3.5 stars out of 5
This was a slightly unbelievable (the story begins with a twelve year old girl being sentenced to death by hanging for breaking and entering. TWELVE!) but a refreshing read, nonetheless.
The book was really good till about three-fourths in. Then, suddenly, the lead protagonist's, Mary's, unknown, dead father popped back into the story from beyond the grave, with a wooden box filled with some documents and a mysterious pendant, thus setting the ground for a sequel; the story arc of Angelica and Micheal was haphazardly thrown in, and... the plot lost its threading after that.
The scenes between the Mary and James are very well-written and their chemistry is crackling! Half the time I was going - Then they do. Only to go their separate ways in the next chapter. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! JAMES HAD BETTER BE BACK IN THE SEQUEL, LEE!
Also, I really wanted to know who that primary agent spying after the Thorolds was, but, spoiler alert, it is never revealed. Hmpf.