitely recommend Among Thieves to any fans of this genre and would be pleased to read more of David Hosp's novels in the future.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

If this book appeals then you'll enjoy Innocence by David Hosp and True Blue by David Baldacci.

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