She enlists the aid of a young reporter called Eddie Gallagher - and quickly finds that she is very attracted to him. Together, they plunge into the New York underworld to seek out the truth. To do this requires great reserves of courage, determination and sneakiness - all of which Jo has in spades.
The novel is brilliantly plotted. It has one of those breathtaking endings where you suddenly see how all sorts of threads have been expertly woven together, and you feel like cheering. The characters are completely convincing - from Jo and Eddie to Fay, a pickpocket who looks as delicate as a fairy but is as tough as old boots, and the Tailor, a Fagin-like character who runs an army of child thieves.
Like many historical novels with a female central character, the author wants the heroine to have a 21st century sensibility: a desire for equality and independence. This sometimes seems imposed and a little unconvincing, but in this book, this is not the case. The times are changing, and it seems entirely convincing that a character such as Jo would be at the forefront of that.
Published by Hot Key, the book is marketed as being for young adults, but I hope it finds a much wider audience: this somewhat-advanced-in-years adult certainly loved it!