Shaken by the fatal stabbing of her best friend at the hands of a thief, sixteen-year-old Sonya Jiberian yearns to escape from her deteriorating Romanian slum. When Sonya’s parents sell her to Adrian Terci, a twenty-year-old smuggler for a Parisian pickpocket ring, she’s heartbroken by their betrayal. Now she must set aside her dream of a meaningful life and become a criminal to help feed her starving family.
Adrian introduces Sonya to an underworld where teams of girls steal from unsuspecting tourists, and failure to deliver cash prompts brutal abuse from their vindictive ringleader, Alec. Sonya masters thievery and the art of distraction, filching from sightseers under the Eiffel Tower, next to the Mona Lisa, or on the grimy métro, but Alec’s brutality grows ever fiercer. When she falls for Adrian, Sonya vows to hoard enough money for them both to escape Alec’s reign of terror. But when Sonya gets the chance to help the police bust Alec, she’s faced with a horrible choice: free the girls in her gypsy mob but implicate Adrian in Alec’s scheme, or else remain trapped in a never-ending cycle of stealing and terror for the sake of her parents. Torn between loyalty and her desperation for freedom, Sonya must find the strength to bring a crime lord to his knees, even if it means betraying Adrian and risking her own life in the process.
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