Suspense rules in this sequel to Pretty Crooked (2012), as Willa goes on the lam to find her missing mother.
This fast-moving chase picks up in the middle of the action as Willa, on probation and fresh from juvie after her thefts in the first book, discovers that her mother has gone missing and an intruder has ransacked her home. The safe stands empty of her mother’s money, and Willa finds hidden away the paintings that her mom had said she sold. Despite her probation, she and almost-boyfriend Aidan steal a car and take off in search of her mother. Willa uses her housebreaking expertise to find accommodations. They promise to repay everything they take, but Willa finds that successfully pulling off crimes gives her a rush that has become an addiction. Soon, she and Aidan learn that they have become the lead story in the national news; young people are rooting for them, but the police are closing in. Ludwig tries to mitigate the fun of Willa’s crime spree by having Willa frequently reflect on its wrongness, but the emphasis is on action, not morals. The rapid-fire sequence of near misses and clever capers easily sets up the next sequel.
Crackling-good adventure. (Thriller. 12-16)