Benjamin and Tom are two entrepreneuring eighteenth-century grifters who need a sympathetic third body to help them tug at potential marks’ heart and purse strings. Enter Ren, a small dirty orphan with only one hand. Grateful to have found a new “family,” Ren agrees to play his part, though his sensitive conscience (well developed at the Catholic orphanage) often pains him. Using Ren’s wan face and prominent disability, the two crooks clean up until they turn their illegal attentions to grave robbing. Caught at the dirty deed, the trio are targeted by a shady local mill owner, who holds an entire small New England town in his tight fist. As they try to escape his murderous intentions, a surprising secret about Ren’s past comes to light, changing, well…everything. This quirky historical yarn, reminiscent of the writing of Charles Dickens and Robert Louis Stevenson, is full of colorful characters and unexpected twists. Both absorbing and exciting, often absurd and sometimes deeply sad, The Good Thief is a darn good read.