Saturday, January 2, 2016

Loot by Jude Watson

Taut, engrossing and unstoppable

The words at the top of this post come from the starred Kirkus review as do the ones below.  

I am shocked to realize I first mentioned Loot back in April, 2015.  It has taken me nearly nine months to read this book - why did I wait - it is such a gripping crime thriller.  I started this book yesterday, read late into the night and left chores undone this morning in my race to reach the end.

When you begin reading this book (and yes I am going to say this again - please read this book NOW!) you must pay careful attention to all the details.  The story opens with three thieves pulling off a most daring jewelry crime.  They take "a priceless emerald brooch owned by Catherine the Great. The Crack in the Sky, the world's most famous turquoise. The sixty-carat Makepeace Diamond, said to be the most brilliant gem in the history of the world."    This could be the perfect crime but one thief is greedy.  He takes one more piece.  A pretty necklace for his girlfriend made with seven moonstones. In an act of defiance he twirls it in the air and the clasp breaks.  As the moonstones fall they form a circle in the moonlight and each thief has a vision.

The third thief will be captured and made to pay.
The second thief will die before the moon is set.
It is the curse for the first thief that is the worst of all.  In thirteen years time the twins will die.

The twins are March and Jules.  Their father Alfie, the first thief, has kept them apart for almost thirteen years but now he has died, the twins are reunited and race is on.  Working with two other kids that they meet when they are placed into a corrupt and abusive care facility our young gang members must find and steal the 7 moonstones in order to lift the curse.  Luckily for March and Jules, Izzy is a computer whiz and Darius has brilliant criminal connections.   Alfie has left clues and instructions. Some moments in this book will leave you on the edge of your seat.

Here is a web site for the author and review with more plot details.  This audio sample will give you a good sense of the tension created by this twisting tale.  Here is a review by Rick Riordan.

Driven by thrilling, nonstop action and featuring very brief chapters that readily sustain interest, this twisting and turning but ever-so-clever thriller is akin to the best of roller-coaster rides.

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