The Dali Deception by Adam Maxwell

About this book…

Five criminals. Two forgeries. And one masterpiece of a heist.

Violet Winters—a professional thief born of a good, honest thief-and-con-artist stock— has been offered the heist of a lifetime. Steal a priceless Salvador Dali from the security-obsessed chairman of the Kilchester Bank and replace it with a forgery.

The fact that the “painting” is a signed, blank canvas doesn’t matter. It’s the challenge that gives Violet that familiar, addicting rush of adrenaline. Her quarry rests in a converted underground Cold War bunker. One way in, one way out. No margin for error.

But the reason Violet fled Kilchester is waiting right where she left him—an ex-lover with a murderous method for dumping a girlfriend. If her heist is to be a success, there will have to be a reckoning, or everything could go spinning out of control.

Her team of talented misfits assembled, Violet sets out to re-stake her claim on her reputation, exorcise some demons, and claim the prize. That is, if her masterpiece of a plan isn’t derailed by a pissed-off crime boss—or betrayal from within her own ranks.

My review…

Once in a while I like to stray outside the region of psychological thrillers but it usually takes a very clever plot (or very clever marketing!) to make me even think about adding to my toppling TBR pile. But when I was contacted by Adam Maxwell, the author, and asked to review his book, I was intrigued by the blurb and jumped at the chance to read what has been perfectly described as a “caper”. And it helped that the cover was a great piece of artwork in its own right as well!

The first thing that sprung to mind when I started this was that it would make a fabulous film. It brought to mind the film remake of The Italian Job where a cast of unique and downright weird and wacky characters come together to perform a complex and difficult crime. But it also brought to mind all the crime caper films of the 1960s bizarrely crossed with those tv series of the 1980s like Minder and The Sweeney. What I’m trying to say is that it had a visual feel to it and it was very easy to imagine sets and dialogues working on either the Big or small screen. And the art house, colourful book cover also brought to mind cinema posters as well!

Violet, who left Kilchester after a breakup with a very nasty double-crossing ex boyfriend, is back in town and is now on the lookout for a team to help her steal a blank canvas. Hmmmmm, a blank canvas I hear you say? But this is no ordinary blank piece of art, it is a signed Salvador Dali and is going to make them a lot of money! The characters assembled by Violet are an interesting bunch and Adam Maxwell tries to avoid the classic criminal cliches. I loved Zoe especially and I thought Big Terry was a brilliant creation, he scared the hell out of me!!! And this is one of the strengths of this book, it really is the characters who make it! You really are willing them to succeed every step of their journey.

As the plot twists and turn until the job itself, you are kept up to date with a countdown to the big day which I was glad was there, especially as its not quite in chronological order at the start. Once I got into the story it certainly was one that I couldn’t put down and read frantically for the last few chapters to see if the gang could get away with it.

I would happily read more about Violet and her gang as I definitely think they have much more to give, I just don’t fancy living in the fictional Kilchester while all these gangster types are praying on the poor population!

I received a copy of this book via the author and this is my unbiased review.

The Dali Deception (A Kilchester Caper Book 1) is available to buy now at Amazon UK

About the author…

Adam Maxwell has written for a plethora of publications including Dave Eggers’ McSweeney’s. His first book, a collection of short stories and flash fiction for adults ‘Dial M For Monkey’ was published in 2006. Most recently he has been working on a series of stories and novellas about a narcoleptic detective called ‘The Defective Detective’ and has branched out into children’s fiction with ‘The Lost Bookshop’.

Adam spends a great deal of his time in the attic on his own and is cultivating a fear of crowds. He has a Masters Degree in Creative Writing from Northumbria University, and lives in the wilds of Northumberland. If you wave to him he is unlikely to wave back.

If you are a fan of his work he would most likely congratulate you for your impeccable taste and secondly he would suggest that you visit his Website where you’ll find that new stories appear on a regular basis as well as a short story podcast and loads of other things that, as a reader or writer, you might be interested in. He is far more likely to wave at you through the internet.


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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

One thought on “The Dali Deception by Adam Maxwell”

  1. I am so glad you enjoyed The Dali Deception! I fell in love with the characters, and I just can’t wait for Violet’s next plan! I particularly enjoyed Violet’s way of bringing her team together, such a brilliant combination of talents and personalities.

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