on September 15, 2015
Length: 6 hrs 55 mins
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Nicolas Fox is a charming con man and master thief on the run. Kate O'Hare is the FBI agent who is hot on his trail. At least that's what everyone thinks. In reality Fox and O'Hare are secretly working together to bring down super criminals the law can't touch. Criminals like brutal casino magnate Evan Trace.
Evan Trace is running a money-laundering operation through his casino in Macau. Some of his best customers are mobsters, dictators, and global terrorists. Nick and Kate will have to go deep undercover as high-stakes gamblers, wagering millions of dollars - and their lives - in an attempt to topple Trace's empire.
It's a scam that will take Fox and O'Hare from the Las Vegas strip to the sun soaked beaches of Oahu's North Shore and into the dark back alleys of Macau. Their only backup - a self-absorbed actor; a Somali pirate; and Kate's father, an ex-soldier who believes a rocket launcher is the best way to solve every problem. What could possibly go wrong?
Some books are like good meals, rich and worth savoring. Some are more like popcorn, light, fun and forgettable. I like both, but The Scam definitely falls into the second category. The plot is a bit over-the-top as are the characters, but that’s part of the charm. And the writers/narrator know it. They take us on this trip from Hawaii to Vegas to Macau with a sense of humor even in the midst of dangerous situations. It’s funny and action-filled and just a blast. Brick does a great job at the narration, keeping a light edge and letting us know that even the though the characters may take themselves seriously, we shouldn’t.
This is the fourth in the series and we know the formula pretty well by now. Kate and Nick have a bad guy in their sights. they get a team of together, including Willie, who can drive anything, and Boyd, an actor who takes his parts very seriously, Jake, Kate’s dad, and one of his old cronies. Their target is a casino owner, but they need to take down a Hawaiian gangster, too, to help out one of Jake’s friends. It’s a complicated set-up and there are, of course, more than a few kinks and close encounters with the bad guys, including Nick almost landing in a pond of piranhas.
Kate’s dad, by the way, is a hoot. Not only does he always have a rocket launcher in his trunk, he has a couple of interesting way to deter coyotes. I also love that he always has Kate’s back, regardless of what the wild scheme is.
This is the second book I’ve read recently involving gambling. The game here is Baccarat, which you may remember from Casino Royale. It’s a lot more luck than Poker, but while the players lose and win a lot at the tables we, thankfully, don’t spend much time there flipping cards and betting.
It’s a quick read, but I have one major complaint – the ending. It was a total cliffhanger, which I hate. The relationship between Nick and Kate is finally getting somewhere – even if the hottest scene is off-screen , which is a shame. And then we have the end. I wish they had just moved the last chapter to the beginning of the next book. It would have been the perfect way to start it and I would have been much more satisfied with this one. And now they expect me to wait a year to find out what happens. The problem, besides my general hatred of “to be continued” is that they’re not really people I care about. They’re fun to spend a weekend with, but am I going to remember next fall what happened? Probably not.
How do you feel about cliffhangers?