Title: Perfect Scoundrels
Author: Ally Carter
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Katarina Bishop and W.W. Hale the fifth were born to lead completely different lives: Kat comes from a long, proud line of loveable criminal masterminds, while Hale is the scion of one of the most seemingly perfect dynasties in the world. If their families have one thing in common, it’s that they both know how to stay under the radar while getting-or stealing-whatever they want. No matter the risk, the Bishops can always be counted on, but in Hale’s family, all bets are off when money is on the line. When Hale unexpectedly inherits his grandmother’s billion dollar corporation, he quickly learns that there’s no place for Kat and their old heists in his new role. But Kat won’t let him go that easily, especially after she gets tipped off that his grandmother’s will might have been altered in an elaborate con to steal the company’s fortune. So instead of being the heir-this time, Hale might be the mark. Forced to keep a level head as she and her crew fight for one of their own, Kat comes up with an ambitious and far-reaching plan that only the Bishop family would dare attempt. To pull it off, Kat is prepared to do the impossible, but first, she has to decide if she’s willing to save her boyfriend’s company if it means losing the boy.
I find it interesting how different Ally Carter’s two series seem to be. Gallagher Girls is written in first person, has an over-arcing story plants some seeds in the first two books but doesn’t really show up until the third book, and is girl-heavy (it is about a girls-only spy school, after all). The Heist Society books, meanwhile, are written in third-person and use that narrative to hop from country to country and person to person, doesn’t seem to have a series-spanning plot (the author has stated that the series is much more self-contained), and has almost no girls in it other than protagonist Kat and her cousin. Why am I talking about these differences? I’m not really sure, but I think it’s important to know the differences before I talk about my love of this series, which is about equal to my love of the other series, despite the differences.
Before I talk about that, though, I’m going to cover what I didn’t like about this book. It’s a problem I have with any media, really. When I reread a bunch of books in a series and then read the latest book for the first time, it feels less real. When I start watching the new season of a TV show after a hiatus, it feels less real. Whatever happens doesn’t seem canon, not yet anyway. It feels like I’m reading fan fiction, like the characters aren’t being completely true to themselves because someone else is writing them. Eventually that feeling will go away and soon that book or season will be the real deal in my mind and whatever is the newest thing will seem fake, but it doesn’t come right away.
Yet again, I’m sort of rambling, but this rambling has more of a point. I definitely felt that experience during this book, mainly because I often got annoyed with the characters’ actions, mostly Hale’s. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the characters annoyed me – instead, it was a good thing, because it was a sign that I cared so much about these characters that I hated to see them messing up. And, because their actions annoyed me, there was a part of me that wanted this book not to be real, didn’t want the unsatisfactory (to me, anyway) actions to be the character’s real actions. So, this was really just a case of “it’s not you, it’s me,” and it might not bother anyway else, but it did frustrate me just slightly.
As for the story itself, I don’t have much else to say about it. I enjoyed the third book in this series and plan on enjoying all the future books as well. The mystery at the center of this story was interesting and the new characters were as well. I felt multiple emotions while reading this book – sadness (you’ll understand when you read it), frustration (darn you, antagonists!), and happiness (yay, Kat’s gang is at it again!), among others. Overall, I enjoyed this book and look forward to however many more books Ally Carter will write.