Eighteen-year-old Twist doesn't have much. No money, no home and no family. All he has is his reputation as one of the most daring street artists in London—whose unique skills are matched only by his infamous talent as an urban climber.
But when he finds himself on the run from the police, he knows that he could be about to lose the last thing he has left—his freedom. Until he is saved by the mysterious Dodge. When Dodge introduces him to con artist and "art collector" Cornelius Faginescu, Twist realizes that he finally has the chance to be part of something. All he has to do is put aside his moral objections and learn how to steal . . .
Twist is soon drawn deeper into the gang and, as his feelings for grow for the intriguing and dangerous “Red," he discovers she has a secret—they are no longer playing for money. They're playing for their lives.
Charles Dickens meets Guy Ritchie in Cross's fast-paced debut set in contemporary London, a reimagining of Oliver Twist as a caper novel. Oliver, a homeless 18-year-old, is on the run for tagging walls and the odd police car with graffiti. But Oliver is no ordinary graffiti artist. He's so talented he's recruited into a squad of art thieves mentored by Cornelius Fagin, an elderly Romanian refugee who's planning an ambitious art heist, and Oliver has just the skills Fagin needs to pull it off. If only the potential buyer wasn't a Russian crime kingpin who's as likely to kill them as pay them. The gang's all here: Dodge and Batesy, Cribb, Bullseye the dog, and Nancy Lee. Oliver falls hard for Nancy, even though she's under the thumb of jealous psychopath Bill Sikes. Fagin's gang must execute the heist of their lives without being caught by either the Russian mob or Scotland Yard. Oliver, meanwhile, is more interested in freeing Nancy from Sikes. This often reads like a movie script as one action scene follows another with little down time, and indeed publication will coincide with the release of a motion picture based on the book starring Michael Caine. Green cleverly brings Dickens's acrobatic crew of street urchins into the 21st century.