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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Thief’s Heart is a work of historical fiction set in the late nineteenth century, penned by author Kathleen Shoop. Forming the fourth novel of The Letter Series, this installment takes place in Des Moines in the year 1892. The Arthur family has had some hard times in the past, but their luck appears to change when they find new lodgings with the mysterious Violet Pendergrass. The action of this novel centers largely around fifteen-year-old Tommy, whose duties to care for and provide for his destitute family weigh heavily on the young man’s shoulders. Turning to sinister means and vices in order to cope could spell trouble for everyone yet again.
This is a spiraling family saga with many plotlines and in-depth characters, all of whom are so easy to root for during the trials and tribulations of their lives. The historical period of the novel is well-chosen to give the characters relative freedom, but also keep them frustratingly constrained as we, the readers, dearly want to see them succeed and thrive. As a central protagonist to this tale, Tommy steals hearts, despite some of the dubious things he does, because his motivations are heart-wrenching, especially when tragedy strikes the family yet again. Author Kathleen Shoop has a real knack for timing and planning the progression of events, which makes for an exciting plot but also a realistic conclusion. Overall, The Thief’s Heart is a high-quality historical family saga and is recommended to fans of the genre everywhere.