Chasing The Ace

Author: Nicholas J. Johnson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Star Rating: 4/5
Date Read: July 10th to 17th, 2014
Read Count: 1
Thank you to the publisher for providing this copy. This did not influence my review in any way.

Chasing The Ace is a wildly entertaining novel about an ageing conman at the end of his career and a young man who has learned everything he knows about being a con artist from movies. Richard is ready to retire from the swindling life but then he meets the young Joel, who has the potential and it’s just enough to convince Richard to take him under his wing. Joel is launched into a world where nothing is as it seems and he finds it’s definitely not like the movies.

Chasing The Ace is a fast paced read that will keep you guessing from beginning to end, and have you grinning along throughout. The Melbourne setting was familiar to me and made it even more enjoyable as I could picture the characters walking along Southbank, catching trams and other landmarks described in the novel. The voices of Richard and Joel were distinctly different in their perspectives of the world of the conman. Richard knows its a life full of lies and deceit, while to Joel it is a mysterious and glamorous lifestyle, and he sees himself taking back his life. It’s an interesting look into the life and the illusions of a conman, told by an ex-conman himself.

There is a feeling of disillusionment with the swindling life that, if you watch the movies like Joel does, you wouldn’t expect. It echoes throughout the book, from Richard as he’s getting tired of his life and from Joel as he learns that the conman life is not all its cracked up to be – especially when you scam the wrong guy. What ensues is an exciting race against time and you’re not sure who you should be cheering for. It all makes for a very funny, entertaining read from debut author Nicholas J. Johnson. I look forward to reading more of his work.


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