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  • Heist

  • The True Story of the World's Biggest Cash Robbery
  • By: Howard Sounes
  • Narrated by: Howard Sounes
  • Length: 15 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (129 ratings)

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Summary

On 22 February 2006, £53 million was stolen from a cash warehouse belonging to the Securitas company in Tonbridge, Kent. In terms of value, the robbery puts previous British capers, such as the Great Train Robbery, in the shade. This was a crime notable for its audacity, carried out by an unlikely crew of players that included a used car salesman, two Albanian casual workers and a roofer. Five men were convicted at the Old Bailey in January 2008, which attracted nationwide media coverage. A sixth man, Paul Allen, was sentenced in October 2009 for his part.

Having become close to the Tonbridge gang and the police during three years of research, Sounes relates a classic crime caper in irresistible, almost forensic detail. After the robbery comes the exciting, sometimes comical story of the getaway. Money is found, and arrests are made, but key characters slip out of the country, and millions of pounds are still missing.

Heist is the definitive account of these compelling events, is wildly entertaining and a must for all fans of well-written true crime. Since the book has been written, Darren Aronofsky (director of The Wrestler) has announced he will direct a British-made film.

Howard Sounes is known for writing detailed and revelatory biographies of a wide range of extraordinary personalities, including the murderers Fred and Rosemary West (Fred & Rose), the American author Charles Bukowski (Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life) and the musicians Bob Dylan (Down the Highway) and Paul McCartney (Fab). His new book is Amy, 27 - a study of the life and death of Amy Winehouse and the other iconic stars who died at the same young age.

©2009 Howard Sounes (P)2015 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about Heist

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Extremely Detailed!

Very detailed story that goes into a level of depth which may not be appreciated by everybody. I couldn't help but feeling the story could have been told well in 7 or 8 hours rather than 15. But nevertheless, a gripping and exciting account of a real crime

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An exciting and thoroughly absorbing tale

In February 2006, an unlikely gang of would-be villains stole £53 million from a cash warehouse in Tonbridge, Kent. Rocketing the caper into the annals of British crimes such as the Great Train Robbery, the theft was audacious in its premise and, at times, positively farcical in its execution.

Subtitled ‘The True Story of the World's Biggest Cash Robbery’ this book tells the tale of a bunch of villains who planned to rob a Securitas cash depot in the early hours of 22nd of February 2006. Charting the whole scheme from conception to the capture of the gang, journalist Howard Sounes tells a thrilling and highly-researched story that is captivating in its attention to detail. Describing the lives of gang members, including wrestler Lee Murray and his pal Paul Allen, the author explores every aspect of the crime and how each of the gang played their respective roles. It’s also interesting that on those occasions when the facts are not clear, he does not resort to imagination, but simply points out the possible options and the most likely explanation.

This is an exciting and thoroughly absorbing account of one of the biggest robberies in the world, and will thrill anyone who enjoys true-crime stories.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

If you live local then it's worth it....

What can I say about this audiobook... Well it's not the best but it's hard to work out the worst bit! Like watching an old Jean-Claude Van Damme movie. You want it to be good, it starts off not good but you hope that it will get better.... But it doesn't... It's hard to say what is worst, the story, the writing or the narration. Despite this being narrated by the author who at the end explains he grew up close to where it story takes place he seems to do an impression of an American doing an impression of an English man. Think Joey from Friends!

So why did I put up with nearly 16 hours. Well I too live and grew up near where it all happened. One location in particular I pass on nearly a weekly basis. Also, I remembered the 'heist' itself and wanted to know more about what happened. To that end it was entertaining and I enjoyed listening to the locations, the story and how it ultimately ended. There were parts that I was surprised at and have to admit some of the verdicts, when you hear how the writer has written the characters I was surprised at but it's still an interesting listen to.

In all to summarise, like voting for the worst act on X factor just because they used to go to your old school if your local then listen. If your not local and don't have a clue where these odd places are then I would skip.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

great story

Should have been a warning about the crude and unnecessary language, and the narration aas awful..Apart from that the facts were interesting, but would not listen to it again...

2 people found this helpful

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Terrible narration

I saw looking forward to this story but it was completely ruined for me by the author's terrible narration. He stereotypes various London accents, often in a mocking tone. I found this offensive and got a refund.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Dodgy accent alert!!

A good story but some very dodgy accents throughout. Also a lot of unnecessary details.

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A thorough account

An intriguing story. Unfortunately spoilt in a few places by arrogantly derived stereotypes and a rather annoying narration voicing of the criminals and at times the Police.
It’s worth a listen for the actual case.

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Interesting story, terrible delivery

Let me start by saying the book is impeccably researched. The story is fascinating but one of those that seems to have disappeared from public consciousness, so I was pleased to listen, especially after how much work has clearly gone into this book. However, the voices and accents are utterly terrible...uncessary and borderline offensive. Howard really should've employed a professional voice artist. The derision with which he speaks of nearly everyone in this story, whether criminal or otherwise, is appallingly rude, insulting and often excruciating to listen to. It stinks of classism and ableism and ruins the narrative. This book is the only book I've ever returned to Audible.

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Well researched, thorough work.

Fascinating tale of crooks at play, leaving the intriguing question of where £30Million went and if it actually went out of the door during the robbery.

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Heist

Having listed to probably 70 books I’ve found this the most enjoyable what made it for me was the voice and tone of the voice of Howard Stones Brilliant story and he was at the trials every day and this comes through in the book