King Con

King Con

Avon | June 1998 | 464 Pages | ISBN: 0380728176

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There have always been and there always will be charming, slyly clever con men. But a Master of the Game as charismatic, ingenious, elusive, and irresistible as Beano X. Bates comes along only once in a generation. His exploits are so legendary as to have earned him the highest accolade in the realm of confidence art: the title King Con.

But the King's reign is threatened when he crosses Joe “Dancer” Rina, a New Jersey crime boss who doesn't take kindly to being cheated at high-stakes poker. Rina beats Beano nearly to death, and the grifter is so shaken that he seriously considers quitting the hustle. But when his beloved cousin Carol is brutally murdered just before testifying against Rina, Beano masterminds one final Mother of All Scams: a Byzantine and diabolical “big-store” con that will destroy Joe Rina and his Mob family.

There's just one problem: Beano needs Rina's FBI file. The only person who can get it to him is Federal Prosecutor “Tricky Vicky” Hart–and she won't help unless he takes her along. An inexperienced partner is the last thing a con artist needs, but Beano has no choice. The unlikely pair trek from Atlantic City to the Bahamas to the California coast, implementing the Master Plan leading to the Big Sting, setting the traps and laying the bait, ensnaring the Rina crew by using their own greed–and money. Along the way they enlist the aid of the extended Bates family–all of them expert con artists in their own right.

King Con

"Smart, fast, funny and teeming with appealing characters, this thriller by novelist Cannell has all the marks of a hit.”
Publishers Weekly
“Cannell shows off his skill at Elmore Leonard style plot twists and slangy street dialogue…A slam-bang ultraviolent finish.”
Kirkus Reviews
"Pure delight; it's well-developed plot line has nice detours here and there so the reader cannot quite see the conclusion. Wonderful characters…the wry humor, will keep readers enthralled.”
Library Journal