Rated of 5
The Good Thief--a good lark
A bittersweet romp through 19th-century New England, "The Good Thief" is an adventure story, albeit a self-conscious one, that should appeal to a broad swath of readers. What is good here is very good: secondary characters so real that this reader wept over their misfortunes; occasional lines that take your breath away; fresh descriptions; and vivid scene setting. Less successful is the way the plot hangs together toward the end, and the extended denouement becomes a bit muddled, losing its dramatic impact as, yet again, the characters fight the bad guys. But this is better than 90% of the fiction out there, if not quite as earth-shattering as its blurbs claim.