Title: The Pineville Heist
Author: Lee Chambers
Publication Date: March 28, 2012 (first published July 20, 2011)
Seventeen year old Aaron stumbles into the aftermath of a five million dollar bank heist gone wrong. Hiding under a canoe, Aaron partially catches the murder of one of the robbers. In the chaos he sneaks away with the money and heads straight for the closest place of safety, his high school. Terrified, Aaron tells his shocking tale to Amanda Becker, his drama teacher, but it doesn't take long for one of the psychotic robbers to show up. In the locked down school the pair are relentlessly pursued in a quest to get the money back and wipe out the evidence.
The Pineville Heist was a bit of a departure for me. I'll be the first to admit that I don't read many thrillers. In fact, I think the only thriller I've ever read was The Davinci Code.
The Pineville Heist reads like a Jason Statham movie. It's seriously non-stop action. I think this high action level comes at the cost of character development, but I think that goes with the genre. I think readers got a pretty good understanding of the main character Aaron and a decent view of Miss Becker, but beyond that the other characters didn't stand out much.
Another thing that struck me as a non-thriller-reader is the level of violence. I seriously lost track of the number of people who got shot! But it's a lot. So while our hero is 17, I wouldn't recommend this one for younger teens unless they already watch a lot of violent movies and aren't too sensitive.
To heighten the sense of action and suspense, Lee Chambers used a lot of short sentences to keep reads on high alert. However, sometimes these short sentences would break down into fragments, just as a warning to those of you who get a bit hung up on grammar. Something that weirded me out a bit was that a couple times Chambers described how cute or beautiful Miss Becker was, while her life was in danger. "Her eyes were beautiful when they were frightened." It kind of reminded me of T-Bag from Prison Break. I think that's just me though.
This book is so twisty! Just when I thought I had everything figured out, BAM, wrong again!
The Pineville Heist was written as a screenplay first, then adapted to a novel. This comes through in the book and I think The Pineville Heist will definitely work well as an action movie! Plus the book is short (only 190 pages), so very little will need to be cut, which is always the worst part about book-to-movie adaptations.
Overall, The Pineville Heist is an action-packed thriller. Edge-of-your-seat action outweighs a lack of character-building and it was an interesting change for a non-thriller reader like me. I'll definitely see the movie when it comes out (plus it stars Booboo Stewart, which should be exciting for a lot of people).
On the Cover:
The cover is very simple, but I like it. It lets you draw your own conclusions.
Rating: 3 Hearts
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