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Con Ed: A Novelby Matthew Klein
Synopses & Reviews
Here's the setup. A blonde in shades walks into a bar. Spots this hustler who's trying to stay out of the game. Tells him she has a slap-happy billionaire husband and a big score in her pretty little head. All the hustler has to do is what he does best: lie, cheat, fake, and steal — and watch both the money and the girl fall into his lap. Trouble is, the hustler has pulled every con in the book, and he instinctively knows this: The blonde can't just be a beautiful blonde, the score can't just be a score, and the big bad husband has to have an angle of his own. Most of all, Kip Largo has serious suspicions about himself. After all, he's just gotten out of prison and isn't interested in going back.
But for a man who was born the son of a grifter and now lives in a Palo Alto apartment whose carpeting was last changed when Eisenhower was president, the blonde in the bar bit is starting to look too good to pass up. Then, as in any good con, the pot gets sweetened — and the incentives rise — when Kip's son shows up with a story about a big gambling debt to the Russian mob. Now Kip is going all-in, doubts and all. He'll call in old favors from everyone from a porn princess to a slightly bent computer nerd. All because that blonde, her husband's billions, and a strange racket called fatherhood have convinced Kip that he might just be smart, skilled, and lucky enough to walk away with a fortune. Or not.
Funny, fast-paced, and filled with one body slam of a surprise after another, Con Ed introduces a brilliant new voice in fiction and a hero who's trying to save his son the only way he knows how: by risking his life — and his son's — on one last score...
"At the start of Klein's amusing debut, one-time con man Kip Largo, who's been working at a dry cleaner since completing an eight-year stretch in prison for fraud, is intrigued when the gorgeous wife of Silicon Valley billionaire Edward Napier asks him to help her steal her husband's money, but not intrigued enough to follow through — at least not until he discovers that his not-bright son, Toby, owes several hundred thousand dollars to the Russian mob. Deciding that this is his chance to finally do right by his family, Kip sets about organizing a large-scale swindle to lure in Napier, all too aware that if he fails to pull it off, he and Toby (and the con's other participants) will all be killed. While the plot and characters tend to be by the numbers, the author's background information on how cons work is enormously entertaining." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Kip...is a wonderful character who ruminates on his fated return to crime in vaguely Buddhist terms. Con Ed is a winner, and crime fans should remember the name Matthew Klein." Booklist (Starred Review)
"A propulsive, noirish tale, as well as a smart allegory on the false promise of the Internet bubble." Kirkus Reviews
"[T]here are enough twists and turns in this story to keep the reader firmly engaged and totally surprised at the end....Con Ed is slick, clever, and thoroughly entertaining." Library Journal
"There's no great case to be made for Matthew Klein's Con Ed, a bright swindling-scam comedy set in the world of the Internet nouveau-riche. It's not a groundbreaking book. It's just funny, full of tricks and very, very hard to put down." Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"Con Ed is set just before the dot-com bubble burst, and here Klein, who founded three tech companies, clearly knows his stuff....How Kip talks about himself and his cons makes a fairly common story line into something that is always entertaining and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny." The Oregonian (Portland, OR)
"...Matthew Klein's Con Ed is such a guilty pleasure....
"Sharp as a razor, witty as a late-night host, Matthew Klein's ex-con con artist Kip Largo is that favorite uncle you want to spend a long afternoon in the bar with. Just look out for who ends up paying the tab. Con Ed is a book you won't put down until the last punch line is thrown." Jonathon King, author of The Blue Edge of Midnight
"Really great book. Honest." Lee Child, author of the Jack Reacher novels
"Smart, crisp, charming. Matthew Klein's irresistible first novel makes you feel like an insider to the grift." Alafair Burke, author of Judgment Calls and Close Case
About the Author
Matthew Klein lives in Rye Brook, New York. Con Ed is his first novel.
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