Heist Society by Ally Carter

Amazon Synopsis: When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her to the Louvre...to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie travelled to Austria...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. But now her dad's life is on the line, and Kat must go back to the world she tried so hard to escape... 

The synopsis above is the same as the one on the back of my paperback so you can imagine I kind of went into this one without a lot of knowledge. It still managed to grab my interest though since you don't get many books which follow characters that are supposed to be the bad guys and often are in other novels. Maybe that is why I liked this one better than Carter's other series, "Gallagher Girls".

This series is the complete opposite end of the spectrum as where one follows spies the other follows a group of teenage thieves who have a lifetimes worth of experience under their belts.

The story follows Kat 'Katarina' Bishop who recently gave up her life of crime and turned her back on her family/friends to go to school and live a normal life. At the beginning of the novel she gets kicked out of something for the one crime she did not commit. I thought there would be more about the way Kat conned herself into the prestigious Colgan school since it is probably the subject of the longest sentence in the synopsis. It turns out that an old friend called Hale framed Kat in order to draw her back into their life of crime and adventure.

Hale is a character that even after finishing I know nothing about. We don't even know his first name. It is clear that he and Kat have a history but they also seem to be dancing around each other. Hale is sarcastic and rich by birth yet chose his life of thievery for the thrill of it. He has an extremely organised butler called Marcus and seems to know Kat better than anyone. Their romance was good. It did not overpower the reader as there is a familiarity between the characters. This means that there is no need for soppy love scenes to set up the relationship, only a fondness that is really clear in Carter's writing.

Kat herself is a character who has some of the best comeback lines I have read. She knows the rules and is willing to break them. At Colgan though she has become out of practise and there are moments in the book where she wavers. The third person narrative kept this character as an enigmatic one which is exactly what makes it great. As a reader I prefer third person narratives but here it is purely because it keeps the mystery of a character whose life is meant to be a mystery alive. It has made me excited to read the next one to find out more about her past life and family. 

The premise of this book is that a very bad man, one Arturo Taccone, who believes that Kat's famous thief of a father stole some paintings from him and Kat has a fortnight to get them back or her father is pretty much a dead man walking. This means that the plot was fast paced with high stakes. Constant twists and turns meant that the book held my attention throughout.

Fast paced book with comedy, romance and drama all wrapped up into one. Really liked this book for what it was.

Rating: 4/5


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