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The Sacred Art of Stealing (Angelique De Xavier #2)

4.27  ·  Rating Details ·  2,686 Ratings  ·  108 Reviews
He is an art thief; she is a connoisseur of crooks. Her job is to hunt him to extinction; his is to avoid being caught. He also has a secret agenda more valuable than anything he might steal. What he can't afford is to let her get too close: he could could end up in jail or, more scary, in love.
Paperback, 413 pages
Published October 3rd 2002 by Abacus (first published 2002)
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Mar 11, 2009 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rachel by: Paul Reynolds
Shelves: fiction
Oh, this was great! Paul recommended it, but warned that many of the Scottish cultural references would go over my head. Sure enough, I think I missed about half of it (resulting in a late-night karate lecture on the Celtics vs. Rangers issues) but I really loved the book anyway, and I think Zal is now my favorite fictional character. I can't wait to read the upcoming sequel! (Okay, it's out in the UK, but I can't seem to get my hands on a copy.)

This is a sequel to _A Big Boy Did it and Ran Away
Jul 27, 2009 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Richard by: Trevor
Shelves: fiction, adventure
This is, loosely, a follow-on from A Big Boy Did It and Ran Away. Same locale, and the focus here in on the wonderfully named Angelique de Xavia, who played a large part in the previous book.

Do you need to have read Big Boy to get everything here? No, you'd be able to piece together the necessary inferences about what happened, but it would somewhat spoil things should you then want to go back and read the prequel.

Anyway, what I wrote in my review of that book still stands.
Quite the high adventu
Dec 08, 2007 Trevor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people with a sense of humour
Shelves: humour, mystery
Be warned, this book contains language and humour. This is a continuation of A Big Boy Did it and Ran Away - if Brookmyre does one thing well, he does do a good title. If you are thinking of reading this it might be a good idea to read that one first - although this is by far the better of the two books.

This novel is probably my favourite of all of his books - but only just and they are mostly all so much fun and such page turners that it is hard to really pick between them.

Another warning is th
Jan 19, 2013 Melinda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Clever, clever book. (well I susppose I mean clever clever author). I love Christopher Brookmyre and have been listening to a few oh his superb narratives as audiobooks. (Totally recommend that as well - listening to these words in a right Scottish accent makes the words even funnier!).

The language is flawless, funny, subtle, to the point, complex, rude, considered and utterly brilliant.

I expect that Mr Brookmyre will not be to everyone's taste - and seriously, it always takes a while to "get in
Luís Miguel
Recomendado pelo Goodreads para uma leitura light - mas não tão lite - propus-me a descobrir este autor escocês. The Art of Stealing é o segundo livro com a protagonista Angelique De Xavia, detective e fã do Rangers de Glasgow. Após os eventos do primeiro livro, aqui sumariamente descritos, Angelique vê-se envolvida no assalto a um banco, onde se apaixona pelo líder da quadrilha. Com mais humor e diversas referências culturais que acção, os inevitáveis contorcionismos vão ocorrendo e as 400 pági ...more
Rachael Hewison
Dec 28, 2015 Rachael Hewison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
I think this is my favourite Christopher Brookmyre book. I couldn't put it down. Whilst it's supposed to be a sequel to 'A big boy did it and ran away', aside from having Angelique de Xavia in it, it didn't feel like a sequel. I don't think you really need to have read the first book to enjoy this one and I definitely think this was the better of the two.

I absolutely loved every interaction between Angelique and Zal. Their chemistry and banter just sizzled off the page. It felt odd in some ways
Gail Williams
Mar 02, 2014 Gail Williams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Sacred Art of Stealing the Readers Heart

I can’t even remember why I picked this book up, but from the moment I did, I didn’t want to put it down. It doesn’t start when you’d expect and it keeps the reader on a rollercoaster all the way through. The idea of the original bank heist was sheer brilliance, even made me finish reading “Waiting for Godot”, yes reading, I’ve never seen it, though I would like to. This was the first Brookmyre I ever read, and so didn’t have the background on Angeliqu
Oct 09, 2011 Enzo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inizio un po' spesso, si riprende nella parte centrale dove i 2 protagonisti, attratti dai mondi diversi e contrastanti, si conoscono e la descrizione dell'educazione del ladro (non sono io il cattivo solo perché porto le armi) trattata come una forma di "interrogatorio" da Angelique, che è lo stesso dell'inizio di ogni storia. Tanti mondi a confronto tra loro, il mondo della polizia con i suoi metodi convenzionali che non accettano altre opzioni di quelle previste dai vari manuali, quello del l ...more
Dec 07, 2014 verbava rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
для брукмайра у мене небагато слів, крім слів захвату.
можна було, в принципі, припустити, що людина, яка любить робертсона девіса до того рівня, щоб давати своїм персонажам його імена на постійній основі, радше має виявитися хороша, ніж ні. але що аж так – це було доволі несподівано.
брукмайр бере поліцейський процедурал із пограбуванням банку (і, повірте, це може бути найпрекрасніше пограбування банку, на яке ви будь-коли натрапите) і робить із нього дивовижно дотепний, іронічний і зворушливий р
Phil Leader
Dec 30, 2014 Phil Leader rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, amazon
A daring bank robbery in broad daylight puts detective Angelique De Xavier on the trail of a highly intelligent, highly motivated and highly unusual thief. The closer she gets the more she both admires him and wonders at his real motives.

