on June 9, 2015 :
In the tradition of black/white mystery movies and vintage paperbacks Con Job may be read at breakneck speed with details left to sort themselves out - which they do. A team of investigative film-makers is targeting the trans-border drug traffic and comes closer to the bull's eye than expected. The cast reminds me of a British TV series I have been watching; I look forward to Bill Nighy playing the team's boss Vince. Don't worry if it's not always clear who is who - the characters also will sort themselves out in time for the second book.
Along the way the reader gains some insights into the narcotics hegemony and the Canadian criminal justice system. So a little education and a lot of entertainment.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
on June 8, 2015 :
Filmmakers wanting to work on a series about the illicit drug trade in Canada and The United States seek permission to interview the warden of Michigan State Penitentiary. They make a promise they might not be able to keep.
Con Job tells the story of the production of the documentary with fast-paced dialogue which is informative and easy to follow. It’s full of information about equipment, challenges related to office space, fire codes, and group dynamics. The crew worries that the competition will steal their ideas. They have cash flow problems. Three threatening letters are worrying. Who can they trust?
The arrival of Gregor “Legs” Morrowitz adds another level of anxiety. Most of the film crew like him, but not all. Legs is an asset as he’s just out of prison and his three years in jail gave him first-hand experience of a penal institution.
However, Legs inadvertently breaks a requirement of the parole board and is sent to a halfway house. The crew realizes they need him, and his court appearance is tension filled. There is lots happening in the courtroom and knowledge of past conversations between the judge and Legs’s lawyer have the crew sweating bullets.
There’s action on both sides of the border, bad things are happening and it’s telling when the filmmakers decide they won’t use the words “shoot” or “fire” during filming.
Con Job is full of interesting characters and the dialogue suggests that an insider is doing the writing. I look forward to reading Scandalous, the second book in the series.
Review by Charlotte Cameron, author of Running: The Alex Decoteau Story https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/476730
(reviewed 17 days after purchase)