Release Date: 15th September 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Add it: Goodreads
In 1886 New York, a respectable architect shouldn’t have any connection to the notorious gang of thieves and killers that rules the underbelly of the city. But when John Cross’s son racks up an unfathomable gambling debt to Kent’s Gents, Cross must pay it back himself. All he has to do is use his inside knowledge of high society mansions and museums to craft a robbery even the smartest detectives won’t solve. The take better include some cash too —the bigger the payout, the faster this will be over.
With a newfound talent for sniffing out vulnerable and lucrative targets, Cross becomes invaluable to the gang. But Cross’s entire life has become a balancing act, and it will only take one mistake for it all to come crashing down —and for his family to go down too.
This book was bad. Like, really bad. I don’t know much about the author other than he wrote The Paris Architect but honestly, I requested this thinking it’d be a cool heist type novel in the vein of the Gentlemen Bastards series by Scott Lynch (FUCKING READ THEM, THEY’RE AMAZING) but no, instead I got some rich guy robbing all his rich friends with his bored rich family. Do you know what I like about rich people?
The novel has an interesting premise, kind of. Set in New York high society during a time when families like the Astors were ruling the social scene, the story follows a family who are rich and affluent but keen to climb the social ladder and rub shoulders with the poshest of the posh. This is spoiled by their fuckboy of a son and heir running up a massive gambling debt due to his fuckboy behaviour (HONESTLY. WEALTH IS WASTED ON THE WEALTHY). So the gangsters involved in getting the debt repaid rope in John Cross, father of the fuckboy, to help them rob all the rich families in society.
1. Fuckboy’s name is George, but if you’re going to throw away thousands of dollars on gambling, be the cause of your father’s descent into the criminal lifestyle, and even then not even try to stop…you are a fuckboy and that is what I will call you forever.
2. I kind of sympathised with John because his son is such a dick but that also went out the window when he and his wife start planning out increasingly ambitious robberies on the people they call friends, who have given them jobs and opportunities to help them achieve everything they have in life. Ungrateful prats.
Anyway, there’s this subplot with the younger daughter falling in love with a sexy criminal type i.e. the only part of the book I liked, and the youngest son falling in with a charismatic ten year old pauper like Oliver Twist. I don’t know, I just find it hilarious but it’s definitely not the most implausible thing that happens in this book, which is that the whole family gets in on this crime lark. Like, literally all of them somehow have magical aptitude toward the criminal profession, conveniently find their own mentors in specialist skills and come together for a big heist. To that I say: lmao, as if.
Pass on this dreadful excuse of a novel and just like, watch Ocean’s Eleven on repeat or read Locke Lamora instead. You will be better off.