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Review of City of Saints & Thieves

anderson_city of saints & thievesCity of Saints & Thieves
by Natalie C. Anderson
High School    Putnam    409 pp.
1/17    978-0-39954-758-4    $18.99    g

After her mother was murdered in cold blood by Roland Greyhill, a white mining tycoon and the father of Tina’s half-sister Kiki, Tina made a run for it. She deposited Kiki at a boarding school in town, while Tina herself joined the Goondas, a dangerous gang. But when Tina breaks into Mr. Greyhill’s study to hack his bank accounts, she is caught by his son Michael, with whom she grew up. Michael insists his father is not a murderer, and against her better judgment, Tina agrees to work with Michael to clear his father’s name and find her mother’s true killer. Their investigation leads them away from their home of Sangui City, Kenya, back to Congo, where Tina was born. Mr. Greyhill may not be the killer, but his mining company and former associates seem to be involved in a years-long conspiracy against the people of Africa. Anderson’s dark thriller will appeal to readers who prefer their mysteries political and their stakes high and who will feel rewarded by solutions in shades of gray rather than black and white. A useful and heartfelt appended author’s note gives more context (“Much of this story is based on real events affecting real people”) and explains what was imagined by the author (“Things that are not real: the characters, plot, Sangui City…are all from my imagination…For those who know Kenya, you can imagine Sangui City as a mix of Mombasa’s beauty and Nairobi’s hustle”). Glossaries of Swahili and French words are appended.

From the March/April 2017 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.


Sarah Hannah Gómez About Sarah Hannah Gómez

Sarah Hannah Gómez holds an MA in children’s literature and an MS in library and information science from Simmons College and is working toward a PhD in children’s and adolescent literature at the University of Arizona. She blogs at

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