Sue Trinder is an orphan with an untraditional family of small-time thieves and cons living in Victorian London. A mysterious figure named The Gentleman appears one day and offers Sue a part in a plot that would make them both rich. What makes the first portion of the book interesting is not the plot, but the characters. Author Sarah Waters doesn't hit you with the twists right away, she waits, builds tension, and bides her time while the reader gets to know her eccentric and idiosyncratic characters. That's not to say the book is light on twists-- in fact, it's filled with them, and the second half of the book is almost impossible to put down. Additionally, Waters depicts a queer relationship and does it in a way that most authors don't. The two characters are not in danger or hurt because of their sexuality, and (a little bit of a spoiler) neither of them die, which is very rare in media that includes LGBT characters. Overall the book was amazing, thrilling, and I'd recommend it to lovers of mysteries, historical fiction, and books with queer characters.
Growing up as a foster child among a family of thieves, orphan Sue Trinder hopes to pay back that kindness by playing a key role in a swindle scheme devised by their leader, who is planning to con a fortune out of the naive Maud Lilly.