11 March 2008

CONNED, Matthew Klein

Kip Largo has been a con man all his working life, probably longer than that because he learnt at his father's knee. He knows all about the Pot game, the Pigeon Drop, the Roper, the Mark, and the Button. The fact that he's just spent 5 years in jail for fraud has not reduced the lure of the con.

Currently he has two legitimate jobs but neither makes nearly enough money, and so the prospect of taking down a Las Vegas magnate worth billions is irresistible. The approach from the magnate's wife seems fortuitous.

His son Toby has a problem too - gambling debts have left him owing big money to the Californian Russian Mafia. If Kip can't stump up the money then Toby is dead meat, truly. The Russians show they are serious by breaking Toby's leg and hospitalising him. So Kip does a deal with the Russians and the plot to con money out of the magnate is launched.

There are so many twists in the con, it is rather like being in a deep water tank, with little idea which way is up. This thriller moves at a fast pace and Kip Largo the hustler is a master at his trade. This isn't my usual style of book, but I really did want to see how it finished, and I learnt a lot about the tricks of the con.

My rating: 4.4

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