I used to be one of those kids who had a problem with lying (hell, I still struggle with lying every now and then). It’s one of those things where I’m not even sure why I would lie about stupid stuff. It never ended up doing me any favors. Maybe I thought I was smarter, or craftier, than whoever I was trying to put one over. Most of the time, I was not.
Needless to say, I have a soft spot for liars.
Which is why I love stories about conmen and heists so much. Those are the masters, the smartest people in the room. And a part of me respects that.
So when a book is chock full of conmen trying to out-con each other? Well, then I’m just going to have to root for all of them.
Meet Will Shea, a con artist who has bluffed his way into one of the nation’s most exclusive private schools. But Will isn’t the only scammer at Connaughton Academy—Andrea Dufresne is there too, and the ivy-covered campus isn’t big enough for the both of them.
So they make a bet—and the winner gets more than just a high school diploma. In this twisty tale of secrets, lies, and deception—it’s hard to figure out who’s double-crossing who. May the best con win!
What Intrigued Me: Con versus con? Sound familiar? If not, get thee to a redbox or a netflix and watch the seminal classic, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. The film classic stars Michael Caine and Steve Martin as competing conmen in the French Riviera, trying to swindle money out of the same naive American heiress. And it has one of the single best twist endings.
Bonus: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is also a hilarious musical!
What Hooked Me: Uncle Roy. What a mensch. For a conman (and a legendary one at that), guy’s got a lot of honor. If you’re not a mark, he’s a guy you can trust, someone you want in your corner.
Just don’t be a mark.
What Made Me Fall In Love: Here’s the thing about cons—and twist endings: the way it ends has to surprise you, but once it happens, it seems like it was obvious and inevitable. Hindsight has to be 20/20, and the mark (and reader) has to feel foolish that they didn’t see it coming.
This is a good con, and twist ending.
No spoilers, but just remember, liars lie.