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Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter

Uncommon Criminals (A Heist Society Novel)Katarina Bishop is no ordinary girl and certainly no ordinary criminal. Ever since she pulled off one of the greatest museum robberies in the world, she’s been traveling around, liberating priceless works of art for the benefit of the public. It’s her way of using her skills for good, and fortunately, none of the jobs have been too difficult. But when she is asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald, Kat knows she may be in way over her head. Not only has this gem not been publically seen in over thirty years, it has a history of not staying in its owner’s hands for long—because it’s rumored to be cursed. Can Kat do it? She’s not so sure, but when the job turns into a nightmare of lies and deception, Kat knows she can’t back down. But now that she’s facing a rival who knows all the tricks in the book, does Kat have what it takes to out con the perfect con artist?

I should have known that Carter would not write a repeat of Heist Society for its sequel Uncommon Criminals, yet I was still surprised by how original this book turned out to be. I was really just expecting another episode of Kat and her crew pulling off a truly difficult job, and while Uncommon Criminals seems to start out this way, Carter quickly twists the job into an even more complicated con. There’s a lot about this book that I would never have expected. Firstly, Kat is such a flawed character. She isn’t a master criminal or even a particularly good friend; instead, she’s just a girl who wants to prove herself and do the right thing. And while that makes her rather unusual as a protagonist in a novel all about the most elite crime families, I’m starting to really like her. What also surprised me is how Kat seems to adopt a Robin Hood-like role in that she steals back stolen artwork and returns it to its rightful owners. I think that when I jumped into this series, I assumed the books would be all action and suspense with a hint of romance. However, the title of this book captures my feelings perfectly: this is an uncommon take on high stakes crime that I’m really starting to love.

Fans of Heist Society will not want to miss its sequel in Uncommon Criminals, nor will readers who also enjoyed the Gallagher Girls series, also by Ally Carter, and the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz.

Rating: 4.0

Review copy from publisher Disney-Hyperion

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