Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Heist Society

Heist Society

Ally Carter
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Hyperion Book, 2010   ISBN: 978-1423116394

Katarina Bishop looks very much like the other girls in her prestigious boarding school, and in some ways she is. Like many of them, she comes from a wealthy and powerful family, but the source of her family’s wealth is a rather unique. Katarina’s father is not a businessman or a stockbroker. Instead, he “specializes in art,” which he “distributes.” What this really means is that Bobby Bishop is a thief, and a very good one.

Until recently Katarina was her father’s assistant in the family business, and then she decided that she wanted a more normal life. Using her skills as a con artist, she managed to get accepted into one of the most exclusive schools in the world, and for a blissful few months all she had to worry about was homework and her school schedule. Then the headmaster’s Porche was found sitting on top of the fountain in the quad. Katarina was accused of being the perpetrator of this appalling act of vandalism, and she was expelled from the Calgon School for something that she didn’t even do.

When Hale, a long-time friend, picks her up from the school, Katerina soon figures out who framed her for the Porche incident. She is furious that her plans for her future have been so rudely brought to an end until Hale explains why he arranged for her to be “saved” from Calgon. Apparently, Bobby Bishop has gone too far and he is in trouble. A week ago some paintings were stolen from a very high security and “high risk” location in Italy. The man the paintings belong to is demanding that his paintings be returned, and if they aren’t…well let’s just say that Bobby’s future will not be a rosy one.

Katarina goes to Paris to see her father and she finds out that he was not the person who stole those paintings. When Arturo Taccone’s Italian home was being broken into, Bobby was in “doing a little job” in Paris. Even Bobby cannot be in two places at one time. Someone else stole the five paintings from Arturo Taccone, but the extremely dangerous Italian is not willing to listen to what Katarina has to say. She has to get his paintings back in two weeks or her father and all the other people Katarina loves will be in danger.

This unique book will have readers sitting on the edge of their seats as they read. Full of colorful characters and packed with suspense and mystery, this book not only entertains, it also educates readers about the way in which the Nazis took artworks from their owners before and during World War II. All too often, these artworks are bought and sold by individuals and museums who do not try very hard to find out where the artworks came from, and who they originally belonged to.

This is the first title in what promises to be a captivating series.