Thieves Like Us
Lie to Me, the author’s first book, was a DIK for me, so I was excited to read this one, particularly when I learned it features characters from her first book. While I enjoyed Thieves Like Us for the most part, it didn’t live up to the first book, and I’m not sure how well it will work as a standalone read.
Janet Aims’ ex-husband, the wealthy drug-dealing scum who tried to have her murdered in the first book, is in jail. Janet doesn’t want to have anything to do with him at this point, and decides to sell some of the ugly jewelry he gave her. She is shocked when the jeweler discovers that the piece is stolen, and is part of the valuable Pellinni Jewels. When the jeweler alerts the police, and they come looking for Janet, she needs help. It turns out that the rest of the Pellinni Jewels are missing, and Janet looks like the top suspect.
Rather than contacting a lawyer, Janet calls Rocky Hernandez, former jewel thief. Rocky is now a law student and the co-owner of a home security firm. Janet’s been trying to avoid this sexy, Hawaiian-shirt wearing man for months. After being burned by her ex-, she’s not ready to get involved with a bad boy like Rocky, no matter how much she’s attracted to him. Rocky jumps at the chance to come to Janet’s aid. He’s been trying to get together with her since they first met.
Rocky and Janet aren’t the only ones looking for the missing jewels, but the criminals think that Janet has them. Rocky doesn’t want Janet’s help, so she goes off on her own, getting into trouble at several points. While I know from the first book that Janet managed to get out of serious past difficulties, her insistence on being involved with the current investigation at times borders on stupidity.
The whole missing jewels plot was too convoluted for me, and detracted from other parts of the story. We have the guy from the Russian mafia, the Colombians, the inept Detroit mobster, and an assortment of other unsavory characters, all as potential threats to Janet.
I found Rocky to be an interesting, likeable hero, but didn’t warm as much to Janet. Neither of them struck me as being particularly brilliant. It seemed to take them a long time to figure out some fairly obvious clues regarding the location of the missing jewels.
I think this book would be even less successful if you haven’t read the first book. Because I had, I knew some of Janet and Rocky’s history. We could have used more character development here as well.
I really liked the non-criminal secondary characters, and would have liked more time spent on them – as well as on Janet and Rocky – and less on the various criminals. The secondary romance involving Janet’s former mother-in-law is particularly interesting. I also love Libby, the daughter of Rocky’s best friend. With a tad less emphasis on the criminals, I would have given this a much higher grade, because when the plot focuses just on the non-criminal activities, it can sparkle.