Title: Perfect Scoundrels
Author: Ally Carter
Genre: YA Mystery
Series: Heist Society (Book 3)
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover, 328 Pages
ISBN-10: 1423166000 (Hyperion)
ISBN-13: 978-1423166009 (Hyperion)
Reviewed by: Kayla
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.
Quick & Dirty: Carter weaves yet another thrilling mystery with more than a few twists to keep you on your toes and begging for more. Plus there’s more insight on the history of the amazingly gorgeous (and rich) W.W. Hale.
Opening Sentence: Of all the people who knew about the big house in the middle of Wyndham Woods, very few had ever been inside.
Kat and Hale’s relationship has been drifting past the border of friendship for some time, but in this book it seems that they are secretly dating–well, secretly to Hale’s family. But it’s when Hale unexpectedly leaves on a heist that their relationship goes from sweet and warm to an icy shoulder. Then Kat sees the headline on the next day’s newspaper: the Hazel Hale, CEO of Hale Industries and Hale’s beloved grandmother, died that night, about the same time Hale left her stranded in a window. Now the entire Hale family has convened for the funeral – and most importantly – the reading of the will. But Hale’s mostly silent but always reliable butler hires Kat and her crew for the most unlikely of cons. He thinks that the will has been forged and now Hale, who just inherited the entirety of Hale Industries, is the mark. As Hale grows more distant, Kat has to decide if her usual partner in crime is able to follow through with the plan – and the possibilities that come with its success. Ally Carter spins another wonderfully intricate and clever tale that is sure to keep you guessing.
This by far is the best Heist Society book yet. The plot, as always, never goes the way you think, and the multiple missions throughout are cleverly developed. I’m always a fan of Carter’s writing, but I think that the highlight of the book were the characters. We’re given more insight into Hale’s family and the environment he grew up with. AND Hale and Kat’s first meeting is described perfectly (see Notable Scene), introducing Hale and Kat’s relationship and the catalyst of the story – Hale’s grandmother.
Despite Kat’s face on the cover, the spotlight character of this book is the handsome fellow in the reflection of the sunglasses. W.W. Hale’s history has always been an enigma, but in this book its splayed out for everyone to see. Beside’s Hale’s loyal and rich exterior, we finally get to view his vulnerable side – the side that’s affected by the constant disappointment from his parents and the competition between family members. I loved that Carter delved deep into his character development and wasn’t afraid to turn our self-controlled rich boy into a grief-stricken teenager that just lost the only family member that saw the potential in him. And I pity Kat for having to put up with him.
I appreciate Kat in this book. Although she struggles with her want to keep Hale close to her, she’s always trying to do what’s best for him, even when he’s constantly pushing her away. This book not only tests Hale, but it also tests Kat as she deals with the responsibility of the con and the constant waiting for Hale to finally come to terms with the hand he has been dealt. My heart broke for her a few times throughout the book (my heart heals fast) and when I would have given up, she kept pressing on, trying the impossible – and pulling everyone in with her.
Overall, I loved this book. There was more of Uncle Eddie (who is my favorite minor character because of his infamy in heists), the return of several old characters and, of course, the freaking heart-stopping-I-can’t-believe-that-happened ending that I refuse to spoil. No cliffhangers, but I can definitely see potential for new books in the future. Hopefully Carter will be able to continue the series, but in the meantime, read this book (or the entire series) if you know what’s good for you!
“You’re not supposed to be here,” the girl said.
“Funny, I was going to say the same thing to you.” He smiled like his night had just gotten significantly more interesting.
“You don’t seem afraid,” the girl said.
“Well, that makes two of us.”
Spotlights shone down, and the boy studied her in the manner of someone who is used to looking at rare, beautiful things. Then he jerked his head at the painting and said, “Okay. Go ahead, take it.”
He started to leave, but stopped when the girl said, “Yeah, I can have this one. It’s a fake.”
“Oh now, that hurts.” He brought a hand to his chest like he’d been stabbed. “Not that it’s any of your business, but the Hale family happens to have the largest collection of Monets in the United States.”
“Technically, it’s the largest private collection. And this isn’t one of them. This”–she shined a small flashlight onto the delicate brushstrokes–”is a slightly better-than-average forgery.”
When the boy eased closer to the painting, it was like he was seeing it for the first time. “No. That can’t be right.”
“Sorry to break it to you.”
He shook his head slowly. “But my grandmother said…”
The boy smiled again and whispered something that sounded like “Hazel is awesome,” but the girl wasn’t quite sure.
2.5. Double Crossed
FTC Advisory: Hyperion Books for Children provided me with a copy of Perfect Scoundrels. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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