J.M.'s Reviews > Confessions of a Master Jewel Thief

Confessions of a Master Jewel Thief by Bill Mason
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's review
May 01, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: nonfiction
Read in September, 2006

I picked this book up at the used bookstore that went out of business in July. Near the end of their run, they had a bag sale ~ you were handed a paper grocery bag when you entered the bookstore and everything you managed to fit into the bag was only $5. Their stock was pretty well picked over by that time, but no way was I leaving without a full bag. This book caught my eye and I snatched it up, but because I have run out of shelf space in my apartment, it's been sitting on top of the bag ever since. So when I needed something to read, I picked it up.

This book is written very well. It tells the story of Bill Mason, one-time jewelry thief who targeted the rich and famous. Among his victims were Robert Goulet and Phyllis Diller (twice). For him, the thrill of the score came from puzzling through how to circumvent high levels of security and pull off seemingly impossible heists.

At times the book almost reads like fiction ~ Mason describes in detail how he cased his targets, how he worked through the logistics of how to access high-level rooms or penthouse suites, how he fenced the stolen goods to avoid getting caught. If nothing else, the book makes you more aware of your own personal security as well as the fallibility of so-called foolproof security systems.

The latter part of the book details how Mason's exploits caught up with him, eventually destroying his marriage and landing him in jail on several occasions. At one point he lived as a fugitive, but eventually served his time and put thievery behind him for good. His story is outrageous at times, but it keeps you reading to the end. This book appeals to the rogue in us all, and I could easily see it coming to life on the big screen.
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