City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson
Published by Oneworld publications on July 6 2017
Genres: Young adult, mystery, contemporary
Street-thief Tina breaks in to the luxurious house where her mother was killed to steal from Mr. Greyhill and nail him for her mother’s murder. She is caught red-handed.
Saved by Mr. Greyhill’s gorgeous son, Michael, the pair set in motion a cascade of dangerous events that lead them deeper into the mystery, and reveal dark and shocking secrets from Tina’s past.
Tina and her mother fled the Congo years ago as refugees, trading the uncertain danger of their besieged village for a new, safer life in the bustling Kenyan metropolis. The corruption and politics of the Congo, and the gangster world of Sangui City, are behind Tina’s mother’s downfall. Is Tina tough enough to find the truth and bring the killer to justice?
I was kindly sent an e-arc of this book to review via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
City of Saints & Thieves is a riveting mystery novel that got me hooked from the very first page. Embark on this unimaginable journey across the countries of east African, a twisty- turny labyrinth of lies, murder and intrigue that will set your heart racing!
I dove into this book with limited knowledge of the narrative and I was instantly engulfed into the story from the beginning chapters. Personally, I believe that going into this book fairly blind is the right way to go, this novel wastes no time jumping straight into the action, and after the first chapter I was already starting to ask questions. City of Saints & Thieves is unlike any mystery novel I’ve read in the past, it’s raw, gritty and utterly heart-pounding! The constant abundance of action and intensity put me continually on the edge of my seat, anxious of every outcome. Despite being a solid 432 pages, I flew through this heart-wrenching story in under two days, it’s fast-paced narrative pulling the story along at a rapid pace. The constant twists and turns in the narrative meant that I failed to predict the storyline, leaving me intrigued and ultimately shocked when the plot twists were revealed. Heavy on the plot-line, this book is driven chiefly by the plot instead of focusing on character development.
City of Saints & Thieves certainly isn’t a light-hearted book, it delves deep into some sinister themes including rape, abuse, death, gangs, refugees and prostitution. This book definitely doesn’t hold back when depicting the truth that lies in east Africa, at times it can be hard to swallow, but it adds authenticity to the plausible plot-line. Following the main character, we gain an insight into the unyielding savagery of living on the streets in Africa and the uncertainty of working for underground gangs. Furthermore, It sheds light on the small towns of Congo and the sheer helplessness the people of the town must feel, being constantly attacked by the militia. And what it’s truly like to be a refugee fleeing for your life in search of a safer home. These monstrosities are sharply contrasted with the high life of Sangui city’s prestigious, who live in grandeur mansions and thrive on taking advantage of the suffering. Reading about the actuality of these occurrences was incredibly eye-opening and equally as heart-wrenching.
The characters within City of Saints & Thieves are unparalleled with their individuality. The protagonist Tina, is a force to be reckoned with, steadfast, resilient, capable, fierce and intelligent, she was the ultimate character to lead us through the story. I loved how Tina didn’t need to rely on anyone but herself, and her confidence and sureness of herself was empowering. Michael and Boyboy were loyal and trustworthy sidekicks, both with their individual perks that brought life to the story. There was mounds of diversity present within the novel, with African characters, biracial characters, children born from unsuspecting parents and a gay character. Anderson really brought everything together to create an astounding harmony within this book.
Overall, City of Saints & Thieves is a heart-pounding mystery with an unprecedented plot-line, severe depictions of Africa’s vulnerabilities, and relentless, cutthroat characters. This is definitely a book that I’ll keep thinking back on long after I’ve finished it.