Helikopterrånet The Helicopter Heist

Fun, thrilling and utterly captivating, The Helicopter Heist is the page-turning inside account of how four young men from the Swedish suburbs, each of a different nationality, pulled off “one of the most spectacular heists of all time” (TIME Magazine).

Until now, the four robbers have never spoken publicly about what went down before and during the audacious raid in which all emerged unscathed. Through meticulous research and countless interviews with the four men, Jonas Bonnier has crafted a wildly entertaining roller coaster ride of a novel, based on the true events of September 2009’s spectacular heist that stunned the police and turned four gangsters into heroes. “It was a heist right out of the movies: Thieves lowering from a helicopter, a huge lump of cash and an audacious twist in the plot that any crime writer would be proud of.” (CBS)

“Bonnier’s novel is a rapturous account of the biggest, and perhaps most audacious, heist ever to occur in Europe. Meticulously researched, this thriller unfolds with incredible humanity, capturing the wit and intelligence of the men and women who executed a true crime so wildly far fetched it seems the stuff of fiction.”
-Jake Gyllenhaal

“Unputdownable. Four diabolically brilliant criminals, one stolen helicopter, and enough dynamite to blast through a G4S roof—definitely the heist of the century. Bonnier’s intensive research and in-depth interviews offer unparalleled characterization and a heartfelt human voice in this real-life thriller. Oceans 11 meets Heat with a Swedish twist.”
-K.J. Howe


  • “An extremely well-composed and action-packed suspense novel that is hard to put down.”

    BTJ, Sweden

  • “A bulls-eye about the helicopter robbery. /…/ A true page turner. /…/ Finally! Finally a truly excellent Swedish crime novel – and based on a true story, too! Jonas Bonnier’s The Helicopter Heist is a tour de force. /…/ Jonas Bonnier has mostly based this brilliant, semi-fictional novel on his interviews with the robbers. Some events have been removed, some have been added – naturally. The fact remains, you won’t be able to put this book down. I personally never read books in one sitting… but this time I was caught. 440 pages in one weekend. Glued.”

    Ystads Allehanda, Sweden

  • “A tremendously thrilling, almost unimaginable story.”

    Senioren, Sweden

  • “Bonnier possesses an elegant deftness that makes the robbers credible and the dialogue come alive. The criminals become human and the story quickly turns suspenseful. /…/ The fact that Netflix acquired the film rights and will develop a movie adaptation of Jonas Bonnier’s book won’t surprise anyone that reads it. His novel is ravishing, entertaining and made to be a motion picture with a lavish budget. The freedom to weave in fiction has also benefited the plot; we actually don’t know how it will end.”

    Göteborgs-Posten, Sweden

  • “A strong thriller about a spectacular robbery. /…/ The Helicopter Heist is a thriller that draws on all of the stylistic means of the genre. Surprisingly, one of the greatest things about the novel is that the pace remains quite languid. The author is not in a hurry but moves in wide circles from the periphery and towards a center. /…/ Just like in many contemporary TV-shows the suspense is built by a sharpening and contouring of the characters; the intrigue presents itself organically while we’re getting to know the protagonists. And it’s a powerful ensemble, these robbers. The author stays true to all of them, the stereotypes of the genre such as alcoholism, divorces and psychiatric difficulties are nowhere to be found. /…/ It’s been a long time since I read a novel that so intensely illuminates and explains the city’s secret topography.”

    Dagens Nyheter, Sweden

  • “The prose and depictions are effective, dense; the characters are neither glamorized rebels nor tough beasts, simply human. They have friends, family and young children that they care about. I completely buy into it, to the extent that I forget that they are based on real people. /…/ Stylistically on a level with as Carl-Johan Vallgren’s The Swine, and with the ease and stability of Lee Child. Everybody fools everybody, even the mastermind behind the mastermind. Read and learn, aspiring crime writers.”

    Expressen, Sweden

  • “Jonas Bonnier’s writing is just as fast-paced and hard-boiled as the experienced crime fiction reader could hope for. /…/ The scenes shift effectively and the plot moves forward at a rising tempo.”

    Corren, Sweden

  • “I was rapt, almost like, ‘I don’t want to answer the phone,’ and I wasn’t sure if I would even have time to eat and such. /…/ You’ll end up thinking ‘this has to be turned into a movie!’”

    SVT Go’kväll, Sweden

  • “This novel makes me obsessed with the helicopter robbery. /…/ A ferociously entertaining novel. /…/ You get to understand the robbers’ actions. They are given context – friends, childhood, family or the absence of a family. As characters in a book, they become a natural mix of heroes and victims of society. /…/ The helicopter heist and the media coverage around it created a legend. The novel completes it. /…/ The Helicopter Heist is in some ways the perfect display of fiction’s power over reality.”

