Released: 5th July 2012
Publisher: Orchard Books (UK)
Source: From Publisher for Review
Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life: Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. But for the last two months she's simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world. That's why Kat isn't surprised when she's asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners. There are only three problems. First, the gem hasn't been seen in public in thirty years. Second, since the fall of the Egyptian empire and the suicide of Cleopatra, no one who holds the emerald keeps it for long - and in Kat's world, history almost always repeats itself. But it's the third problem that makes Kat's crew the most nervous, and that is...the emerald is cursed. Kat might be in way over her head, but she's not going down without a fight. After all, she has her best friend -- the gorgeous Hale - and the rest of her crew with her as they chase the Cleopatra around the globe, dodging curses and realizing that the same tricks and cons her family has used for centuries are useless for this heist. This time, Kat's going to have to make up her own rules...
Uncommon Criminals sees Kat, having continued her mission to ‘save’ artworks from the hands of those who have come across them in the wrong ways faced with yet another virtually impossible mission; to steal the legendary, cursed Cleopatra Emerald; a treasure that has been locked away for decades.
The plot of this book was superb, I was initially a little disappointed at how easily and quickly they stole the Cleopatra, having loved all the logistics of the heist in book one. However it fast became clear that this wasn’t the main point of the story, and I quickly became engrossed in the issues faced by the character, which seemed even more impossible to overcome than anything they faced in Heist Society. I loved how once again all the characters were included and important, and we were even introduced to some new faces. The group dynamic works so well, it’s clear all these people know and love each other and are used to working together and that really comes across in the writing. How everything turned out was actually…wow. It was so clever and so unexpected yet so utterly simple, I was amazed. Again, I was a little disappointed that we missed some of the logistics because so much had to be kept from the reader for the dramatic impact, but we did see a lot of it and there were plenty of hints that it wasn’t over, that something else was going on, and that was enough to fuel my anticipation. I was so gripped, I tore through this book and then was of course, very sad that it was over when I’d raced through it!
Hale was on top form, as supportive as ever, yet he let some more of his true feeling show in this book. His frustration and hurt at being left behind, at not feeling wanted, or needed by Kat as much as he wanted and needed her. And yet, in a crucial moment he was utterly impossible to read. The change in his relationship with Kat is subtle yet completely natural. Normally I would want more, but the way everything works out suits the situation and the characters perfectly, and that was definitely enough for me, Hale is such a swoonworthy and admirable love interest; he’s not at all smothering or controlling, he’s not moody or abusive or overly sweet…he’s pretty much perfect (oh why isn’t he real! And…older! Whyyy)
Kat herself, she felt both older and younger in this book, more mature yet more naïve. I did like this change in her, I liked that she was a little cocky as a result of her recent successes and how this affected her. It was fantastic that she leaned more on the help of others, that she opened up more to Hale, and yet at the same time she was a little reckless, a little irrational, but very determined. All of this added more dimensions to her character and made her even more loveable.
Uncommon Criminals is a masterpiece of anticipation, suspense and wonderfully written characters.