The Thief (The Living Water Series Book #2)

Title:  The Thief (The Living Water Series #2)
Author:  Stephanie Landsem
Pages:  322
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Howard Books
Nissa is 20 years old, unmarried, Jewish for the most part, though she doesn’t practice much of her religion anymore.  Her father loves to gamble and keeps them constantly poor.  Her mother loves to drink, which also keeps them poor.  Her brother is blind and can’t help earn any money for their survival.  Nissa isn’t a good cook or seamstress or maid and can’t find a job anywhere.  She has no prospects for a husband because of her sharp tongue and plain looks.  How is she going to feed her brother and herself?  Enter the character of Dismas.  He teaches Nissa how to steal.  They work as partners and he becomes Nissa’s only friend.  Their thieving catches the attention of a local Roman legionnaire, who begins to hunt them down at every turn.
Longinus can’t wait to leave Jerusalem and return to the peaceful country of Gaul.  He will put in his time here and then request a transfer as soon as possible.  All he has to do is keep the peace until Pilate returns and catch those two pesky thieves.  Oh yeah, he also has to keep the Sanhedrin from killing an innocent man.  He meets Nissa inadvertently, but takes an instant liking to her.  Neither she nor he believes that their gods or God has got them on His radar.  Can their even be a relationship between a Jewish woman and a Roman soldier?  Can these two come to know their worth in the eyes of their Abba or will they listen to the small voice inside that whispers to them of their unforgivable guilt and shame?
Powerful, gripping, and gut-wrenching are just a few of the adjectives I am using to describe this fantastic book by Stephanie Landsem.  This is one book that readers won’t forget after it has been read.  The characters are developed flawlessly.  The author made me care about these characters.  I loved Nissa’s sass and spirit, Dimas pretending not to care, but really caring very deeply, Longinus unwitting strength and gentleness.  I was wrapped up in this story from beginning until the very last page.  At one point, I had tears streaming down my face and my heart was filled with so much emotion.  This is just an incredible book that readers will not want to miss.  It brings to life the themes of forgiveness, mercy, and sacrificial love.  I highly recommend it.  I’m so excited for the next book in the series due to be released in April 2015 titled, The Tomb.
My rating is 5 stars.

Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at
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