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The Pearl Thief

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  3,500 ratings  ·  317 reviews
Severine Kassel is asked by the Louvre in 1963 to aid the British Museum with curating its antique jewellery, her specialty. Her London colleagues find her distant and mysterious; her cool beauty the topic of conversations around its quiet halls. No one could imagine that she is a desperately damaged woman, hiding her trauma behind her chic, French image.

It is only when so
Paperback, 500 pages
Published October 29th 2018 by Penguin Random House Australia
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Average rating 4.19  · 
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 ·  3,500 ratings  ·  317 reviews

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Antique jewellery was Severine Kassel’s forte so when her colleagues showed her some jewellery which had been loaned to the Museum, they requested her expertise on the pearls. But Severine’s normally controlled demeanor cracked when she saw what was in front of her and her horrific past came rushing back. The horrors Severine had buried for twenty years clawed at her; she needed to keep it together. But he was there – Nazi Ruda Mayek was in every corner; every thought. She needed to find him…

Nov 04, 2018 rated it did not like it
I spent two and a half minutes reading this shallow, vapid nonsense before concluding that watching grass grow would be a far more mentally stimulating activity.
Fer Wicker
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
I know this book is meant to be commercial fiction, easy to read, a Christmas present, made to make money, but one thing it rarely is, is engaging.

I struggled to finish this, even in the audiobook version. The story is just meh, overly dramatic and predictable. There are interminable passages of characters providing ‘fun facts’ about history and places - like the author shouting in your face “See? I do my research!”

The characters also spend a lot of time justifying themselves to each other and
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
4.5 stars
Take a historical adventure with accomplished Australian novelist and historical fiction specialist, Fiona McIntosh. In The Pearl Thief, McIntosh sweeps readers away to war-torn Prague, Paris, 1960s London and the breathtaking Yorkshire moors. It is a journey and a half, filled with moments of heart stopping survival, devastating choices, realisation, acceptance, love and hope.

In The Pearl Thief, ‘a predator becomes prey’, which is an exciting intro
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
I have not read any Fiona Mcintosh books before and after this I probably won’t again. The premise of the story was good but it could have been developed much further and deeper instead of page after page describing how amazingly beautiful / stylish/intelligent/perfect Severine is, plus how every man that clocks eyes on her falls in love with her ...... talk about labouring the point! I found it all a bit unbelievable and over the top for my taste. Not my cup of tea at all.
Alicia Hope
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: not-for-me
While this book's premise and excellent writing grabbed me, I'm afraid I couldn't get past the scene where the oh-so secretive heroine - who goes to great lengths to keep her secrets safe, even assuming a false name - decides to blurt everything to some stranger she just met in the park!
I didn't feel there was sufficient justification for her to do that, and this threw me out of the story to such an extent, I lost the will to continue reading what I'm sure would otherwise have been a great stor
Gloria Arthur (Ms. G's Bookshelf)
⭐️5 Stars ⭐️
The Pearl Thief is a fast paced historical fiction story that has the perfect blend of action, mystery and love. It is so beautifully written.

My first read by this author and I will definitely look out for more of her books. Unputdownable!
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Pearl Thief by Fiona McIntosh is an intense, detailed read ~ emotional and confronting at times.

The story begins in the cobblestoned streets of Prague within sight of The Prague Orloj ~ The Astronomical Clock in The Town Hall Square and then later onto forest woodlands where something quite unforeseen occurs which will change the lives of some forever.

This is historical fiction at its finest with a touch of espionage and details how life changed when Hitler's Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia.

Dzintra aka Ingrid
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh wow I thoroughly enjoyed this the point of waking at 3am and reading for 40 minutes! Thanks Fiona absolutely loved it!
Brooklyn Tayla
Oct 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book from Penguin Books Australia in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.
This was my first time reading a Fiona McIntosh book, and I daresay it won’t be my last! The author weaves such stunning stories and within conveys such potent imagery, here in 1963 London, coupled with flash backs to Nazi occupied Germany, made for such a powerful reading experience!
I’ve said it before, Historical Fiction for me is one of my favourite genres, purely because I fe
Jul 16, 2019 rated it liked it
A surprisingly quick read, considering the size of the novel, but one I can understand is going to appeal to a broad sweep of historical fiction readers.

