by Ally Carter
Heist Society Summary
Ever gotten blamed for something you didn't do, and had to suffer the consequences of that thing anyway? Welcome to the inciting incident of the Heist Society. After getting framed for a prank and kicked out of the Colgan School, Katarina Bishop has a message waiting for her: "He's got to give them back" (3.33).
What's going on here? The "he" refers to Kat's dad; the "them" is an assortment of stolen paintings; and the person they must be given "back" to is the notorious crime boss Arturo Taccone. So, it looks like Kat isn't the only one getting framed around here.
Kat tries to convince Taccone that her dad didn't steal the paintings, but Taccone simply doesn't care. He wants them back. In order to protect her dad, Kat decides she must steal the paintings back herself.
She soon discovers that the paintings were stolen by a mysterious thief by the name of "Visily Romani," which, contrary to what you might think, is not an Italian moisturizer. Has the plot thickened enough for you yet? No? Hold onto your seats: Romani has hidden the stolen art behind other paintings at the Henley, a prestigious art museum in England.
As in any great heist film (cough cough Ocean's Eleven cough cough), Kat assembles a crew of seven people in order to get these paintings back. First, there's the handsome teen billionaire W.W. Hale the Fifth, known to Kat as "Hale." (We haven't met many teen billionaires in our lifetimes, but maybe you've got a few pop star besties in your social circles.)
The rest of the crew is: Gabrielle, Kat's cousin; the two Bagshaw brothers, who know a thing or two about disguises and explosions; Simon, a tech genius; and Nick, the new guy who can pick pockets as well as Apollo Robbins.
Nick's a source of tension between Hale and Kat, although it's hard for us to tell whether this tension is the result of romantic jealousy or whether they just don't trust this newbie.
As it turns out, Hale and Kat have good reason not to trust Nick; he's the son of an Interpol agent who has been pursuing Kat's dad. The moral of this plot twist? Never trust a pickpocket, especially if he's cute.
Despite all this tension, we're happy to report that the heist goes off without a hitch. Nick gets kicked out of the crew. Kat's dad is safe. The stolen paintings go back to their rightful owners—not to Taccone, who ends up in jail.
However, Visily Romani is still on the loose, and he sends Kat one of the paintings she's been pursuing, Girl Praying to Saint Nicholas, as some sort of cryptic message. Looks like we'll have to grab the sequel to find out what this Visily Romani person is trying to communicate.
Ah, cliff-hangers. We're going to go attempt to meditate now in order to slow our heart rates. Be back in a jiffy.