The Helicopter Heist by Jonas Bonnier – Book Review

The Helicopter Heist by Jonas Bonnier - book cover

Jonas Bonnier’s book is roughly a Chance Meeting on a Dissecting Table of a Scandinavian crime and documentary novel. Or something like that. Actually, not entirely because the former genre is only hinted at by the setting, however, the incessant whining of nameless characters throughout pages is not the case with this book. And if you’re worried that, since the book is a true story, it will just throw facts at you, that’s not the case either because “The Helicopter Heist” is thoroughly fictionalized.

In 2009, a few guys robbed the G4S cash logistics company’s warehouse in Stockholm, using a helicopter. (Millions of crowns were just flying around.) The novel tells the story of the preparation and the heist. The greater part of the book, that naturally centering around the preparations, can be described, well, at most, with the term moderately interesting.

It’s not as exciting and twisty as the heist genre would dictate; that mostly applies to the action part. However, “The Helicopter Heist” is still enjoyable because the characters are very well-crafted. These guys are criminals, but they’ve been made so interesting and even likable that, darn it, you start rooting for them to succeed.

The police subplot seems a bit unnecessary; it mostly hangs in the air – i mean, near THAT helicopter. Although there’s this police girl, Miss Thurn, and you find yourself rooting for her a bit too.

The closing chapter, framing the story, is totally meaningless and unnecessary. It feels like Bonnier just added it to his book as an end in itself.

However, if you’ve read the book, you must find out what happened to the guys. And you need to do it yourself, a-deary me, because instead of the usual way of closing this type of book, it’s missing from the end. (See: Wikipedia: Västberga helicopter robbery)

7.5/10 (75%)

416 pages, Paperback
Published in 2017 by Simon & Schuster Canada

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