YA Contemporary Thriller
Sasha’s father made a career out of pilfering jewels from the world’s richest families, and he taught her every scheme he knew. After his death Sasha attempts her biggest heist ever: the theft of a priceless sapphire. When one disaster follows another, she ends up without the sapphire and framed for its disappearance.
While searching for the real thief, she stumbles upon her father’s darkest secret. Old newspaper articles surface, telling the story of an abducted child, and an identical twin left behind. Her father stole more than jewels. He stole Sasha as well.
A case of mistaken identity leaves the twin Sasha can’t remember detained for taking the sapphire. Her sister’s freedom in jeopardy, Sasha must unravel the tangled knots of their father’s past to find the missing jewel. Meanwhile Sasha’s brother, also her partner-in-crime, has reasons of his own for making certain some family secrets stay buried.
My brother Raj and I stood amongst the trees at the edge of Signora D’Agnelli’s driveway watching her limousine disappear into the dusky evening. A breeze swept in off the sea, filling the air with a marshy, damp scent. In autumn the terrain on the Italian coast was perpetually wet, but by the time anyone thought to scout around for footprints in the muddy earth, Raj and I would be long gone.
When we could no longer see the taillights, Raj shot me his sly grin. Rather than force a smile in return, I picked up one end of our ladder. He grabbed the other end and we jogged up the gravel driveway towards Signora’s villa.
We’d both dressed in black. Jeans, sweatshirt, gloves, boots. My hair was in a tight braid, dyed from blonde to brown. Raj had pulled his dark hair into a ponytail and removed all his earrings. The sweatshirt hid a tattoo on his left bicep of the Chinese characters for genius.
On the patio by the pool Raj took his laptop from his backpack. He would hack into the website for Tele-Italia and override Signora’s alarm and motion detectors, which ran on old-fashioned landlines.
“She’s practically inviting us inside, Sasha,” he said in French.
“Right. She probably left out champagne and caviar.” I rested the ladder against a stone pillar. We planned to scale the walls of the villa to reach the balcony outside a third floor room. Unless it rained, the sliding door was always left open a few inches.