Heist: A BookShot, by James Patterson and Rees Jones

Seven stars

Another BookShot short story that matches the writing styles of James Patterson and Rees Jones pulls the reader into the middle of a high-impact thriller. It was the perfect crime, or so they thought. Planned and coordinated down to the last fact, the hapless robbery crew thought they’d have an easy go at stealing a sizeable number of diamonds before liquidating them on the market. However, little did they realise that another team had a similar idea, which turned the perfect crime into a bloodbath. Having secured the diamonds, the heist is now more complicated than imagined, as the authorities are on a manhunt alongside the group whose honour has been besmirched. Enter Detective Inspector Andrew Hill, who’s biding his time before accepting redundancy. Wanting to leave the Met with a bang, he asks to take on the case of the diamond heist. After poking around the district, he learns that this was a well-planned insurance scam, one that saw local coppers turn their heads and all evidence destroyed. DI Hill follows a lead, with the help of some facial recognition, and boards a train to Amsterdam, where the criminals are headed to sell their wares and bring the money back to help one of their own. Amsterdam proves to be more than just a place to sell the diamonds, as Hill remains one step behind those he chases. When push comes to shove, it will be up to Hill, working alone, to apprehend these criminals, who are working without a plan and fuelled by adrenaline. A great story that keeps the reader hooked until the bitter end!

Patterson and Jones have previously worked on a BookShot together, which was just as enticing as this piece. While offering a general impetus that fuels the crux of the heist, the authors portray the three criminals as acting with a purpose. The story’s plot is straightforward and somewhat predictable, but keeps the reader interested through to the final chapter. Patterson and Rees offer a decent collection of characters who have their own individual traits, though the focus is more on the trek than hashing out too much personal detail. A decent piece of writing, though surely a one-off tale, which opens the door to more collaboration between these two authors, perhaps with another BookShot.

Kudos, Messrs. Patterson and Jones for another successful joint effort. This is a partnership that seems to work and should not be abandoned.