“The Smoke” is London in thief slang, the foggy London of 1947 fresh out of WWII. We feel it, live in it through the eyes and senses of Jethro, a top notch cat-burglar who goes through a series of adventures from simple robbery at the Russian Embassy to confrontations with crime bosses and government agents. The level of violence, absent at first, grows in a crescendo until it explodes into an insider’s view of torture. Despite his unlawful profession which he covers by doing work as a stagehand in theatres, Jethro is a lovable character, true to himself, his family and friends, caught in a tug of war that tweaks his emotions. Through a first-person account of Jethro’s trade – too meticulous and tedious at times – his penchant for disguises, his love affair with the city which is an integral part of him, we get to share his transformation. The capers are inventive and well-described but rely too heavily on the timely actions of an outsider to the story. Despite this, it is a solid first novel, worth the interesting, well-written and action-filled visit to post-war London.