Being a computer genius isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Do something like embezzle funds from a company you helped create and you’re stuck in juvie for a year, with no hope of ever finding a straight job working with computers and doing the thing you love, the only thing you’re good at. This is the position Jonah Wish finds himself in.
Thieves Like Us begins with a jail break. Jonah is just trying to survive inside when a group of highly-trained, teenaged thieves break into the Young Offenders’ Institute in order to break him out. After waking up from his drugged bean burger, Jonah realizes he’s in a high-tech, well-funded compound owned by Nathaniel Coldhardt, a wealthy man who has assembled a team of talented teens to work for him. There’s Con, a sexy Frenchwoman with a gift for mesmerism and making people do whatever she wants. There’s also Motti, a smart-mouthed break-in artist and expert in electrical systems, and Patch, a one-eyed locksmith who always has a surprise hidden in his glass eye. And then there’s Tye, a walking lie-detector test who used to smuggle just about everything while growing up in Haiti.
Jonah has a choice: become a part of the strange family or go back to his old life of juvie and foster homes. The choice seems obvious, but, as he finds out what is required of him, he isn’t so sure that this is the life for him. Does stealing from wealthy people make it okay? Does he trust these people with his life? Are they right to trust him with their lives? What happened to the kids who used to work for Coldhardt?
Thieves Like Us is a bit of a slow start; it’s a British novel, which takes a little getting used to. A few chapters in, however, you get as sucked into this life as Jonah Wish. And good luck getting out.