This is classic Brookmyre; plenty of Scottish patois and references, clever and imaginative situations and well drawn characters. Nobody in a Brookmyre novel is black or white, everyone has shades of grey, sometimes more than one shade and this book is no except
May 18, 2013 Deanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crimethriller, comedy
My only regret is that I didn't realise that this was the second book, and by the time I knew it was too late, I was hooked. Brookmyre is very good at creating plots with more twists and turns in them than a road in the alps.
The characters are great too, some you can love and others you can hate, cheering loudly when they get what you think they deserve.
The whole bank job is brilliant and had me laughing out loud, can't wait for the next.
Jul 16, 2008 James rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone looking for light reading
The author is clever and funny but the book is somehow less clever and funny than he is. The story moves along quickly and the book is a page turner but I have read funnier books and I have read cleverer books. I felt that the book was too short to be satisfying. Still, I would read more from the author. The Sacred Art of Stealing is worth a read if only for it's in-depth discussion on blow jobs.
I don't remember much about this one except that I enjoyed it immensely and that it was extremely funny. Oh and the clowns. Bank robbers dressed as clowns.
Second book featuring Glasgow DI Angelique de Xavia, this was a most surreal caper story with the author's trademark humor and a bit of romance.
Rhona Arthur
Jan 22, 2014 Rhona Arthur rated it really liked it
He just never disappoints
Oct 21, 2013 Gail rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hilarious - another Angelique episode that just entertains from page one!
Feb 27, 2017 Marty rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
Read about 30 pages, ending with a five page introspection by the lead character about how things were a mess in her life. Or something. I looked ahead about twenty more pages and saw no signs of dialog and decided it just wasn't for me.
Nov 09, 2016 Rennie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: could-not-finish
Just not for me.
Meridiano Zero
Oct 10, 2013 Meridiano Zero rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
D, Repubblica delle Donne
20 Ottobre 07

Tutti i trucchi del noir

L’erede di Nick Hornby e Irvine Welsh, mostri sacri della new wave letteraria anglo-scozzese, potrebbe essere Christopher Brookmyre, classe ’68, di Glasgow, critico cinematografico, ex cantante rock, cronista sportivo, da anni autore di noir che hanno per protagonista il giornalista d’assalto Jack Parlabane, a caccia di notizie che Brookmyre scaglia come bombe contro il governo, il sistema sanitario e dell’informazione.
In quest’ultimo
Jamie Collins
Feb 28, 2013 Jamie Collins rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. Angelique de Xavier, the petite, erudite and lethal member of the Glasgow police who featured in Brookmyre’s novel A Big Boy Did it and Ran Away, is having a bad day even before she is taken hostage by a bank robber. The robber turns out to have a heart of gold and Angelique spends the rest of the book alternately falling in love with him and figuring out how to catch him in the act of his forthcoming heist.

The robber is involved in scams within scams, and it’s all pretty cleverly pla
If you want to avoid raw sexual bluntness and crude language, then avoid this book. The very first sentence will insult your sensibilities. Still, Harry’s essay on sexual transactions, in the first chapters is incontrovertible! ;)

Stuart and Angelique’s relationship was cleverly unveiled in small moments at a time. (view spoiler)
Aug 29, 2016 MissNoMer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have not felt genuinely torn apart from wanting-to-flip-the-pages-as-fast-as-I-could, and not-wanting-the-story-to-end, as much as I did as I read this one. I even stopped somewhere in the middle of the book and re-read from the very first page. That's how compellingly interested this book is.

