In my opinion, Katherine Rundell has now clearly established her brand as a children’s adventure novelist. Three of her novels that I’ve read till date share a similar thread of kids embarking on a quest of some sort, often beyond the knowledge of the parents. The Good Thieves is her newest release and doesn’t fail to grab our attention. This time, through the voice of a young girl named Vita, we read about family bonds, determination, fight for justice and what it means to be brave.
When Vita’s ancestral home is taken away from her grandfather by means of deception, she assumes the responsibility to plan a heist and retrieve the family’s jewels. But she’s not alone! Her wit and efforts enable her to persuade three acquaintances to join her in this mission. It is appalling the nonchalance with which Vita, a mere child, goes about setting things right, unsupervised in a foreign land.
One of my favorite aspects of this book is that it is set in New York and is filled to the brim with twists and turns. That said, it is the kind of read where you shouldn’t put too much thought into the workings of the plot points because then it wouldn’t be as convincing. The fact that a bunch of kids are scurrying about, wrecking havoc in the lives of the goons gives this novel a comical undertone. The author’s writing style is not over the top or too descriptive. While the narration is heavy on action scenes, we get the occasional glimpses of what New York looked like then.
Vita’s character is sketched to be full of spunk and zeal. She is resourceful in the sense that she makes the best of what’s available. Some of her character traits were quite surprising. And the way in which she persuades Silk, Arkady and Samuel to accompany her speaks volumes about how steadfast she is. They each possess interesting attributes that make the plot more entertaining.
The pace of the novel is surely an added bonus. You can finish the whole thing in one sitting. Parts of it are unpredictable, but for some reason, the story didn’t thrill me as much as the author’s other works have. Don’t get me wrong; I did enjoy reading the book. It’s just that in the overall experience of reading, it felt like something was missing.
To conclude, I’d say that you should definitely give it a try. Katherine Rundell’s writing has never disappointed me.
★ ★ ★