Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Review: Heist Society- Ally Carter

Thieves aren't supposed to want too much--which is ironic, but true. Never live anyplace you can't walk away from. Never own anything you can't leave behind. 

The book came along with some glowing recommendations from reliable reviewers and I finally decided to give it a try. And to say the least, I was quite impressed with the entire setting of the book. A family of brilliant conmen/women- ranging from pickpockets to Mona Lisa forgers to people involved in billion dollar art heists, a band of ingenuous teenagers on the loose, trying to rob the most secure museum in the world and a dangerous money hungry criminal who's threatening to ruin everything....

Need I say more?

Katerina Bishop had decided to take a break from 'family business' and had enrolled in Colgan Boarding School. But then thieves aren't meant to have uneventful lives. Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring Kat back into the world she tried so hard to escape from. And with good reason too- a powerful mobster has been robbed off of five priceless paintings and wants to retrieve them. The suspect list has just one name on it- Kat's father. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Bobby Bishop is in need of help. 

But how does Kat go about returning paintings that he had never stolen? 

There is but one solution- to track down the real thief and steal them back. But infiltrating one of the most secure places on the planet has to be more than a little difficult. But with a talented teenage crew, oodles of determination and just a pinch of insanity, Kat might just be able to pull off the the biggest heist in family history.

The writing style of the book was quite cool with the readers getting an intriguing insight into the lives of Kat and her family.

Kat used to love Paris. She remembered being there with her parents--eating croissants, visiting a pyramid, and carrying six red balloons. It wasn't until years later that she realized it hadn't been a fun family outing--that actually they'd been casing the Louvre at the time.

"And your father?" he asked, unwilling to let a conveniently deceased mother swing any sympathy votes Kat's way. "What does he do?"
"Art," Kat said simply, carefully. "He does a lot of things, but he specializes in art."
At this, the head of the fine arts department perked up. "Collecting?" the man asked.
Again Kat had to fight back a smile. "More like ... distribution." 

Kat's character was made headstrong and brave. She is independent and stubborn, unafraid to undertake an impossible task and take it to completion. W.W Hale the fifth, or just Hale as he is commonly known, is the multibillionaire heir who enjoys the occasional heist. Abandoned by negligent parents and having a loaded bank account allows him some very convenient liberties.

I'm at the Knightsbury Institute now."
"I've never heard of it."
"My father got a letter just last week telling him that I have become a model student."
"Congratulations," Kat said, doubting it.
"Yeah, well, I'm the only student." He grinned a very Hale-like grin. "Of course, the downside of attending a fictional school is that our lacrosse team sucks. 

The rest of the heist society consists of a gadget junkie on his way to becoming Einstein No.2, an electrifying beauty on the prowl, two brothers blacklisted for stealing from a nun and a pickpocket newbie with a British accent and a charming smile.

The story was riveting, full of twists and turns. It was interesting to see how Kat and her friends manoeuvred their way across impossible situations, found loopholes in the security system of one of the safest museums in the world and succeeded in playing Mr Bad Guy at his own game. The story will remind you of Neal Caffrey and Mozzie of White Collar (imagine their teenage versions) and the witty writing style and unique concept brings back memories of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts heist of 1972. Fast, fun and full of intrigue.

4/5 stars!

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