Elle Stowell is someone that readers should not like; after all, she steals things, expensive things, and personal things. She is a burglar. Perry positions readers alongside Elle as she climbs, hunts, and takes. Readers sense the tension, the excitement, the fear, the anxiety, and finally the relief. One of the difficulties with being a thief is that Elle could wake up any morning to the sound of police officers banging on her door to arrest her. That, however, does not turn out to be her biggest problem. Something she finds in a “targeted house” consumes her life and changes things forever. There is something odd going on and there is a camera. Who did this horrible thing, and do they know that she was there? She finds herself withholding evidence that might help police solve crime, and to save herself she becomes not a burglar but an investigator.
Perry pulls readers into the story through Ellie. Readers learn about her from her actions, reactions, and interactions with supporting characters. She reacts quickly to threats, thinks clearly, and runs, hides, or even fights. We do not want to like her, but we do. We follow her every move, listen in on her every plan, and share her every fear. Elle knows what the police know about the crime and more, much more. She pays a high price for keeping things to herself, and she is driven to solve this crime. Methodically she collects piece after piece of information, but the answers do not fit. Finally, with a little twist and rearrangement of the information, she knows everything. However, has the killer somehow found out about her as well?
“The Burglar” is a tense story, and Elle is a likeable character despite her inappropriate occupation. I was given a review copy of “The Burglar” by Thomas Perry, Mysterious Press, and NetGalley. It is a story with lots of questions and eventual and unexpected answers. The clues are there both for readers and for Elle. This book keeps readers guessing, revising, reconsidering, and turning the pages.