Thieves (James Ford #5)


In 1938, a young mother and her remaining children must flee Nazi Germany in order to stay alive after  her son is murdered and her husband taken to a concentration camp. Left with few choices, the family separates, but can they find each other again and get back what they have lost? Decades later, private detective James Ford is asked to help solve the family mystery and put them back together.

The historical aspect of the book will tug at readers’ heartstrings as it sets out the events that force Esther and her two daughters from their home. Once the author switches to present day, however, the storyline becomes muddled, with numerous characters introduced that don’t seem to have any relation to one another. This leaves the reader confused until they loosely tie to James Ford in his investigations. Unfortunately, these random stories take away from the power of the historical beginning. There is also an overabundance of dialogue without any setting to ground the reader, and many characters are flat, without any depth or emotion. The author does have a flair for painting historical events and effortlessly shows how individuals and families were affected by Nazi atrocities. That part of the story is powerful and the present-day plot would have been more compelling if the author had concentrated on the consequences to the descendants of the Schmitt family, instead of diluting it with other storylines. With a good content editor this would be a compelling mystery.

 Kate Campbell