“Uncommon Criminals” by Ally Carter
4 out of 5 stars.
Katarina Bishop, along with her uncommon crew, has pulled off one of the biggest heists in history: successfully robbing the Henley. They made it out, too, without losing any crew members, and they even caught a very shady character in the process. Yep, all in a good day’s work… But in “Uncommon Criminals” the stakes are much, much higher. Kat had been enlisted by the elusive Visily Romani to steal the Cleopatra Emerald and return it to its rightful owners, the daughter of the Cleopatra’s founders.
As the story goes, the Cleopatra Emerald was founded by a married couple who had dedicated their lives to excavating ancient Egyptian tombs until one day they stumbled across the last Pharaoh’s tomb: Cleopatra’s tomb. Legend has it that there are two halves to the emerald, and it was split in half by Cleopatra. One half she kept for herself and the other half she gave to Marc Antony. The founders’ of Cleopatra’s tomb were lucky enough to have found one half of the emerald, Cleopatra’s half. But legend also has said that unless Antony’s Emerald and Cleopatra’s Emerald are reunited that the stones will only bring misfortune on anyone who has them. Sadly, the founders’ were the first to experience this misfortune.
When the wife went into labor she got very sick, and so the excavating was left to a college for two short weeks. Slimy man that he was, Mr. Kelley completely cleared the whole tomb and sold everything without ever examining the objects or recording their existence. The only thing Kelly kept was the Cleopatra Emerald, and as for the true excavators’, they were left with nothing. Everything that they had worked their whole lives for was sold, scattered in every which way never to be seen by the couple again.
The Emerald has not been seen in public for nearly thirty years, but Kat is determined to right the wrong done to this family, and really, what could go wrong? Everything, Kat and her crew soon find out, and it is only a matter of time before the “curse” catches up to them. There never was quite a heist like this, and Katarina and her crew are determined to right this wrong for the true family, as well as for their own. But can Katarina and her crew keep it together, or are the secrets Kat and Hale keep from each other going to ruin everything; is this job really worth losing his friendship? And will Kat be able to make her own wrongs right?
“Uncommon Criminals” was another job well done for Ally Carter. I really had fun reading this book, and thought that it was interesting while still being a fast enjoyable read; I never wanted to skip a page. The whole story was fun because it was a bit different from the “Heist Society”, which made it original, while still carrying on the old comradery and the previous theme of returning stolen art and jewelry to their rightful owners. I may not agree with Kat and her crew’s method of returning stolen objects, but it makes for a thoroughly entertaining story.
I also really enjoyed Gabrielle; she is kind of a psycho but she is very funny and entertaining to read about. Angus and Hamish were funny as usual, and I still liked Kat and Hale despite their lack of successful communication. There wasn’t as much history in “Uncommon Criminals” as there was in the “Heist Society”, but I enjoyed reading about the Cleopatra Emerald. Fictitious as it may be, I still liked reading about the emerald and thought it was fun and different from the first book. “Uncommon Criminals” was interesting, and I liked learning some of Katarina’s family history, and some of her relatives are quite…eccentric. Overall I think for me, the first is my favorite so far in this series, but “Uncommon Criminals” was a fantastic read, too. I absolutely loved it!