    Arbetarbladet, Sweden

  • “Solid research, credible character portrayals and outstanding drama. /…/ It’s dramatic, a real page turner. The highlight is of course the hovering over the Västberga depot, then the escape. /…/ With a steady hand Jonas Bonnier breathes life into a police drama that echoed far beyond the Swedish borders at the time of the event.”

    Norrtelje Tidning, Sweden

  • “Bonnier is utterly assured as he listens in to and maps out the small, subtle shifts in both the criminals’ and police’s thoughts, feelings and choices of action. Even the smallest supporting character is completely credible, though it is the portrayals of the main protagonists that make the greatest impression. /…/ The Helicopter Heist can certainly be called a crime novel, and as such, the author can probably already consider the award for best Swedish crime novel his. It is skillfully constructed and immensely thrilling. But it’s also a, considering the subject, unexpected and convincing, almost elegiac, cut-out of ordinary and extraordinary lives and events in Stockholm during a couple of months in 2009.”

    Svenska Dagbladet, Sweden

  • “It’s riveting all the way as the story of the so-called Helicopter Heist is made into a cleverly spun crime novel. /…/ There is more than enough action as the story arrives at the actual night of the robbery. But before it, the author takes plenty of time to sketch out interesting characters and believable relationships between the main protagonists. He cuts elegantly between the different plotlines of the novel, and ensures that everything is woven together at the end. /…/ Add a wonderful twist towards the end, and you are guaranteed suspense, entertainment and an excellent read.”


    Verdens Gang, Norway

  • The Helicopter Heist is the best introduction to the mind of the criminal world since the movie Heat. /…/ Thoroughly excellent and strongly addictive.”

    Aftenposten, Norway

  • “A hardboiled crime novel of the highest order.”


    Dagbladet, Norway

  • “Jonas Bonnier tells a fantastic story in a superior manner.”


    Stavanger Aftenblad, Norway

  • “Sensationally thrilling in its entire plot and dramaturgy. /…/ A good, old-fashioned gangster novel with all that it entails: scheming, double-crossing, mutual respect, timing and brotherhood. /…/ A blend like a strict melodramatic and fateful gangster film by the Frenchman Jean-Pierre Melville.”


    Politiken, Denmark

  • “[A] particularly successful crime novel. /…/ Well-written, with a humorous twinkle in the eye and a dramatic arc that really makes it one of those books that are difficult to put down. /…/ Truly captivating.”

    Bogblogger.dk, Denmark

  • “Outstandingly portrayed.”

    Bogpusheren, Denmark

  • “Jonas Bonnier has delivered an utterly convincing and intense thriller. /…/ The story and action grab hold of you. The intensive planning and the many obstacles along the way are carefully and thoroughly described, and the depictions of the many different characters, both criminals and the police, make the story feel alive and intense.”

    Litteratursiden, Denmark

  • “It’s a captivating as well as well-written thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat till the very last page.”

    Københavneravisen, Denmark

  • “Swedish crime fiction debutant Jonas Bonnier has with The Helicopter Heist written a breathtaking crime story based on the most spectacular heist ever made in Sweden.”

    Ekstra Bladet, Denmark

  • The Helicopter Heist is an entertaining and nuanced story that feels more mature and substantial than many other crime novels.”

    Berlingske, Denmark

  • “[A] crime novel with a clever tone entirely its own and an inherent invitation to look beyond the drama to the personal circumstances behind it.”

    Jyllands-Posten, Denmark

  • “Impossible to put down.”

    Publishers Weekly, US

  • “Spirited […] imaginative […] a satisfying read.”

    Kirkus Reviews, US

  • “A truly riveting read that will go down well with non-fiction and fiction readers alike — and the fabulous twist at the end is not only unsuspected but also fits perfectly into the plot.”

    Crime Review, UK

  • “An exhilarating read […] gripping.”

    Sunday Times, South Africa

Photo: Thron Ullberg Jonas Bonnier
  • Literary
Reading material

English edition

Swedish edition

Rights sold

Arab World, HBKU Press

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Buybook

Bulgaria, Bard

Canada, Simon & Schuster

Catalonia, Columna

Czech Republic, Zlin

Denmark, Gyldendal

Finland, Tammi

Georgia, Palitra

Germany, Piper

Greece, Dioptra

Hungary, Animus

Iceland, Forlagid

Japan, Kadokawa

Korea, The Wing of Thinking

Latvia, Lasitava

Lithuania, Baltos Lankos

Netherlands, The House of Books

North Macedonia, Matica

Norway, Aschehoug

Poland, Znak

Romania, Litera

Russia, AST

Serbia, Vulkan

Slovakia, Albatros

Slovenia, Didakta

Spain, Penguin Random House

Sweden, Albert Bonniers

UK, Zaffre

US, Other Press

Film rights sold

Sweden, B-Reel/Netflix

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