Thieves Like Us by Stephen Cole [Review]

  • Thieves Like Us by Stephen ColeTitle: Thieves Like Us
  • Author: Stephen Cole
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury
  • ISBN: 9780747589518


Arrested and put in a young offender’s institute for using his precocious code-solving skills to steal money, things are looking bleak for Jonah Wish. Then, in the dead of night, a gang of four teenagers break him out.

They work for Nathaniel Coldhardt, debonair master criminal and leader of a team of highly trained teen-thieves. Kids with amazing skills but no one who will miss them. Jonah, a genius at cryptology, is their newest recruit.

His talents are perfect for the next assignment Coldhardt has in mind – his most daring yet. But before Jonah can turn his thoughts to deciphering the complex Egyptian symbols and the treasures – or secrets – they hide, he has to decide if this is what he wants for himself.

Coldhardt may have chosen him, but will he choose Coldhardt? And does he have any choice?


Well known for his work with BBC Books, commissioning and editing Doctor Who book throughout the late nineties, Stephen Cole has in recent years concentrated on his own fiction work, mostly work aimed at children and young adults..

‘Thieves Like Us’ is the first of a planned trilogy of novels featuring, misfit criminal teen genius, Jonah Wish and his friends.

Jonah, is a computer hacker with an amazing talent for cryptology the art of code breaking and has spent much of his short life looking for somewhere to belong.

Patch, the youngest of the crew, is a one-eyed locksmith with and unusual use for his glass eye no lock is too tough for this little guy to crack.

Con, DON’T call her talent, hypnotism! According to her, mesmerism, is far cooler than that. Oh and she is fluent in eight languages and can get by in many more.

Matti, the security guy, this guy can secure any location, but is equally adept at breaking in and bypassing the security, of any target they chose.

Tye, last but not least certainly in Jonah’s eyes Tye, is the transportation expert, equally adept behind the controls of a plane and the wheel of a car, this Haitian learned her skills the hard way, while smuggling in her early teenage years, oh and don’t try to lie to her, she will know!

Brought together by Nathaniel Coldhardt, these five from a unique gang of thieves. When Jonah is first brought into the fold, he is given little time to think, sprung from his young offenders institution, by these strange new people, he lands in the lap of luxury. Coldhardt, provides well for his ‘children’, the best money can buy, the latest technology, fancy clothes, anything they could wish for and a generous slice of the spoils if they successfully complete their missions.

Jonah’s new friends, and he does like them, assume that Jonah would want to be one of them, why would he not? They are like family, grateful to Coldhardt for taking them in and giving them the opportunity. It’s not so much that they don’t understand Jonah’s reservations, as they are completely oblivious to them.

In return for Coldhardt’s generosity, Jonah and his friends, each make use of their individual special talents and train for the work they do – his friends are already well versed in martial arts and fighting techniques, necessary skills when the smelly stuff hits the fan This is the best team of thieves in the world, uniquely talented, people pay Coldhardt a fortune to hire them.

Jonah is not sure if this is the life for him, life has the intentional to be better that he has ever known it, but it is also dangerous, not to mention immoral, after messing up on his first mission, Jonah decides to leave.

Whatever decisions he has made though, Jonah has come to care for his friends in the short time he has known them, and when two of them are kidnapped and the other two come and ask for his help, Jonah doesn’t even stop to think; his friends are in trouble, and this time it his choice to get involved.

Cole, drags you in from the very first lines:

To open a door, and not know what lay on the other side. That was what Jonah dreamed about, day and night. That was what freedom meant…

Exactly the feeling opening new book should bring, and with this Thieves Like Us, Stephen Cole does not disappoint, filled with likable characters peppering the story with their banter and obvious friendship. This story rattles along, never pausing for breath. Traveling from country to country, navigating through, various conspiracies, secret societies, ancient tombs, unknown agendas, and mega corporations, it is nothing if not and exciting story! But more than that, this is the story of Jonah, who for the first time in his life finds somewhere to belong.

And Thieves Like Us by Stephen Cole belongs on your bookshelf!

Buy: Thieves Like Us by Stephen Cole

2 thoughts on “Thieves Like Us by Stephen Cole [Review]

  • June 21 at 9:19 pm

    That is totally right.

  • April 18 at 7:34 pm

    Amazing and imaginative.

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