Ash and Cleo wait out the rain at her mom's house. Naturally, Mom's out of town. Through their conversations, we learn the truth about the house fire that claimed his parents and Cleo's dad, who was the responding officer. The next morning, they discover the Spider's location. (I totally called it!) Meanwhile, Andres has caught up to Mauricio and reveals a disturbing connection. (Nooo!)
Honestly, I think I like Mauricio best out of the POV characters. He's endearing, relatable, and seems to have more unique traits than either Ash or Cleo. Ash and Cleo are serviceable as leading protagonists--smart, active, determined, emotional baggage, tragic pasts--but not much more than the plot requires, as yet. Even Cleo's odd hobby of collecting spider paraphernalia is because of the Spider's 'curse' from when they were kids. I presume the same is true of her career choice.
Moolah, Ash's dog, tends to make scenes more dynamic by breaking up serious discussions or tense moments, so I like him. Speaking of which, he got the name because he can sniff out money anywhere (important detail.) Sidebar: how can a smart investigator think Moolah is an African name, of all things? She seriously never heard the word before?
So, about that romance angle. Haven't I seen this movie before? Yeah, the two teens who were in love and talking about getting out of their lame town, when something bad happened and one (usually the guy) took off without a word, leaving the other (usually the girl) to hate him. Then years later he resurfaces for a fraught reunion of mixed emotions. Then they get caught in the rain and must take shelter in intimate spaces, and since they are both soaking wet they will have to strip or use each other's body heat for warmth, or both! Okay it leads to nothing like that, but I did get a chuckle out of the setup.
Moreover, it added to this nagging feeling that aside from the Spider, it all feels...ordinary, familiar. That's not inherently a bad thing; the lack of zomg-extraordinariness in the description is what attracted me to the story, and the basics are there to be built upon. Thus far, I think the author has built something entertaining, so I'm rolling with it.
What does Andres want with Mauricio or the Spider for that matter? Will Ash and Cleo find him in time? Can the Spider's curse be broken?
We shall see. Spoilery discussion is welcome in the comments, if you've read The Spider Thief, are reading along, or are just curious.