Bagshawe switches out the infamous jewel thief from the late Sheldon’s If Tomorrow Comes (1985) with a brilliant replica.
It's still the 1980s for Tracy Whitney. After landing in Brazil, she gets right down to business, pulling a scam on a ruthless businessman just before marrying her partner in crime, Jeff Stevens, in a private ceremony. The two are determined to leave their criminal pasts behind and start a family, but infertility problems—and a seductive co-worker—lead to a misunderstanding that sends Tracy packing. Tracy’s predilection for bad luck is true to the source material, and she’s just getting started. Jeff is long gone when Tracy finds out she’s finally pregnant. Bagshawe handles all the drama with a light touch. When Nicholas tricks a little girl out of her lunch money, proving without a doubt that he’s Jeff’s son, Tracy couldn’t be more proud that her kid is a budding con artist (so long as his victims are bullies). She builds a somewhat normal life with Blake Carter, a tragically nice guy who can't make Tracy forget about Jeff but who makes a convenient babysitter when her past catches up with her. A French detective thinks he can prove the connection between Tracy’s most notorious crimes and a serial killer with a penchant for prostitutes and hotel room Bibles, forcing Tracy out of hiding. Soon, she and Jeff are working with law enforcement to catch the killer as they lift gaudy jewels and priceless artifacts from supposedly well-secured museums and homes, all with wonderfully cheesy prose: “The air was scented with tropical blooms and expensive perfume and the aroma of white truffles wafted in from the kitchen. But in the end, the one overpowering smell was money.” It’s astonishing how much this book evokes the past.
After nearly 30 years, Tracy Whitney hasn’t aged a day.