When California crook Robert Rivers sets his sights on a diamond necklace worth $250,000 belonging to socialite Evelyn Evermore in Thomas’s entertaining second caper novel (after Criminal Paradise), Rivers soon learns he’s not the only one with designs on it. After a rival thug foils Rivers’s first attempt to steal the necklace, Rivers and his rough-hewn partner, Reggie England, regroup and learn that Evermore has become a follower of Baba Raba, a charismatic guru based in sunny Venice, Calif. From posh hotels to flop houses, from ashram meetings to complicated burglaries, Rivers keeps his eye on the prize, but not without an appealing touch of knight errantry. Baba Raba, charlatan or not, has impressive powers as well as his own agenda. Rivers is a cunning and resourceful thief capable of blending into his surroundings like a chameleon or meeting force with force when necessary. He does both with charm, wit and surprising decency.