The teen Ocean’s Five calls in the family

Title: Perfect Scoundrels (Heist Society #3)Cover of Perfect Scoundrels

Author: Ally Carter

Publisher & Release Date: Disney Hyperion, 2013

The Hook: It’s a heist with talented cons and crooks. Banter. Plus, I enjoyed the heck out of Heist Society (first in the series).

The Lowdown (from jacket): “Katarina Bishop and W.W. Hale the Fifth were born to lead completely different lives: Kat comes from a long, proud line of loveable criminal masterminds, while Hale is the scion of one of the most seemingly perfect dynasties in the world. If their families have one thing in common, it’s that they both know how to stay under the radar while getting-or stealing-whatever they want.

“No matter the risk, the Bishops can always be counted on, but in Hale’s family, all bets are off when money is on the line. When Hale unexpectedly inherits his grandmother’s billion dollar corporation, he quickly learns that there’s no place for Kat and their old heists in his new role. But Kat won’t let him go that easily, especially after she gets tipped off that his grandmother’s will might have been altered in an elaborate con to steal the company’s fortune. So instead of being the heir-this time, Hale might be the mark.

“Forced to keep a level head as she and her crew fight for one of their own, Kat comes up with an ambitious and far-reaching plan that only the Bishop family would dare attempt. To pull it off, Kat is prepared to do the impossible, but first, she has to decide if she’s willing to save her boyfriend’s company if it means losing the boy.”

Overall Impressions: I love a good heist story – all clever sleight of hand and plans within plans – and this one fits the bill. Kat’s an engaging heroine and her crew of “loveable criminal masterminds” are great fun. They band together to do the impossible. Again. The main villain’s identified by the crew pretty quickly and realizes it, so then you have the chess match aspect as well.

The story pulls you along at a quick pace, counting days after one big event and then days until the next major deadline/looming crisis, dashing back and forth across the Atlantic. Unexpected obstacles, new plans.

The tension between Kat and Hale is interestingly done. Hale’s grandmother’s will (Hazel seems to have been the only other worthwhile Hale) names Hale her heir, and he sees that as her continuing to believe in him and the close relationship they had. When Kat is given reason to believe the will might be fake, she doesn’t want to tell him because he’s holding onto what he sees as the message of the will to help him deal with his grief. Both of them are emotionally compromised, and while I did want to say “Talk to each other already!” it’s believable.

The Highs: The story starts with a flashback to Kat and Hale’s first meeting. She broke into one of the family home’s to steal a Monet but instead steals Hale. (For the record, he threatens to scream if she doesn’t.) I was charmed.

All the charming, clever, talented criminals using their skills for good.

Buzzkills: The main villain felt a bit one-dimensional. He was definitely smart and ruthless, it’s just that beyond his selfishness I wasn’t entirely sure what was motivating him. (Quite possibly someone else who reads this book will tell me that I am oblivious. This will not be the first time I have heard that.)

The Source: Public library

Disclaimer: No chocolate or artwork (priceless or otherwise) were provided by the publisher for this review.


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