You do not read the first book within this series Thieves of Heaven as this book does do a great job in filling most of the back story. However, Thieves of Heaven is a fantastic read and I think you should read it just for that basis.
Richard Doetsch brings Michael St. Pierre who is given an assignment of impossible proportion, breaking into the Kremlin:
Michael St. Pierre was a master thief who has been trying to stay in retirement and recover from the death of his wife, but Michael is about to be pulled into a very intricate web of puzzles that only he can solve and they are all surrounded by the mystery that is the Kremlin. Since the time of Ivan the Terrible the Kremlin has been created into more and more of a labyrinthine fortress to protect the treasures and secrets of the Soviet Union and now Russia. A madman has built an empire of terror based around the teachings of God, promising the impossible and he is convinced that the secrets lie within the depths of the Kremlin. Michael is about to be the most hunted man in the world as he must find the pieces of the puzzle and destroy them before Hell is unleashed on Earth.
Thieves of Heaven was a fantastic first novel in this series, and I am sorry that it took me this long to get to Thieves of Faith. Doetsch just has a way of writing and creating an intricate plot that will keep you on the edge of your seat and not let you go. Doestsch is the master of plot twist, turns and red herring (although I will admit at times that they may be a bit farfetched) that you never really know how the book is going to end and who is going to make it. Doestch knows how to form a plot and mix that with his amazing skill for research. You feel like you are there and you have another must read from Doersch. After reading this book I wanted to pick up every book I could about the Kremlin and the secrets hidden within.
Michael is a great character and although he may have been a master thief in his time, you can tell that he is trying to reform, but there is just something about the excitement and thrills that you can tell that he will never be done with it (but you can say that he now only steals for the great good now). I really like Michael’s skill set both mentally and physically. Mentally, he is a caring person and really just wants to protect those around him, additionally, his problem solving skills are amazing, which I suppose comes with being a master thief, but they astound me at time. Physically, I like that he has taken the time to develop skills like diving, rock climbing and repelling, you can tell that he was dedicated to his trade as a master thief.
There was much more of Busch in this book than the first one and I think that Brush is needed there to balance out Michael at times. Busch is a cop who is now in retirement and he has a thing to say about right and wrong and he does a good job of rounding out all the rule breaking that needs to go on, he is essentially everyone's moral code, even Simon, but never under estimate him. I wish there was more Simon in this novel; I missed him from the first book. He is such an interesting character who is full of contradictions. I would complete read a novel that just had him as a main character as I find him that interesting.
I would not classify Doetsch books as easy reads, as you really need to pay attention to everything that is happening, so if you are looking for something more complex, his books are for you. Doestch knows how to draw the reader in not only with his intricate plot, and research but also with his different and dynamic characters. I cannot wait to pick of the next book in this series and I'm not going to wait as long to read the next one.