Review of 'The Great Diamond Heist'

The Great Diamond Heist by Gordon Bowers

great_diamond.jpg On the Easter weekend in 2015 a group of pension-age criminals broke into the Hatton Garden Safe Depository in London. Unbelievably not only did the police fail to respond even when the alarm was tripped but they were also able to continue their work unmolested for the entirety of the weekend even when they drilling a series of 17 inch holes through the concrete wall of the vault. Many customers of the depository had no insurance and were frustrated in the aftermath at the perceived incompetence of the police and the lack of information they received. It will likely never be clear how much was actually stolen but thankfully a few short months later the police made a series of arrests with those involved eventually convicted and are now serving time in prison.

This book proposes to tell the “…true story of the Hatton Garden robbery” and is mostly a collection of the various pieces of information involved in the crime. Obviously put together quickly for publication there are not only spelling mistakes the length seems obviously padded out to make it more the length of a standard book as the author repeats various elements over and over again. The narrative is uneven and jumps around wildly. It is in dire need of a serious edit. Having said all that, the story is, of course, quite interesting though understanding what happened is not revealed by reading this take on it.

I worked just around the corner a short distance from the Depository on Greville street when the robbery took place. I remember the whole area being sealed off in the days following and so was interested in exactly what had happened. Picking up this book I hoped to learn a a bit more about the event and, to be fair, I did. A lot of the information about other heists and criminal events related to this one was quite interesting as were the details of the trial for the accused. The pictures in the middle of the crime scene are remarkable but it would have been nice to have more….

Interesting but a tough slog due to not being written terribly well.

Rating: “Not great, but not the worse”

Review Date: 2017-01-29

Genre: Non-Fiction

Publisher: John Blake Books

Publication Date: 2016

ISBN: 9781784189785