by Steven Max Russo

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Esmeralda works for a housecleaning service during the day and as a restaurant hostess at night. Just out of high school, she is the sole support for her mother and two young siblings.

She has drive and ambition. What she doesn't have is money.

She knows of a home in the upscale town of Mendham, NJ, that will be empty for more than a month. The rich people who live there go away the same time every year to spend time at their vacation home. Having cleaned the house, she also knows it contains a fair amount of cash and valuables.

One night sitting with Ray, one of her co-workers, she casually mentions a "what if" scenario; Ray tells Skooley, a white trash drifter who recently moved to New Jersey from south Florida, and a plan is hatched.

It isn't long before Esmeralda finds herself trapped by both circumstance and greed, forced to try and defend herself against one of her partners in crime, who she quickly discovers is far more dangerous than she ever thought possible.

Praise for THIEVES:

"A chilling portrait of a psychopath on a murderous rampage. One hell of a debut for Steve Russo." --James Hayman, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on the Bridge

"Kudos to Steven Max Russo. I read Thieves in one sitting--it's propulsive, absorbing, and all too plausible. I warn you, these thieves will steal an entire day or two from you--and you'll love every minute of it." --Jonathan Stone, author of Moving Day, The Teller, and Days of Night

"Gripping and powerful, Thieves is a dynamite read. Definitely a book you won't be able to put down." --Andrew Grant, author of False Witness

"With Thieves, Steven Max Russo works the rich tradition of American heist fiction like a pro." --Wallace Stroby, author of the Crissa Stone series

"A stunning debut novel. Steve Russo hits it out of the park with an ingenious, diabolical plot, a unique voice, and complex characters that will stay with you long after you've turned the final page." --Charles Salzberg, author of Second Story Man and the Shamus Award-nominated Henry Swann mysteries

"Steve Russo has written a gripping suspense thriller. He grabs you in the opening scene and doesn't let go till the heart-pounding climax." --Peter Leonard, national bestselling author

Product Details

BN ID: 2940161909089
Publisher: Down & Out Books
Publication date: 11/12/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 1,060,059
File size: 507 KB

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Thieves 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Lynn6969 9 months ago
Prologue, 49 Chapters. "Thieves," does have action, just not the nail-biting suspense you expect with novels in this genre. It has a lot of details, and in my opinion, I think the story would have been better without them. Describing the characters every move grows tiresome after a while. Some scenes were action packed and were interesting while they lasted, however, for the most part, it was boring. I liked the idea of the plot, and it was interesting even if some parts fell flat. I'm not sure if I would recommend it though for the price. For the price of this book, there should have been an editor, and clearly, it wasn't. The characters were likable and engaging, but not $7.99 engaging. Although I skimmed some sections of the book, I'm still giving five stars. I realize this is the author first book, and for his first book, I recognize he had put a lot of time into it. Also, I love the cover. I received a free copy of this book via BookSirens and am voluntarily leaving a review.
ReadersFavorite1 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite Thieves by Steven Max Russo is a dark and dangerous tale of greed and crime. Esmeralda has two jobs – a house cleaner and a restaurant hostess. She has only just left high school and her income is all there is for her family. She needs money desperately and the perfect opportunity has just presented itself. A wealthy homeowner is going to be away for a month and, having cleaned there, Esmeralda knows there is plenty of money to be had. Talking to a friend, Ray, one night, the subject comes up and he passes the information along to a drifter called Skooley and together they come up with a plan. What should have been a simple burglary is about to go horribly wrong and Esmeralda is about to find herself in a whole heap of trouble and more danger than she ever thought possible. Thieves by Steven Max Russo is a gripping tale that will keep you hanging on to the last word. The plot is a fast moving one with lots of action and plenty of suspense. The characters are incredibly real, people you can identify with and may even have met, although you probably wouldn’t want to get involved with any of them! This is compelling stuff, a book you won't want to put down once you start reading it. Russo has developed a way of writing that puts you right in the center of the story, living it as you read it, and the only disappointment you will have is that the book ends. I will be keeping an eye out for more from Steven Max Russo in the future.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite Thieves by Steven Max Russo is a debut novel, a crime fiction/psychological thriller. Schooley, the male protagonist, is a psychopathic killer and thief whose path no one wants to cross, especially the pretty young house cleaner, Esmeralda, and her unfortunate co-worker, Raymundo. Esmeralda makes the mistake of telling Raymundo too much about one of the homes she cleans for; the wealthy Russells. When she shares her information with the nasty Schooley, including the fact that the Russells will be away for a month, she unwittingly puts herself and Raymundo into Schooley’s dangerous hands. A seasoned thief, Schooley knows where to look for stashed money and valuables in rich people’s homes, and though Esmeralda didn’t plan for it to happen, being familiar with the house, she ends up as Schooley’s accomplice. As Schooley and Esmeralda diligently search the house for money and valuables, the tension mounts. Schooley becomes increasingly aware that Esmeralda is no dummy, and Esmeralda recognizes the maniac inside Schooley. The big question is will they get away with the theft and will she live to tell the tale? Far be it for me to reveal any more of the plot, but what is perhaps even more captivating than the plot, with its surprise ending, is the callous, narcissistic, self-assured character of Schooley. Russo has done a superb job of creating this “creep,” for lack of a better word. Schooley talks up a storm and charms and smiles his way into people’s psyches, all the while seeing himself as smarter than everyone else. He is infuriating in his lack of respect for the Russells' home and possessions. His sense of entitlement surpasses any other considerations. Schooley is the villain you love to hate and can’t wait to see get what he deserves. But does he? Readers who like to rush through a psychological thriller might feel a bit slowed down by Russo’s meticulous attention to details. He is specific in describing what Schooley sees in the Russells' home. But stick with it. Once the thieves have completed casing the house, the plot forges ahead at a rapid pace that will have you holding your breath. Enjoy!
Momma_Becky 5 months ago
Thieves turned out to be a bit different than what I was expecting. The beginning gives us a rapid-fire intro of the characters, some of which we see more of than others. This part was something I would've liked to have seen done a little more organically throughout the book rather than throwing the characters at us all at once. Nevertheless, there's something compelling about the writing that kept me turning the pages to see how everyone would connect. And connect they did - eventually. There is one character who I'm still a bit confused about. Other than giving some insight into Skooley, which we really don't need given the circumstances and things that have already happened before this character crosses paths with him. There is a lot of dialogue in this one, which I felt created some lag time in the story. Some parts are necessary for flow, but there were several conversations that didn't really propel the story forward. At the same time, the story also has some gripping scenes that hold the reader's attention and make you wonder just how much these thieves can get away with. In the end, this one was just an okay read for me , but the author does show promise, and I'll be interested to see what he does next.