cover image The Helicopter Heist: A Novel Based on True Events

The Helicopter Heist: A Novel Based on True Events

Jonas Bonnier, trans. from the Swedish by Alice Menzies. Other Press, $17.99 trade paper (416p) ISBN 978-1-59051-950-9

Swedish author Bonnier makes his U.S. debut with this uneven thriller based on the audacious 2009 robbery of a Stockholm cash service depot in which criminals used a helicopter as transport. Over the course of nine months, four men meticulously plan out the robbery of a cash depot located near a police station in southern Stockholm that, if successful, could be the biggest robbery in Swedish history. The scheme is filled with obstacles from the start—such as how to obtain a helicopter and enter the building from the seemingly impenetrable roof, and how to ground any law enforcement aircraft nearby—and becomes even more complicated when police begin following the group’s leader just days before the heist. Though the novel’s breakneck-paced last part is virtually impossible to put down, the beginning suffers from a serpentine narrative that lacks focus and intensity. The fatal flaw, however, is a cast of forgettable characters coupled with a predetermined outcome. The bombshell plot twist at the end can’t save this unsatisfying novel. [em]Agent: Niclas Salomonsson, Salomonsson Agency (Sweden). (May) [/em]