heists

book review | Drive by James Sallis | 1

james sallis drive book review ryan goslingAuthor: James Sallis
Title: Drive
Series: Drive 1
Genre: Thriller; Crime
Pages: 168
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Drive” with Ryan Gosling is one of my favorite movies. So when I spotted James Sallis books by the same title on which it was based, I had to read them.

About the Book: He drives. Nothing less and nothing more. Stunts for movies at day time, heists at night time. No details, just where, when, and where to. And still it went sideways! He tried to fix it… But you can’t expect others to have same principals as yours.

My Opinion: The story is interesting, short, but a bit tough to read. It tells a tale of a man we know as the driver. From his childhood in a chaotic broken home, to his driving talent and where it landed him, to crime business and that one job that went wrong. Tales are parallel and it’s not always clear which one you’re reading until some major detail pops up.

Saying that, the book is short, so it’s worth reading it if you enjoyed the movie enough. A 4 out of 5.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, heists, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Lufthansa Heist by Henry Hill and Daniel Simone

the lufthansa heist henry hillAuthor: Henry Hill and Daniel Simone
Title: The Lufthansa Heist
Series: –
Genre: True Crime; Biography
Pages: 384
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

Right. I’ve finished “The Lufthansa Heist” by Henry Hill and Daniel Simone. Henry Hill’s biographical retelling of the notorious heist. And I am very, very tired because of it.

About the Book: A heist you’ll be familiar with if you watched the Goodfellas, told by one of the organizers – Henry Hill. It starts at the need for such a heist, such a job, and goes through all of the phases of making such a grand job – successful. Up until the riches they didn’t even realize they stole erupt in murderous chaos…

My Opinion: The fun part ends as soon as it begins, leaving us with more than half a book of back-and-forth with the law, arrests and releases, the who slept with whom and what “that broad” was like.

It’s sad to say that a book of a heist like this is dull, but here I am. A 2 out of 5.

Categories: 2-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, crews, gangs, etc, heists, mafia, murder, True Crime Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Ice Man by Philip Carlo

the ice man philip carlo mafia contract killer book reviewAuthor: Philip Carlo
Title: The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer
Series: –
Genre: True Crime; Biography
Pages: 410
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer” by Philip Carlo is not an easy book to get into, but it’s definitely worth it. Dark, horrible, and absolutely fascinating tale of Richard Kuklinski, the ice cold killer.

About the Book: Fathered by a brutal man and not wholly there mother Richard witnessed his father beat his brother to death. Yet he doesn’t blame his upbringing for the things he did. In his words, paraphrasing, what he did, he chose to do. And the only thing he truly regrets is not killing his father when there was a chance. Other than that, it was all fair game. From rivals, snitches, bad guys in general, to passerby’s who just happened to be there when he was out to test his new toy, rowdy teens or just stupid drivers. The only taboo in Kuklinski’s book were women and children.

My Opinion: Rats eating people alive, body parts torn off, sharks, cyanide, an arsenal of weapons that allowed him to walk the streets for so long – no one suspected it could be one man doing so much work, from testing, training, to contract killing or outright justice slaying. Brutal to a point where it’s hard to wrap your mind around he went out of his way to save trafficked children, murdering rapists with pleasure. Never cheated on his wife, loved his children dearly, and at the end – did his best to lessen their involvement when it all came out.

It’s a tough book. This man here had golden traits to him that some good people are falling short on. But then, he was an absolute monster. Can only hope there’s no more of such walking the streets. A 5 out of 5, chilling tale indeed. Made worse by the truth of it.

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Categories: 5-5, Biographies, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, heists, murder, serial killers, True Crime Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Finders Keepers by Stephen King | Bill Hodges Trilogy 2

stephen king finders keepers mr mercedes book reviewAuthor: Stephen King
Title: Finders Keepers
Series: Bill Hodges Trilogy 2
Genre: Thriller, Horror Literature
Page: 434
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Mh, still a no. I liked “Finders Keepers” by Stephen King, second book in Bill Hodges Trilogy, about as much as I liked Mr. Mercedes. Which isn’t much.