As a direct continuation from the previous events, Angelique de Xavia was (at first) unwillingly dragged into a robbery in progress, but later on had her life turned inside out/upside down by the artfully
Apr 11, 2012 Wendle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour
The Sacred Art of Stealing = (Arty clowns + Incompetent gangsters) x (Arty clowns + Gullible Glasca polis)

Quite a few people recommended this Brookmyre to me, stating it was their favourite, so it had a lot to live up to. It wasn't anything better than other Brookmyre books, but it's still a Brookmyre book, which means it's still really bloody good.

Clowns robbing a bank? The fact that this clown robbery lasts for the first half of the book? Awesome. And then the things I don't want to spoil that
Steven Day
Jun 01, 2016 Steven Day rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second of Brookmyre's books I've read, a few general observations first:

He likes to point out people's, so, obvious discrimination but his lead character couldn't be any more trying to pigeon hole in a target for this in a female, asylum seeking, Catholic police officer. This doesn't stop Angelique from being a good character, it's just a bit overkill.

He doesn't seem to like Celtic or Rangers fans much, especially the former. He comes across as a very, embittered St Mirren fan. I onl
Nov 10, 2009 Debbie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookclub-reads
I really enjoyed this book. It was light but not shallow, funny, engaging and intelligent. Brookmyre has mixed the genres of crime, thriller, romance and satire and added a large dollop of humour to make a great read. Just don't be put off by the prologue which is written in a completely different style to the rest of the book.

A daring and bizarrely surealist daylight bank robbery takes place in Glasgow. Enter Angelique de Xavia, terrorist busting cop who happens to be turning 30; Zal Innez, hig
May 28, 2009 Penny rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The press tends to talk about bankrobberies as daring, ingenious or audacious, never as "Dadaist" even the ones who know what "Dadaist" means. But how else does one explain choreographed dancing gunmen in Buchanan Street, or the surreal methods they use to stay one step ahead of the cops?
Angelique de Xavia is no art critic, but she is a connoisseur of crooks, and she's sure that this heist isn't the work of the usual sawn-offs-and black-tights criminal. It's her job to hunt this unique species o
Jan 22, 2011 Ms_prue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
9/7/12: Re-read this book for the first time in a few years because I saw it in the op shop. It's possibly even more brilliant than I remember. Obvs Brookmyre doesn't want to let you think he might be getting soft by writing about very polite, non-violent, art-school bank robbers, so the book starts with an extended meditation on prostitution, gang enforcement and shithole Mexican industrial towns, quickly followed by a super-gory crime scene before moving on to the main attraction - the bank ro ...more
Jan 23, 2011 Kua rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, b-2-1
Immaginatevi questo libro come una tavola imbandita di tutti i piatti che preferite, già ve li state gustando con gli occhi, ma man mano che li assaggiate, vi accorgete che manca un ingrediente fondamentale e che senza quello ogni piatto rimane sì mangiabile, ma nulla di più. Ecco, questa è l'impressione che mi ha lasciato la lettura del libro di Brookmyre; gli elementi per una buona storia ci sono tutti (trama, intreccio, personaggi, dialoghi), ma è come se mancasse quel "qualcosa" che poteva c ...more
Titus G
I enjoyed this book for the action and the sophisticated but implausible crimes planned with layers of deception, distraction and mis-direction based on the craft of the magician.
But it was silly and sleazy. Brookmyre's characters are less plausible than James Bond and he wallows in crudity perhaps trying to shock his readers. Initially, I struggled with the irrelevant details of the protagonist's Scottish soccer obsession and the terminology distinguishing Catholic from Protestant which again w
Richard Beasley
Feb 12, 2014 Richard Beasley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was introduced to this by some relations. "Read the first few pages" they said, "you'll be hooked"
Totally correct. The rant is side split tingly funny (if quite rude) and the book just gets better and better.

If feeling depressed or trapped in job and just want some raucous comedy crime, interspersed with many wicked asides this will lift your spirits. I cannot recommend this highly enough (unless you are upset by some sexual frankness)

Have now read all the books from start up to Pandemonium. A
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Christopher Brookmyre is a Scottish novelist whose novels mix politics, social comment and action with a strong narrative. He has been referred to as a Tartan Noir author. His debut novel was Quite Ugly One Morning, and subsequent works have included One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night, which he said "was just the sort of book he needed to write before he turned 30", and All Fun and Games unti ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Angelique De Xavier (3 books)
  • A Big Boy Did It and Ran Away
  • A Snowball in Hell

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“Was there anything quite so under-rated in this shallow, plastic, global-corporate, tall-skinny-late, kiddy-meal-and-free-toy, united-colours-of-fuck-you-too world, than a good old-fashioned, no-frills, retail blow-job?” 7 likes
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