Leni Lightfingers believes in the power of hiding in plain sight. An exiled Fae thief who earns her living performing as a human statue on the streets of London, she owes unwise favours to powerful people. Usually, her alternate skills are in demand to round up lost trinkets. This time, a mortal pet belonging to the High Lord of London has gone missing, vanished into the teeming crowds of human London, and the favour she owes will force Leni to risk every friend she has, among them a Banshee working as a phone sex operator, a half-Brownie social worker, and a Troll gate guard, just to stay alive. As Leni begins her search, a string of disappearances among the homeless begin to form a disturbing link to the history of the Lightfingers clan.
Lightfingers is a thrilling debut novel, sketching a palimpsest London of back alleys, hidden secrets and magical beings with very different heritages living hidden in human society. The characters are captivatingly flawed, with their own cameo stories and complex motivations, and their own widely-varying adaptations to a world dominated by humans and technology. From the soup kitchens and run-down apartments of human London to the glittering and infinitely mutable courts of Fayre, Hari Patience combines an intimate knowledge of London with a logical and well-detailed underlay of Fae magic and society to create an action-filled fantasy where there’s always another layer to the story to discover. This story kept me turning pages and guessing right until the end.