On February 15, 2003, a group of thieves broke into an allegedly airtight vault in the international diamond capital of Antwerp, Belgium and made off with over $108 million dollars worth of diamonds and other valuables. They did so without tripping an alarm or injuring a single guard in the process.
Although the crime was perfect, the getaway was not. The police zeroed in on a band of professional thieves fronted by Leonardo Notarbartolo, a dapper Italian who had rented an office in the Diamond Center and clandestinely cased its vault for over two years. The who of the crime had been answered, but the how remained largely a mystery.
Enter Scott Andrew Selby, a Harvard Law grad and diamond expert, and Greg Campbell, author of Blood Diamonds, who undertook a global goose chase to uncover the true story behind the daring heist. Tracking the threads of the story throughout Europe from Belgium to Italy, in seedy cafes and sleek diamond offices, the authors sorted through an array of conflicting details, divergent opinions and incongruous theories to put together the puzzle of what actually happened that Valentines Day weekend.
This real-life Ocean's Eleven, a combination of diamond history, journalistic reportage, and riveting true-crime story, provides a thrilling in-depth study detailing the better-than-fiction heist of the century.
©2010 Scott Selby (P)2010 Gildan
I'm on chapter 5 and so far the book is a real snooze. I'm hoping from reading the other reviews that it will get more exciting. I feel like I'm being read an encyclopaedia description of the history of diamonds and Antwerp diamond trading. I guess I was expecting more of an Ocean's Eleven type story.
the story is extraordinary, what is more extraordinary is that a group of master thieves would make a series of OPSEC mistakes that would undo everything.
Summing the book in three words contradicts the requirements of 15 words minimum. Great overall story of the theft along with the workings of the diamond world. Although it is written like the story is completey accurate the reality is that the story is not flawless. The story is all based upon evidence and accounts other than those of the crinimals. When the book concludes it becomes evident that the real story from the thieves perspective was never told. But that is also part of intrigue as you do not come to that fimr conclusion until the end.
The ah ha moment when the determined they could get into the safe.
Performance was a good narration with no character voices. Nice for a change from the narrators who perform versus narrate.
Found myself pulling for the main character
Say something about yourself!
I stopped listening once arrests were made; the last third of the book held no mystery, and so I lost interest.
The planning and execution of the heist was enthralling, though.
Tell us about yourself!
This isnt really a fast paced book. Doesnt have danger and daring exploits. But it is an interesting look into the crime and attempted getaway. Kids, dont try this at home! but its ok to listen to.
A book about the Diamond business and those who find incredible ways to get their hands on 'the goods'.
Yes - probably -
A little boring.
For such an incredibly fascinating subject - the presentation was boring and draggy.
I would recommend, I found the planning of the heist interesting.
I'm inspired to rob a bank. Just kidding. No it didn't, but reminds me a how well thought out plan can go, and how it's the little overlooked things that can kill everything.
What I thought was going to be an exciting thriller, advertised as "the largest diamond heist in history", was rather flat both in story and in the reading. The details of the planning and the heist itself were described as if our "school of Turin" was a crew of plumbers off to replace the fixtures in a customer's bathroom. And to have the apparently successful heist come undone within twenty-four hours because the masterminds were careless about their trash was disappointing. Even I know to be careful of my credit card receipts before they get tossed into the kitchen waste basket. The narrator's voice was pleasant enough, and he read clearly, but even he seemed a little bored by the mechanics of the operation. Interesting, to a point, but definitely not thrilling.
A few have stated that the first section about the history and process of diamonds was boring. Yes, it was not the most exciting part of the book but learning about the history is fascinating. The heist, trials, etc. were very interesting, I love non-fiction like this. I need to go watch Oceans 11 again. They are not the exact same story, but some of the "real" story was used in the movie.
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