About the Book: Obsessed with characters, fictional world, Morris Bellamy commits to robbery and even murder. But those aren’t the reasons he’s in prison. No, this torture was just a drunken error. And the only thing that keeps him alive all this time is his treasure. The notebooks he stole from his most loved and hated author. Notebooks that are safe, waiting for him. Notebooks that have been found by a boy who read them too and now burns with the same obsession Morris feels… 

My Opinion: This isn’t the first book by King on insane readers. Makes one wonder, doesn’t it? Anyway, the book is written very well. Characters are on point. But the problem is with the middle. Good start, strong ending, with almost nothing other than air in between. Sure there’s a little bit of insight into character inner workings. And some tension due to some mean fellas. But that’s about that. The rest is pushing time and pages.

Saying which I still can’t claim the book is bad, and will give it a solid, firm 3 out of 5. 

stephen king radybos ponas mersedesas siaubo literatura knygos apzvalga book review finders keepers

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Categories: 3-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: Other Fiction, heists, murder, Mystery Books, Nosferatu Books, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Flawless by Scott Andrew Selby and Greg Campbell

flawless diamond heist history scott andrew selby greg campbellAuthor: Scott Andrew Selby, Greg Campbell
Title: Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History
Series: –
Genre: Nonfiction; True Crime
Pages: 336
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I’m a great fan of a great heist story, true or fictional. So “Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History” by Scott Andrew Selby and Greg Campbell was definitely my cup of tea.

About the Book: Months and months of painstaking planning, preparations, evaluations, allowed a group of robbers to enter what was considered an impenetrable vault at the heart of all diamonds, Antwerp, Belgium. They left with 108 million dollars worth of loot. Just to get caught over a bagful of refuse… But not before they stashed away their bounty.

My Opinion: It’s strange to think this really happened and isn’t a fictional story. The planning, the details of it, at times it reached Ocean’s 12 levels, just without the Hollywood magic – it took a very long time. The story is very interesting and intense, even when you know how it ends or why.

Not bad. Maybe not worth a whole 5 out of 5, but there’s nothing I can take anything away for.

flawless diamond heist history scott andrew selby greg campbell bookstagram

[IG] | [EN. IG]

Categories: 5-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, heists, True Crime Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Master Thieves by Stephen Kurkjian | true crime

master thieves boston gangsters stephen kurkjian art heist bookAuthor: Stephen Kurkjian
Title: Master Thieves
Series: –
Genre: True Crime; Heist
Pages: 272
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I had to brush the dust off “Master Thieves” by Stephen Kurkjian, that’s how long it sat in my TBR pile.

About the Book: In 1990 thirteen pieces of artwork have been stolen from a low security Boston museum. And to this day the case remains open, with even the Boston gangsters trying to help out. For the heist was so perfect, covering every loose end so well, that the art remains missing, and the case remains unsolved.

My Opinion: The book is not very interesting to read, and I dare say its due to a tad dry-ish writing style, because its good for what it is. Well paced, with plenty of details, and on interesting topic. Doesn’t get you invested though.

It’s worth the while if you like books about heists. A 4 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, heists, True Crime Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

book review | Any Old Diamonds by K.J. Charles | Lilywhite Boys 1

any old diamonds charles kj book coverAuthor: K.J. Charles
Title: Any Old Diamonds
Series: Lilywhite Boys 1
Genre: LGBT literature, Historical Romance
Pages: 320
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Sometimes it’s great to read at nights. Other times I get very mad with myself. Reading Any Old Diamonds by K.J. Charles I was the latter. For you want to read more, you’re mad curious, but… Your ereader is threatening to smack you in the face if you don’t go to sleep right now.

About the Book: Alec’s father murdered his own wife, their mother, to marry an archetype of an evil, greedy stepmother. Driven by the woman’s fury he kicked his children out too, and cut them off on basis of disrespect. Alec’s older brother took it upon himself to support their sisters of whom one was very sickly and eventually died due to lack of care. Alec, seeking to relieve his brother of any burden, took up illustration. So, naturally, everyone were very surprised and angry with him, when he said he intends to make amends to father and ask for allowance.

But Alec has a plan. Via his sources he made contact with the best jewelry thieves, the Lilywhite boys, and has full intention of taking them right into the heart of his former home, where his dragon of a stepmother is sitting on all her jewels, and those of their mother. It’s time to pay the debts.

