Heist Society by Ally Carter

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Heist Society by Ally Carter

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Category: Teens
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Linda Lawlor
Reviewed by Linda Lawlor
Summary: Kat belonged to a family of high-end burglars until she decided to go straight. But someone has stolen some paintings and framed her father, putting his life in danger, and Kat finds herself being pulled back into the world she left behind.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 304 Date: September 2011
Publisher: Orchard
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1408309551

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A new series from the creator of the Gallagher Girls? Excellent! And this book doesn't disappoint: young people with unusual and highly specialised skills, encountering bad guys and peril with determination and a healthy dose of humour. So, what's the difference from the 'Gallagher Girls'? Well, this time, the heroine and her crew are, um, to put it bluntly, the villains! Except that it's just not that simple. Kat comes from a large family of burglars and art thieves, but she decides she's had enough of the family business and wants a normal life. Sadly, someone else decides that's not going to happen. They should have told her, using your criminal abilities to forge a false identity and get yourself into the best boarding school in the country is not the best way to go straight.

We first see Kat Bishop on the day she is expelled from the Colgan School. The Head's mint-condition 1958 Porsche Speedster has been taken and placed on top of the fountain in the quad with water shooting out of its headlights. And all the evidence points to Kat. Already we have an excellent idea of the tone and style of this book. Situations may be deadly serious, even life-threatening, but the means Kat and her teenage crew employ to deal with them are extravagant, colourful and at times, frankly hilarious. Fortunately she has as a friend Hale, a young billionaire (and possible love interest) who is deeply attracted to her family's criminal life style and ready to supply funds for any caper she might think up. So when a really nasty mobster called Arturo Taccone says her father will die in two weeks if he does not return the paintings he stole in Italy, she is ready to spring into action. She already has a set of passports in different names, and a wealth of training from her parents - starting with the time they took her to the Louvre, aged three, to case the joint. She has friends and family ready to help, and Hale's wonderful servant Marcus, who has a Jeeves-like ability to predict her every need, from a cup of hot chocolate to first-class tickets to Paris at four in the morning.

First problem? Her father didn't steal the paintings, and he can prove it: he was busy stealing a statue from a gallery in Paris at the time. But Taccone refuses to believe that: the theft in Italy has all the hallmarks of Bobby Bishop, and very few people in the world of art theft could have carried out such a daring and dangerous heist successfully. So, Kat and her crew have their work cut out: they have to protect her father, travel the world solving clues to find out who framed him, then work out a way of getting the paintings back. Simple.

A lot of heist movies and crime caper books rely on thrill, high-speed action and slick dialogue. All that is present in this book, but there's more to it than that. Kat is a teenage girl, with all the worries and anxieties and uncertainties that come as standard. She feels inadequate next to her pretty, sophisticated cousin. A cute boy or two make it very hard for her to concentrate on the task in hand. And like many teenage girls, she feels that mixture of affection and irritation for a father who loves her dearly but still sees her as a child (although it has to be said, not many dads rely on George-Clooney charm to get by, and use their child as a distraction or smokescreen when they're involved in a scam or a theft). This book is funny, exciting and intriguing in equal measure, with an original premise, a wicked twist to the plot and a gamut of fascinating characters readers will look forward to meeting again very soon. Don't miss it.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

Further reading suggestion: If you haven't read the 'Gallagher Girls' series, it's time to start. Try Don't Judge a Girl by her Cover, or I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You: even the titles are fun.

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Buy Heist Society by Ally Carter at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Heist Society by Ally Carter at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Heist Society by Ally Carter at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Heist Society by Ally Carter at Amazon.com.


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