Rookie constable Jackson Forge’s first assignment is to find a missing cabby. To do that, he needs thief ringleader Kit Turner’s local knowledge and connections. In this unlikely alliance both have to trust each other with their lives as they unravel criminal activity with ties to City public office.
The Thief of Blackfriars Lane is the standalone novel written by Michelle Griep, published by Barbour Fiction. The plot is set in London 1885, and we follow fresh-out-of-training Constable Jackson Forge who is assigned to find the missing cab driver who is thief ringleader Kit Turner’s foster dad. With her extensive local knowledge and connections, Jackson gets to experience an underworld of dangerous cutthroats and cheats while orphan Kit has to learn to trust again. They deal with life threatening situations connected to criminal activity with ties to City public office.
Main character is rookie Constable Jackson Forge who seems to be a well rounded character from a relatively secure family background. He seems the voice of reason in this story and tries to keep Kit away from the worst of the life threatening madness she gets into.
Supporting character is thief ringleader and orphan Kit Turner who is a feisty, brave and very resourceful young woman hiding her loneliness and vulnerability. She is complex and struggles to trust, which makes her realistic and appealing character my favorite.
I loved how this plot was action packed and drew me into underworld London of 1800s. The stunning descriptions, particularly of the London underground (before tubes), made me feel a part the plot. I felt the characters were relatable and I enjoyed how Jackson and Kit kept meeting cynical, dangerous characters scheming to make big money and get one over on competition.
The excellent research built an exciting plot offering all my favorite elements of a story. One part mystery and one part romance all tied together in a historical setting. With the Dickensian feel, the amusing writing and dialogue made it one of the most entertaining reads in a very long time.
My favorite part was description of how the relationship between Jackson and Kit developed from the initial friendship to budding romance, as they faced mortal danger together. The descriptions of the extreme poverty, fear and despair of a woman who tries to support her children while suffering illness, was not my favorite. But I appreciate the dramatic effect. Michelle Griep is fast becoming one of my go-to-authors in historical romance, because I enjoy her action packed plots so much. I’ll be eagle-eying booksellers for her next release.
Anyone who enjoys action packed historical romance with a Dickensian twist would love this. As will fans of Michelle Griep’s other work. Similar authors to explore might be Abigail Wilson or Sarah E. Ladd. Thank you to Barbour Fiction and NetGalley for this opportunity to share my honest review. All opinions are completely my own.
Conclusion: The Thief of Blackfriars Lane is the packed and exiting story about rookie Constable Jackson Forge and thief ringleader Kit Turner who team up to find her foster dad. They get in life threatening situations while unraveling criminal activity with ties to City public office.