Kensington, Aug 2001, 6.99, 320 pp.
Con artist Warren Allison left Omaha intending to clean up his act and start life fresh. He moves to Los Angeles where he works night using a machine to stuff envelops with telephone bills. Once he has enough cash, Warren plans to attend college and study entomology.
Warren's plans change when he receives two calls from Australia asking him about his granddaughter. A third caller, Willem Block asks to meet Warren, who in his early thirties insists he has no grandchildren let alone children. Willem shows Warren the picture of his fiancé who stole a fortune in opals from him. Warren recognizes the picture as Maggie Weaver, his girlfriend form Iowa who vanished one day. Instead of helping Willem, Warren finds Maggie and soon joins her in Iowa where he begins his return into the world of scam, but at a much higher and more dangerous level than when he previously participated with Maggie as his partner.
COMPANY OF THIEVES is an entertaining novel starring a flawed protagonist who cannot resist the adrenaline high of a clever sting. The plot moves forward at a rapid pace although the big business nature of con artists as a “Fortune 500” company seems stretched even for fiction. Still, Warren is a fabulous player who cannot resist the lure of the con while Maggie is marvelous yet nasty. Gil Roscoe is no con man as a writer as he provides the audience with a very entertaining tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner