They live, they love and they lie.

It was the night before Christmas and Nicky Marsh (a.k.a Sandler) is approached by a spy in the form of Millard Hastings at Sandler and Son’s year end function (insiders know this semi-legit shipping company as Swindler and Son) hosted by the inimitable Harry Sandler, or senior swindler.

Less than 24 hours after that, Marsh is running for his life (not literally… this is still Paris) from the French Police. His soon to be ex-wife Sara is thrown into the fray with him, again, not literally, these are French kidnappers.

Nick’s main priority is finding Harry to sort out the mess with the police but Harry is gone, plus it looks like he might be developing dementia. Harry’s lover, a useful computer geek is also looking for the senior swindler. And that’s just the beginning of it.

A few days later and the group are now running for their lives (literally) in a country where the penal code includes the chopping off of hands that steal. Or swindle.

Nicky plays the game the only way he knows how, by playing Harry’s Rules. He did not stack it or rig it or choose the players but he must play and play to win, or everyone dies. No. Really. I’m not being over dramatic. Everyone on the Arabian Peninsula – will die.

TED KREVER does not let us down, he hits the ground running and doesn’t let the reader catch a breath until the very end. The book is presented in the interesting (and in this case – fitting) format of an interview (read interrogation). If it hadn’t been we would have missed Harry’s Rules and I’m beginning to think that politicians could be playing by these rules as well.

Not that I’m comparing politicians and people of influence to swindlers… I would never do that.

Mr. Krever’s has a phenomenal plot with a horrific idea thrown in for good measure. However, the heart of the book is about love, don’t let the amount of guns and ammunition certain soldiers are carrying fool you. This is about a son’s love for his not-father and a couple who richotet (bad, really bad choice of words) off each other better than they would off a wall.

Told you. Really bad choice of words. And when all is said and swindled… That’s about all Nicky has to keep his head on his neck. Words.

I loved Krever’s characters, they are all created with heart and jolly good humour, before they diverge into their different skins. Like all good authors, I didn’t have to try to read a character, the character was shown to me.

The research and descriptions of places and objects are (happiness is within my grasp) 100% correct, I checked, he did his research good… But all the research in the world doesn’t help if you can’t put it together in a coherent story, and KREVER has done so, very well indeed.

I rate this book 5 stars with a strong recommendation to begin reading in the morning because you won’t put it down until you reach the end.

(Insert multiple clichés here – action packed, thrilling, gob smack right in the middle.)

Shhhhit, it was dope, dog!


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