Con Ed Review
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After eight years in jail, con man Kip Largo is determined to go straight. Sure, it’s not the first time he’s tried, but he really means it this time. He’s living in a run-down apartment in the middle of the booming late-‘90s Silicon Valley, where he runs a less-than-lucrative online vitamin business and works at a dry cleaner for ten bucks an hour. It sucks, but at least it won’t land him back in jail.

Then one evening, Kip meets Lauren Napier, the young, beautiful wife of Las Vegas billionaire Ed Napier. Lauren tells Kip that Ed is abusive—but he’s threatened to hunt her down and kill her if she leaves. She’s ready to run for her life, but she needs money first—so she asks Kip to scam her husband for her. Still determined to turn his life around, Kip turns her down. That’s when his son, Toby, shows up. Toby is in debt up to his eyeballs to the Russian mob—and the only way to help Toby is to do one more con. He figures it’s the least he can do for his son—since he wasn’t exactly the best father.

Kip starts planning his con and putting his team together, and things begin to fall in place. Actually, things go a little too smoothly. And if there’s one thing Kip’s learned in his long and (mostly) successful career as a con man, it’s that pulling off a good con takes work. If things go too smoothly, it probably means someone’s trying to con him right back.

Con Ed is a fast-paced crime novel with a new twist just beyond every turn of the page. Though Kip—the mastermind behind the con—is the narrator, he keeps the reader at an arm’s length, just like the members of his team. You’ll never know who’s on which side—or who’s conning whom. And you’ll know very little about what’s going to happen—until it actually does. When there appears to be a glitch in the con, you’ll never know if it’s really a glitch—or if it’s all just a part of Kip’s plan. When FBI agents show up at the door, you won’t know if they’re real FBI agents or if they’re just high-paid actors—until long after they leave. And you’ll be kept in the dark about some aspects of the con until the very end. Klein does, however, leave some pretty obvious hints about the story’s final twist—and if you’re paying close attention, you’ll probably see it coming from a mile away—but by the time you figure it out, you’ll be too hooked to care.

Seasoned with interesting how-to passages about classic cons through the years, Con Ed is smart, funny, and utterly mesmerizing. Crime fiction fans will love every brilliantly brain-bending page.

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