My Opinion: Alec had a very strong moral compass that eventually loosened up, but you could really see the struggle and the overcoming. And if character development like that is not enough, then just wait until that plot twist turns everything upside down. I don’t remember the last time I’ve read anything this tricky that I’ve not even suspected! It was very, very good. But, of course, I am a little bit biased. I mean, can you blame me? Jewelry thieves, criminals who are very good at their job… (recommend me more of those, preferably in modern times, please)

Yes, this was a great book, and I’ll happily put it among my favorites. It gets a firm 5 out of 5 from me, and I’m looking forwards to the second.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Books: Romance, heists, historical romance, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Go Down Together by Jeff Guinn

bonnie and clyde true crime go down together jeff guinn biography book coverAuthor: Jeff Guinn
Title: Go Down Together
Series: –
Genre: True Crime, Biography
Pages: 468
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I always had a liking to Bonnie and Clyde stories, but somehow never watched or read any true, not romanticized stuff about them. After all, I didn’t even know that at first they weren’t Bonnie and Clyde, but rather Clyde and Bonnie. But then, a few days back, I watched this great Netflix movie “The Highwaymen” and decided I must take that one book that I have on the pair of criminals two rangers were pursuing there. The Go Down Together by Jeff Guinn.

About: Everyone has at least heard of the famous bank robbers in love, Bonnie and Clyde, who robbed together, ran together, shot together, and died together too. But rarely anyone knows what those two were really like, and what was their life on the road, on the run.

Both Bonnie and Clyde grew up and lived during the Great Depression, when the economy in United States fell so very drastically, that a young man would find it hard to get a job, and a young woman would likely add to her meager pay by finding a different sort of clientele. Yet one shouldn’t be fooled. These two were not so much pushed into the life in crime, as they leaped to it seeking thrill, action, and fame. They got it, alright, but one’s left to wonder if they’d be happy with the price they paid for it. The cold nights in make-shift camping spots, cold food in fear that a fire would be spotted, injuries that left them both crippled, and no way back to a normal life.

Mine: This is a dark story with an almost humorous streak to it. Both Bonnie and Clyde had their share of misfortune and even cruelty. Luck seemed to turn away from them when they most needed it. But they rolled with the punches as best they could, charming public who, for once, had entertainment in their lives. Bonnie and Clyde stole from businesses and banks, rarely touching clerk’s wallet, so it’s almost like they didn’t rob the poor, poor thought. They’d steal your car, but leave it where you could retrieve it. And if you rather had insurance money, all you had to do was ask, and they’d happily drop it in a ditch, and set it on fire. This is what public saw, and this is why they often turned a blind eye on this pair. All while they dealt with the dark side criminal world, hell, barely its surface, for no true criminal took them very seriously, was serving.

Author did a great job of making a smooth story to not feel dull. At all times it’ll keep your attention, and you’ll come out knowing who the famous or infamous pair truly was. I’m giving it a strong 5 out of 5, and recommend you watch The Highwaymen at some point too.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, heists, True Crime Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

heist | “Vegas Heist” by Van Allen Plexico

1Author: Van Allen Plexico
Title: Vegas Heist
Series: –
Genre: Thriller, Heist, Crime
Pages: 240
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I’m not a big fan of the Ocean 11 times heists. I prefer modern stuff, where you need a lot more brain to not get caught, and get anything out of the job. But this book honestly surprised me, and amused me plenty with, well, Karma.

About: Caesars Palace in Las Vegas was to open the doors for clients on New Years eve. Meaning fellas didn’t have much time to neither plan, nor prepare for the heist they’re about to pull. But they know just about enough to pull this off, and walk away with a large chunk of money. Yet, another problem, from the very beginning the team consisted out of guys who were no longer very keen on sharing. Especially when ever more people came in for a share, be it merely a half-share, or a full one. And, honestly, all it would take… Pull the trigger, press the detonator, stab your friend in the back. When the smoke settles, and rubble stops falling we’ll see who’ll walk away, and what share will remain in their hands. If anyone, if anything. For the net of angry criminals is wider than most of them think, and strings are being pulled from places far further than the vault room.

Mine: This book reminded me of the best bits from Ocean’s 11 movies, the very best parts. It was amusing, funny at times, but dealt serious business none the less. My favorite was the Karma, reminded me of a saying “easy does it“, but I won’t tell you why, just in case you might care to read it. Be sure, the ending is damn right perfect. And the book itself is written well too. If you follow the plot closely, it’s great, you get it, you know. Because of the names. That being the big minus for me; I’m not okay with is having to re-read parts, because it’s easy to mix up very, very similar characters pulling different ends of the web.

It’s a good, refreshing, and amusing book. I can give it a solid 4 out of 5, with only that one minus about too similar characters being my problem. I’d read more. And I might just read more by the author, just to see.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Crime Books, heists, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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