5 out of 5 stars
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 cafés 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 Valentine’s 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. (Source: Goodreads)
Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History by Scott Andrew Selby & Greg Campbell is a book that I had wanted to read for quite awhile before I was actually able to pick it up and read it. I was afraid that with all the anticipation, the book was going to fall flat. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case. It surpassed my expectations!
These gentleman managed to pull off the largest diamond heist in history without a single person being injured or killed and without a single alarm being triggered. They spent two or three years working on ideas and gadgets to thwart all the various security measures in the Antwerp diamond vault. The amount of planning and ingenuity that went into this heist is simply amazing.
Unfortunately, through a couple of strokes of bad luck, the police caught onto them rather quickly after their getaway, though the police were never able to recover the diamonds and other valuables.
I found this book to be well-written, flowing smoothly from one segment to another. If you enjoy reading books or watching movies about heists or about criminals who find ways of meeting their goals without violence (like “The Italian Job” or “Ocean’s Eleven”), you will enjoy this book!