Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: The Dali Deception, Adam Maxwell

the dali deception

Title: The Dali Deception
Author: Adam Maxwell
Publisher: The Lost Book Emporium
Release date: June 19th 2016

Format: eARC
Pages: 293
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and a half!

The Story

A professional thief returns home and must round up the perfect team to carry out a unique heist. Can they pull it off before her murderous ex-boyfriend and a psychotic crime kingpin cause the whole thing to come crashing down?

Violet Winters is a professional thief. Clever and resourceful, she can walk in to any building and leave with the goods. Betrayed by her murderous boyfriend she has spent eighteen months in exile but Violet is lured back home to Kilchester for a unique heist. She must steal a ‘painting’ — a blank canvas, signed by Salvador Dali — and replace it with a forgery. Everything is going to plan until local crime kingpin Big Terry crashes the party. With the start of the heist hours away Violet doesn’t know who she can trust, whether she is going to walk into the room with the painting and find the police waiting for her or if she’ll get beaten to death by a furious midget. And then everything goes sideways.

My thoughts

I always welcome a review request from an author with a mix of trepidation and excitation. What if the magic doesn’t happen? What if no emotions get sparked? What if… I feel there is more pressure when you work on a book you haven’t picked yourself. Of course, you can decline and go back to your precious towering TBR. But sometimes a synopsis intrigues you. Sometimes a detail draws you in. Sometimes, something insides you stirs and tells you to jump out of your usual comfort zone. Sometimes you get the chance to find a real gem.

When her last job went wrong after she was betrayed by her boyfriend, Violet Winters left her business and her town. Eighteen months later, the perfect job offer presents itself, giving her the opportunity to make her come back, and finally find closure. The mission is to get a blank canvas signed by Salvador Dali delivered to a rich client, and Violet is the only one who can pull it off. To succeed, she needs a flawless plan and an A-team. But unresolved issues from her past and a local bigwig threaten to ruin it all. Can she get the work done without ending up in jail or getting reduced to cold meat?

She needed this. Being away from Kilchester had been irritating, but being away from the life had been excruciating.

Forced to leave her town and her job because of her ex-boyfriend, Violet is itching to get back to work and is more than ready when the Dali job is offered to her. Stealing a blank canvas and replacing it by a forgery is a challenge made for her. If you are anything like me, your extensive knowledge of art comes down to a few famous names and never-ending afternoon in museums staring at very ugly items supposedly representing something. Do not let this bring you down. The author makes sure you get a very good idea of the value of the piece and its background through the story. The same goes for the stealing market. I was not very sure I would understand or warm up to people whose job was to steal important and precious items in exchange for money, but Adam Maxwell managed to lure me to the dark side with a string of clever and funny characters.

“We don’t have nicknames because you’re too thick to remember who’s who when we have nicknames.”

Violet Winters is a professional thief. She is as cool as her job title. For her plan to succeed, Violet surrounds herself with the best. We follow the leader as she hires the members of her team one after the other. Every one of them has a special ability. I liked to think of them as the fingers of the same hand. I found the way Violet gathered each of them to be particularly clever. By the time she reunited them all, I had found my favorites and was eager to see them at work. I loved the idea of a team of thieves working together and I was pleasantly surprised not to be bothered each character had a bit of a cliché attached to them; the driver, the computer whiz, the conman, the muscle, and the mastermind. Still, the author manages to add a splash of originality in all of them, which gives you the feeling of knowing them while getting the opportunity to be surprised by them. Add a mix of humor and a strong team spirit, and you have me rooting for the thieves!

Sometimes you choose the wrong people.

Violet is dangerously good at what she does. Everyone can come up with plans, but few can master the art of the perfect plan. We are never given all the cards, still we are not left in the dark. The heist’s plans are revealed, the details of what happened in the past are given. We get to see everyone in action as events slip from Violet’s control and force them to act under pressure. I really enjoyed how every member of the team proved to be essential to the success of the mission. I should use the plural, because contrary to my assumption, stealing a single painting takes more than one big plan! When the news of Violet’s return spread, her ex-boyfriend gets in the way. But the biggest obstacle between the team and the painting is a tiny gangster with no limits. Meeting Big Terry was a huge surprise. I usually don’t care much for the bad guys, but I am definitely intrigued by the colossal villain that Adam Maxwell created.

The Dali Deception is an unputdownable steady-paced novel that delivers on everything you want and more. The tension slowly builds as every page takes you a little closer to the big day. With his novel, Adam Maxwell shows his readers that stealing is an art.

This title is now available here.

You can find the author on:
Twitter: @LostBookshop
His site: adammaxwell.com

I would like to thank Adam Maxwell for providing me with a copy of his book in exchange for an honest review.

13 thoughts on “Book Review: The Dali Deception, Adam Maxwell

  1. Oh wow. This does sound like a great read and I love how detailed your review is. Got me convinced about picking this one. Kept thinking of Ocean Eleven as I read about the team of thieves. I haven’t found anything Unputdownable of late,definitely adding this one to my TBR.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad you’re giving this book a try 🙂 You are so right about Ocean’s Eleven! I kept thinking it reminded me of something and I could not remember what. I tried to be precise with the review without giving much about the plot, and the team is such a big part of the story than I had fun talking about them 🙂

      Like

    1. Thank you! 🙂 I struggled a bit because I really wanted to do the book justice. This is the first review of The Dali Deception, but I hope to see more coming!
      I was so surprised to be so engrossed in the story, this is not my usual read, but it was totally worth trying!

      Liked by 1 person

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