Monday, August 16, 2010

Heist Society by Ally Carter

Book Info
Heist Society by Ally Carter


When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her to the case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own--scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving "the life" for a normal life proves harder than she'd expected.

Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has good reason: a powerful mobster's art collection has been stolen, and he wants it returned. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family’s (very crooked) history--and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

My Thoughts

Kat Bishop is running away from her past but it keeps catching up with her. When she is framed for destroying the head master’s car at her prestigious boarding school, she is thrust back into the world she so desperately wanted to leave. Her best friend and possible love interest Hale is trying to get her back in the game but it takes a threat from a powerful mobster to get her to start planning the ultimate heist.

Kat is trying to make a fresh start in life and she is only fifteen but she is also more mature because of her previous experience as an art thief. Although things do not go according to plan she is able to improvise and make light of dangerous situations. I wish we learned what sparked her disappearing act but it looks like this will be a series and it may be brought to light.

I am a big fan of the con artist genre and enjoy seeing how a gentleman thief can outsmart the law. I think this stems from watching many movies of this genre with my Dad. This book delved into the family aspect of con artist ring and I enjoyed the camaraderie between the group of teenage thieves. I especially liked how Hale and Kat had actual problems that they had to work through before they could work together properly. The feeling of betrayal ran deep in the family when Kat left and not everyone forgave her instantly.

Carter also made the history lesson on art stolen during World War II interesting as she wove it into her plot. There have been several museums that have had to give up paintings because it has come to light that they were stolen during Nazi regime. One painting at the Fort Worth’s Kimbell Art Museum was returned to its rightful owners and then bought back for several million dollars.

If you like this book, check out Audrey Hepburn's How to Steal a Million, a romantic comedy about a woman who must steal a statue from a Paris museum to help conceal her father's art forgeries.

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