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Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History Paperback – Feb 7 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling; Reprint edition (Feb. 7 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402797559
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402797552
  • Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 14 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #87,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Jeffrey Swystun TOP 50 REVIEWER on Aug. 31 2011
Format: Hardcover
Whenever I read books that profile professional thieves and their "successes", I wonder what their lives would be like if they pursued an honest line of work. The bandits in Flawless are members of a group of professional thieves known as The School of Turin. They employ incredible strategic planning and cunning to accomplish the seemingly impossible. This is actually two books in one: the story of the heist and one of the diamond industry itself and both are fascinating. In fact, Hollywood could not have written a better fictional script. The detail the authors provide accurately mirrors the meticulous planning that Italian jewel thief Leonardo Notarbartolo employed. Yet, the detail does not limit the excitement, suspense, and grudging respect that must be paid to both the bad (and good guy's) dedication to their roles.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 57 reviews
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
"Flawless" is Flawless Feb. 8 2010
By ScanMyPhotos - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History.

You can't help but read this book non-stop. The details, action and polished descriptions are riveting.

I read Flawless right away, as soon as it arrived from Amazon. I couldn't put it down. It reads like "Devil in the White City"--true crime come to life! No one dies in this book, but it still was an exciting read. And I learned about diamonds. Can't wait for seeing what I read in the theaters - it too will be a blockbuster.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Fascinating tale! Feb. 17 2010
By Inspired Reader - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I absolutely could not put this book down! Flawless is, well, flawless. If you love true crime, can't pull yourself away from cop dramas, and are a fan of espionage tales, then this book is for you.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A perfect caper.......flawless Feb. 18 2010
By Robert Busko - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Scott Selby and Greg Campbell's Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History is a nail biting, page turning romp through a real life caper. You may not recognize Selby's name, but Greg Campbell wrote Blood Diamonds, a pretty good read in itself. It is hard not to compare Flawless to Ocean's Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen although the comparison is unfair. Flawless actually happened. These movies were just made up glitz; interesting, but made up none the less.

The nighttime theft happened Valentines weekend, 2003 when the thieves broke into the Diamond Center in Antwerp. The Diamond Center isn't Fort Know, but it was guarded by every security device one could think of; round the clock gaurds, motion and vibration sensors, and an 18 steel vault door and locks requiring multiple keys and combinations. While the author's tell us a lot about the crime, who committed it, and how it was done, certain aspects are left unreported. How the actual vault door was compromised, for example is missing. I suspect this is to be expected. The authors also examine the diamond industry, literally from top to bottom.

Well researched and told in a "novelistic" manner, Flawless is one book you have to read, especially if you're a true crime fan.

I highly recommend this page turner and time burner. You'll enjoy it.

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
This book is cool - and it sparkles Feb. 9 2010
By J. Dreyer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a treat to read about a real-life theft more astounding than any invented for tv or movies. The School of Turin, as the diamond thieves are known, really pulled off the crime of all crimes, and I found I had to keep reading to find out how they did it...and what happened to them afterwards (wow). In the process I gained insight into the fascinating world of the diamond trade, and learned about the gems themselves and the political and humanitarian issues surrounding their mining. The writing is excellent, the story unbelievable! - I truly looked forward to the time I could spend with this book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Dazzling Gem with an Exquisite Setting Feb. 26 2010
By Librarian - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Readers will devour Flawless, Union Square Press' sparkling new non-fiction title. Within the pages, authors Scott Andrew Selby and Greg Campbell (Blood Diamonds) detail the events surrounding the greatest diamond heist in history.

Half a billion dollars in gems boosted from an impenetrable underground vault within Antwerp's locked down diamond district?

Oh yeah, I'm all over this one.

A rich veneer of history overlays the narrative. With focus and clarity, Flawless examines not only the oft politicized roots of diamond industry but also the origins of the gems themselves. As the world's most liquid commodity, for centuries these jewels have been mined and funneled into the pockets of tycoons and tyrants alike.

Millions of dollars worth of carats are passed from hand to hand...and it all happens in Belgium, baby. Antwerp rose to prominence over a century to become the center of world diamond trade. The book thoroughly explores the dichotomy between Antwerp's moneyed diamond district and the surrounding tourist infested streets before transporting the reader to the backrooms and back alleys of Turin, Italy, a haven for mystics and thieves.

While the locales are in intriguing enough by themselves, the criminal masterminds responsible for the heist hijack the reader's attention. Leonardo Notarbartolo and his gang of thieves are anything but the usual suspects; the "School of Turin" makes Danny Ocean's crew look like small time crooks.

Flawless outshines most of the historical capers I've seen on the shelves. You'll want to snag a copy. The execution of the premise is THAT good. Even though the loot has never been recovered, you'll enjoy slipping into the shadows to follow the footsteps of the suspects.

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