The Last Con by Zachary Bartels

TLC_slide1A fast paced thriller that will pull you along for a long con, but you won’t feel cheated in the end!

Fletcher Doyle’s family had it all. His wife, Meg, was pursuing her acting career.  His daughter, Ivy, is attending the top rated private school.  And he has the distinguished job as the curator of a university museum.  Or so everyone believes.  He is actually a con man that has conned his own family to believe his illusion.  That is, until he is caught one night trying to seal a priceless vase.

After six years in prison, Fletcher is back out and reunited with his broken family. He found Jesus in prison and tried to mend his family back together at the small church that they attend.  The opportunity comes up to take a family mission trip back to the same city that they used to live in before he got caught.  Shortly after arriving in the city, Fletcher suddenly runs into his old associates.  Trying to keep his parole intact, he runs back to the shelter they are staying at when he receives a mysterious phone call from a number labeled The Alchemist.  When the alchemist shows him pictures that of him that will get his parole revoked, Fletcher knows that he has no choice but to comply with his demands.  Back on the grift, Fletcher does what he has to in order to keep his family together and himself out of prison.  One thing is certain, you can’t grift Jesus.

The story presented in this book is really interesting. It blends history of the Knights of Malta with present day.  Specifically the history of con men.  The backstory of Count Cogliostro was a great play on the story of Fletcher.  There have been a lot of books about the Knights Templar in recent years and it was welcoming to have a new group to read about.  Fletcher’s story told of redemption, but he went through a lot of questioning himself if his conversion was real or if he was conning the parole board to get out.  It was good to see a book that the main character questions his salvation as so many people do in the world as well.

A well written book. Now I have to read Playing Saint.

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