Set in the 1960s London, the reader is introduced to the alluring and aloof Severine Kassel- an antique jewellery historian briefly working in the British Museum. Called into to examine a unique and priceless garment of pearls, her past suddenly crashes into her present and all the horrors she experienced in World War II resurface. Thankfully, s
Kat Perry
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Very ho hum book. The storyline re the stolen pearls had a lot of potential, but I found myself skimming through long boring descriptive passages and hoping the book would develop more into the thriller it should have been with nazi thieves and the Mossad agent. Alas it did not. Also just could not get into the characters who were pretty shallow and disinteresting. I feel like the author just did not flesh them out well enough and they just seemed very like cardboard cutouts from a $2 romance. V ...more
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Potentially interesting plot, but the story was stretched way too thin over 500 pages. Very implausible, and I started getting annoyed hearing so often how beautiful the main character was.
The ending was oh so neatly tied up in a bow. Completely predictable and Disney-ish. So boring I had to skim the last 50 or so pages.
Wow, that was a harsh review! I guess I’m annoyed at wasting my time reading this book.
Harriet Coombe
Jan 27, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. It started off brilliantly and I loved the writing style, the "Frenchness", the characters and the story line. But there were too many problems after that for me to give it a higher rating. I'd like to read more by the author though, as she definitely has a way with words! ...more
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
THE PEARL THIEF by Fiona Macintosh is published by Penguin Random House October 2018
Review by Lorraine Parker
Fiona McIntosh, well know Australian author, has once again excelled in the writing of historical fiction based on thorough research and actual events that emanated from Hitler’s Germany as early as 1935.
From Prague, nine ‘Kindertransport’ trains were organised during 1939 to relocate children under threat to safe homes in Britain. (Eight made it through).
This is the setting for a father
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
After two years of meticulous research and three months of writing, Fiona McIntosh is back bringing the past to life with her best historical fiction novel to date, The Pearl Thief. Spanning across France, England and Czechoslovakia with a dual timeline of 1939 and 1963, this is a powerful, gripping and all-consuming story of Severine Kassel. Telling her story across the decades in the first person, Severine was a young girl on the cusp of womanhood living the ideal life in Czechoslovakia when w ...more
Rachael McDiarmid
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. You all know I love a Fiona McIntosh. I felt this one was darker for our heroine (not surprising when she’s Jewish and it’s WWII) and the men in this (with the exception of Rudy who you hate almost immediately) were a different breed to her usual leading men, which I liked. Not as polished, not larrikins. Different. There are two scenes which stopped my heart for a second, particularly the one towards the end. Once again I wish someone would buy the Fiona McIntosh catalogue and put he ...more
Sonja Potgieter
Dec 25, 2018 rated it liked it
I found the book very disappointing. The story has so much potential but it does not flow. The writing style is amateurish, it did not hold my interest, editing poor and not well written in my opinion.
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved it!
Allison Adriansz
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This would have to be my favourite Fiona McIntosh book. Her attention detail and descriptions are flawless. I was gripped from the first page. A highly recommended read.
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved it and devoured it in one day. Second reading for book club as I had forgotten most of it and probably rated 4.
4.5 Stars

The Pearl Thief by Fiona McIntosh was an absolutely brilliant read!

It was my turn to pick the book for my face-to-face book club this month and this was my pick. I received this for Christmas 2018 and thought it was well past time that I read it, it also marks off another #20backlistin2020 books, that's 2 down 18 to go. This is also my 10th book in the AWW2020 reading challenge.

This could have been just another holocaust novel, but it was very different from any others I've read.

We meet
Unseen Library
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of The Pearl Thief from Penguin Random House Australia to review.

From acclaimed Australian author Fiona McIntosh comes a deep and powerful tale of loss, revenge and the traumatic shadows of World War II.

Severine Kassel is one of the Louvre’s top curators of antique jewellery and specialises in identifying pieces plundered by the Nazis during World War II. Seconded to the British Museum in 1963, Severine maintains a careful image of mystery, distance, French elegance and control
Rosie Waters
Feb 10, 2020 rated it liked it
7/10. ah well that was slightly disappointing. this book had potential but fell off a bit at the end for me - the last 100 pages or so kind of ruined it. it was a bit of a roller coaster...I thought the beginning was boring....couldn’t put it down for the middle 300 pages...didn’t like the last part at all. I just hated the romance in this novel - it felt tacky, cringey and forced and also very out of character for the main character - like the last chapter and the epilogue

ALSO *poss
May 13, 2021 marked it as did-not-finish
As if the clunky metaphors and characters with secret pasts that still conveniently agree to spill their life story to a total stranger weren’t enough, I have no interest in continuing with a book that clearly only intends to use the Holocaust as shock value to further the MC’s unrelated love story.
Sarah Johnston
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you are a Fiona McIntosh fan the you will love this book. It is a gripping, page turning novel that pulls you in right from the beginning. A well written, well researched novel to lose yourself in.
Juliet Johnson
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
A most enjoyable read, despite some of the negative reviews. Informative and gripping.
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
5 stars are not enough...
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it

The Pearl Thief is must read for fans of The Lavender Keeper and The French Promise. McIntosh once again masterfully weaves a tale of devastating loss and revenge spanning decades from the outbreak of World War II until the 1960s. When a prized family possession is uncovered, Severine Kassel must relive the trauma of her past in order to destroy the depraved Nazi who took everything from her. Historical fiction at its finest.
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can l say about this wonderful read ? I just loved it ,you were right Fiona McIntosh ,this is your best book you have written ,it is a book that will stay in my memory forever .
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Fiona writes best selling historical adventure-romance alongside the heroic-romantic, often brutal, fantasy she built her career upon. She lives in Australia but frequently roams the world meticulously researching the locations and gathering material for her historical novels that have international settings. Her books are published worldwide and in various languages.
Her most recent historical fi

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