Morrow, Jan 2002, 25.95, 296 pp.
In 1928 New Orleans, eighteen year old Lionel “Sonny” LaSalle is a good student, but all he wants out of life is to join his revered uncles Buck and Russell. When his parents die, his twin uncles agree to take their orphaned nephew with them as they rob banks. He drives the getaway car, but is caught by the cops. However, Sonny gets into a brawl with another prisoner. When a cop tries to break it up, Sonny, a talented amateur boxer, kills a cop with one punch. He is sent to Angola prison, but manages to escape and rejoin his notorious relatives.
The trio goes on a robbing spree that includes helping chivalrously troubled women. However, the dead cop's father, John “Bones” Bonham, may be near retirement, but has executed many a prisoner. He plans to make the LaSalle trio his swan song even if it takes the rest of his life to catch up and kill the man responsible for murdering the only reason he had for living.
A WORLD OF THIEVES is an exciting Depression Era crime thriller that on one level is a police procedural, but on another plane is a relationship drama between the key characters. The LaSalle threesome and Bones are intertwined especially through the latter's quest for vengeance. James Carlos Blake provides historical mystery readers with a powerful concoction that brings alive a vivid bygone period piece when crime sprees were more romanticized.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner