My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Nissa is a Jewish woman with a sharp tongue and no hope of marriage. Abandoned by the God she once loved, her only recourse is to depend upon Mouse, the best thief in Jerusalem, to keep her blind brother, Cedron, fed and the landlord satisfied.
Longinus is a Roman centurion haunted by death and failure and is desperate to escape the accursed Judean province. Accepting a wager that will get him away from the aggravating Jews and their threats of revolt, he sets out to catch the thieves harassing the marketplace.
When a controversial teacher miraculously heals Cedron, Nissa hopes for freedom from her life of lies. But the supposed miracle brings only more misfortune, and Longinus, seeking to learn more about the mysterious healer, finds himself drawn instead to Nissa, whose secret will determine the course of both their futures.
Cedron, Longinus, and Nissa are unexpectedly caught up in the arrest, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus. As danger closes in on them from every side, they must decide if the love and redemption Jesus offers is true or just another false promise. How can the so-called Messiah save them from their shackles, when he cannot even save himself?
Stephanie Landsem has produced another outstanding novel. The Thief is the second title in her The Living Water series, and is the follow up to her highly successful debut, The Well. Here we are introduced to Nissa and her brother, the adult children of a drunk and a gambler. Nissa is the only family member able to provide for her relations, but this is a time when options for women are extremely limited. Therefore, she has turned to Mouse for help. The thief has a huge secret. Nissa knows what it is, and recognizes the dangers associated with it, but relies on Mouse’s abilities to survive. When Mouse’s mentor is forced to take on a partner, however, the stakes are raised.
Because the narrative draws from the Gospels, a number of characters and events are recognizable. Cedron is the blind man healed on the Sabbath. Longinus is the notable Centurion at the crucifixion. The thieves who were crucified along with Jesus are also featured in the tale. You’ll recognize the quotes from the Biblical passages. One of the storylines also picks up on an event from The Well. Reading the first book in the series, however, isn’t a pre-requisite to reading The Thief. Although I had read it, I didn’t remember the particular event. Despite that, I had no problems in following or understanding this thread. Book three in this series is called The Tomb and should be out around April of next year. The main character will be Martha, sister of Lazarus. I plan on reading it and I recommend this series to anyone interested in reading well-written Biblically based fiction.
Thank you to Howard Books and Litfuse for my complimentary copy of The Thief, which I received in exchange for an honest review.
Have you read The Thief? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.
Publisher: Howard Books (a division of Simon & Schuster)
Publication Date: 25 February 2014
Page Count: 368