After being framed as the perpetrator of a prank on the dean of her elite boarding school, Katrina Bishop is expelled from her “normal” life and quickly swept away by her friend/crush/former co-conspirator Hale, who is as good-looking as he is rich. Hale informs her that there is trouble afoot in the family business–the same business she was trying so desperately to escape. Kat’s father has been accused of thieving five priceless paintings from an Italian mobster and the bad guy wants them back within two weeks…or else.
After some super sleuthing Kat and Hale determine that the job has been a set-up and the only way to save Kat’s father is to figure out whodunnit and retrieve the paintings themselves. With the help of their rag-tag teenaged heist society and a whole lot of gumption, Kat and Hale will attempt their most dangerous job yet…or die trying.
From a writer’s perspective, there is so much to be admired in Ally Carter’s work–her jubilant voice, her mastery of third-person multiple POV, her ability to sustain tension and suspense, her killer hooks and her oh-my-god-what-happens-next chapter endings. All of her characters, even minor ones, are vibrant in this already colorful story.
As a reader, I loved the globe-trotting aspect of the story. It felt like Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, but even more awesome. Carter gives us just enough flavor of the city settings to make them real without getting bogged down by too much detail and her attention to the subject of fine art helps readers learn the masters without even realizing it. And then there’s Hale…
The only thing that could make HEIST SOCIETY even better is a sequel.