Every so often, I read a book that, although I am tired and ready to go to bed, will keep me reading all night until the very last page.
Thieftaker by D. B. Jackson is one of those novels.
Not only did I stay up late to finish the book, but I also talked about the book to myself while dragging myself to bed! Yes, it was just that good.
The setting is Boston, Massachusetts in the year 1765 and magic, or rather conjuring, is afoot. Meet Ethan Kaille, a conjurer and thieftaker who gets hired by those in the city who have lost something of value. He finds it, finds the person who had stolen it and deals a generous amount of "justice" in the form of bloodletting conjuring. However, all goes awry as he is hired by the wealthy Berson to reclaim a brooch worn by his daughter, who was brutally murdered during several raids in the city one night. Suddenly, Kaille's world is turned upside down and inside out as he not only searches for the brooch but also discovers that the world he knew just got dangerous.
This book is an excellent mixture of alternate history, mystery, suspense, horror, fantasy, romance and fantasy, all nicely rolled into a story that WILL keep you turning the pages while asking the question, "what else could happen?" D. B. Jackson (aka the amazing writer David B. Coe) writes with such flair that you can't help but fall into the story and wait with baited breath as to Ethan's next move. I especially loved Ethan's main competitor of the thieftaking world: Sephira Pryce. As much as she is beautiful to behold, she is also more dangerous than a hungry male lion. Wherever Ethan was, Sephira seemed to be several steps ahead of him with a slow seductive smile that could easily turn into a snarl. I was glad that Jackson did not try to make 1765 Boston a pretty place to live in. It is dirty, gritty and the streets are covered in filth, muck and blood.
If you are a fan of David B. Coe's previous work or are looking to find a new "voice" in alternate history, pick up a copy of Thieftaker. You will not be disappointed.
And, speaking as a friend of Mr. Jackson, I was especially honoured to read his new work and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.