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Heist

The True Story of the World's Biggest Cash Robbery
Narrated by: Howard Sounes
Length: 15 hrs and 50 mins
4 out of 5 stars (102 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

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

2 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.

1 person 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...

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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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.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story, very in depth and long.

This was a story I was really looking forward to and overall was very interesting due to me being an ex cash in transit officer. I had to turn up the speed of the narration, as it seemed very slow and a bit dreary. The story itself is very long, but this is down to the time and effort the author has put in to give the full history of events, which spans a few years going from the background of the people involved, the actual crime and then what happened after. Would recommend so long as you have the 16 hours to stick it!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Story is ok, narration could be better

The story is relatively interesting and you kind of follow along during the 16hrs of listening. That said it will get you confused if you never heard of the story before, especially because there are two Lee's in the story and the writer/narrator just calls each other Lee without specifying which is which. Only at the end he makes the effort to say "Rusha" and "Murray".
What can be said about the narration though? Other than the fact the narrator sounds like a weird version of Boris Johnson, his impressions are immensely annoying. He is using the same fake and weird Southern English sort of accent, and everyone sounds the same.
In a nutshell, you will need to make your own research to learn more about the heist as you listen through as you'll very quickly get lost and confused. Took me 5 minutes to read the wikipedia page on the heist which just contained the 16hrs content of this book in a short article.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I love this guy...

Brilliantly written, superbly read, wonderfully researched. Sir Sounes - more please.

Highly recommended and the fact this review requires a minimum number of words, I shall now sign off.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

"from planning to trial"

Very factual but deeply interesting following every twist and turn of the robbery. Highly recommended. Well done Howard.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Mockney narrator.

I found the narrating annoying. It's narrated by the author who comes across as though he's very condescending when he's reading quotations from the people involved. I wonder if this is supposed to be a Mockney accent??
Other then that it's a well told story of a fascinating robbery.