Short Review #28: Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History by Scott Andrew Selby and Greg Campbell (2010)

Rating: 4 out of 5⭐️
Title: Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History
Author: Scott Andrew Selby and Greg Campbell
Published: 2010 (Union Square Press, New York)
Pages: 336 (Hardcover)
Genres: Nonfiction, True Crime, History, Cultural
CW: true crime, strong themes
Link Here

Flawless held up in front of my bookshelf in my old apartment

Hi everyone, its been a while! I haven’t posted for a couple weeks, because I recently moved homes and it was a difficult one… I forgot how much of a pain moving is and unpacking can be the worst. I guess you never know until it happens *shrugs*. I am also in a small reading slump, the first one in a long time for me. Not sure why, but I’m hoping to break out of it soon. Maybe it was the move… Did I mention I don’t like moving? Anyways, this week I finished a book borrowed from a coworker. Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History is by Scott Andrew Selby and Greg Campbell, the authors of Blood Diamonds. The history surrounding Blood Diamonds is also showcased in the 2006 Leonardo DiCaprio film Blood Diamond.

While it was cathartic to see the perpetrators of the crime sentenced and eventually jailed, it wasn’t what was most important to the victims…’The most important thing is, where are the other belongings?’ he said. ‘Where are the diamonds?’” – Scott Andrew Selby and Greg Campbell, Flawless

Flawless is a true crime work of nonfiction about the largest diamond heist in history, taking place 2003 in Antwerp, Belgium in the Diamond Center. Antwerp is the international diamond capital of the world. The thieves, an Italian group of criminals called The School of Turin, stole $108-432 million worth of diamonds (but authorities and experts guess it could have been much, much more since some of the victims could not file or report their diamonds for insurance… but the authors detail why in the book). The book covers the backstory of the criminals, and the crime itself along with fascinating information about the international diamond industry. A lot of time in this book is spent on the life, role and motivations of Turin ringleader, Leonardo Notarbartolo. Notarbartolo even spent two years canvasing the Diamond Center before the group made a move by renting out a space in the building.

Overall, I thought this book was pretty good. It was comprehensive and clear, and the authors do a wonderful job guiding the reader through the events of the crime and industry. There is so much information covered in this book so be prepared. It was also interesting as far as content goes, and I learned a lot. Why should you read this book? If you enjoy nonfiction reads about true crime and exciting diamond heists, then this is the book for you.

I give this one a 4 out of 5! There was nothing particularly negative about this one, the book was more informative and neutral as far as perspective goes. It was not extraordinary enough for me to give it 5 stars though.


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