City of Saints & Thieves
by Natalie C. Anderson
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Rating: 5 Stars
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets Gone Girl in this enthralling YA murder mystery set in Kenya.
In the shadows of Sangui City, there lives a girl who doesn’t exist. After fleeing the Congo as refugees, Tina and her mother arrived in Kenya looking for the chance to build a new life and home. Her mother quickly found work as a maid for a prominent family, headed by Roland Greyhill, one of the city’s most respected business leaders. But Tina soon learns that the Greyhill fortune was made from a life of corruption and crime. So when her mother is found shot to death in Mr. Greyhill’s personal study, she knows exactly who’s behind it.
With revenge always on her mind, Tina spends the next four years surviving on the streets alone, working as a master thief for the Goondas, Sangui City’s local gang. It’s a job for the Goondas that finally brings Tina back to the Greyhill estate, giving her the chance for vengeance she’s been waiting for. But as soon as she steps inside the lavish home, she’s overtaken by the pain of old wounds and the pull of past friendships, setting into motion a dangerous cascade of events that could, at any moment, cost Tina her life. But finally uncovering the incredible truth about who killed her mother—and why—keeps her holding on in this fast-paced nail-biting thriller.
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I would like to thank the American Library Association and the publisher for providing me with an advance copy of City of Saints and Thieves at ALA-MW for an honest review.
Anderson did a fantastic job with City of Saints & Thieves. A book full of suspense and and twists left me on the edge of my seat while still giving me some romance. This was a fast read for me and never left me bored or confused. This story showed me the strength and willpower that most people underestimate some teens for having. My emotions were everywhere as I read this book; some portions had me feeling very sad, some very angry, and some very proud.
Tina (a.k.a. Tiny Girl) has been living on the streets, along with the other members of the Goondas, ever since her mother showed up dead in the office of her boss, Mr. Greyhill. Tina has been surviving as a Goonda by creating acts of a thief, and her next set location to rob is Mr. Greyhill’s office; the room where her mother was killed.
Along the way, Tina runs into an old friend. Together, the two of them and another friend, work together to figure out exactly who murdered Tina’s mother (although Tina is sure that it is Mr. Greyhill himself who is guilty). Tina runs into many obstacles and dangers in the way, but at no point gives up persevering to find what she wants.
Who actually killed Tiny Girl’s mother? Will Tina find the killer before it’s too late?
City of Saints & Thieves was a thrilling murder mystery that left me biting my nails in anticipation. If you are a fan of Gone Girl or Saint Death, you will definitely be a fan of this book. City of Saints & Thieves is, without a doubt, 5 out of 5 stars.
Natalie C. Anderson is a writer and international development professional living in Boston, Massachusetts. She has spent the last decade working with NGOs and the UN on refugee relief and development, mainly in Africa. She was selected as the 2014-2015 Associates of the Boston Public Library Children’s Writer in Residence, where she wrote her debut novel, City of Saints and Thieves.