Thursday 29 April 2010

HEIST SOCIETY by Ally Carter

Since she can remember, Katarina's relatives have been grooming her for the family business--thieving. But when Kat tries to go straight and leave the Life for a normal life, she's promptly kicked out of her new school for stealing the headmaster's car and mounting it on the school fountain. Although she could have done it without breaking a sweat, ironically, this time, she's innocent.

In fact she was framed--by another highly-skilled thief. Her friend and brother-in-trade Hale, with his mischievous smile and limitless bank account, has appeared out of nowhere to bring her back to the Life, back to the family Kat tried so hard to escape. Hale has a good reason: A powerful mobster has just been robbed of his priceless art collection and he wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have cracked this vault, and Kat's father isn't just on the suspect list, he IS the list. Now, caught between Interpol and a far more deadly predator, Kat's dad needs her help.

For Kat, a consummate thief in her own right, the solution is simple: 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 maybe just enough misguided pride to pull off the biggest heist in history--or at least in her family's (very crooked) history.

When I grabbed this book and got started, I didn't know what kind of adventure was waiting for me, but I was quickly sucked into it.

Kat is trying to live a normal life. Okay, so maybe she got her spot at the Colgan School under false pretenses, but she's been there for a few months and has enjoyed being a normal teenager. That all changes when she's accused of pulling a horrible prank on the headmaster. The funny thing is that she didn't do it, but still gets expelled when she can't explain the evidence caught on camera.

That's when Hale appears in his black limo and offers her a ride, hoping to entice her back into the family business. So, even though all she's wanted to do was distance herself from the life of thieves, she gets sucked back into it to save her father. Of course, her father doesn't want her to help but the mobster who's holding him responsible for stealing his priceless art collection has his eye on Kat. She's got two weeks to get his art back.

The fact that her father didn't do it doesn't change the deadline and Kat becomes determined to find out who did it so she can steal the collection from them and give it back to the evil Taccone. To do that, she needs to get a young team together and mastermind a plan before time runs out and her father becomes the target of the mobster.

Nothing goes according to plan and as the team slowly starts to figure out who is responsible, they stumble on a ghost. The greatest thief in the world also uses an old anonymous name--Visily Romani--and leaves a calling card. As Kat devises her plan and slowly begins to unravel the mystery by visiting a lot of lovely cities around the world, she also has to deal with the fact that Interpol are also after her father.

Heist Society turned out to be an excellent book! I had a blast reading it and got swept up in the tension, mystery, and relationships that Kat becomes involved with. Her family might be fill of thieves, but they're all very loyal to each other. And sometimes the very thing you were looking for happens to be standing right in front of you. As Kat finds out. ;)

This is a great fast-paced book, with just the right hint of romance, that I couldn't put down until I got to the end. What a great premise!

Heist Society, February 2010, ISBN 9780734411273, Lothian Children's Books Paperback

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