Monday, August 21, 2006

Reluctant Burglar

Reluctant Burglar is the debut novel by Jill Elizabeth Nelson. When my copy arrived in the mail, I was excited to dive in to it because I'd heard some buzz about it, but I really didn't know what to expect. 48 hours later, I finished it and can't wait for the next installment in the To Catch A Thief series.

I didn't expect to be unable to put it down, but that's exactly what happened. From the first chapter, I was sucked into the world of art security and the chaotic life of Desi Jacobs. The story opens with Desi entering a fictious art museum in Boston. What we know, but the museum doesn't, is that she is there to steal a valuable piece of art. The staff learn her true purpose when she returns the painting as a way to illustrate breaches in the museum's security system. She lands the account for her father's company, and it looks like her life is pretty good. Then FBI agent Tony Lucano rings her doorbell. The rest of the book is her attempt to find a way out of the spiral of events his appearance sets in motion while learning who she can trust in a world suddenly out of control. Through all the twists and turns that make it a caper ala The Thomas Crown Affair, I hoped that somehow Desi would find a way out of her impossible situations.

She's surrounded by trouble on all sides, from the FBI that has been bent on exposing Desi and her father for months, to a coworker who may not be what she seems. Who can Desi trust as she tries to make the right decision? The faith elements in this book flow very naturally from each of the twists. And the point of view shifts quickly so you know what each key character is thinking as the action picks up. That alone kept the pace of the book moving. Then add more twists than a tornado slide in Kansas, and I bet you won't be able to put the book down.

If you buy this book, and you like a good mystery with lots of twists, I think you will enjoy it. It's published by Multnomah, which publishes many romantic suspense series including Dee Henderson's O'Malley family series. This book is a great fit for their line-up.

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