cover image Love and Theft

Love and Theft

Stan Parish. Doubleday, $26.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-385-54524-2

Parish’s solid page-turner, a loose sequel to 2014’s Down the Shore, centers on a New Jersey single mother, Diane Alison, whose grown son, Tom, was the previous novel’s protagonist. Diane knows that Clay, Tom’s father, was involved in illegal activities before he died decades earlier, but she learns more about Clay’s past after meeting the charismatic Alex Cassidy, who turns out to have once worked with Clay. The two are instantly attracted to each other, and Diane ends up agreeing to spend a weekend at Alex’s beach house in Mexico. She’s stunned when Alex reveals that he was the mastermind behind a recent $22 million jewel heist in Vegas, but—in large part because of his feelings toward Diane—he vows to quit the business forever. Before Diane can decide whether she wants to continue the relationship, Tom and Alex’s adult daughter, Paola, who are lovers, are kidnapped, and Alex is forced to complete one more job. Well-developed characters, relentless pacing, palpable levels of tension throughout, and a notable closing twist make this a winner. Parish is a thriller writer to watch. Agent: Julie Barer, Book Group. (July)