Conman - a comic thriller by Richard Asplin (3 stars)

Conman - a comic thriller by Richard Asplin

Comic memorabilia shop owner, young family man, and general nerd Neil Martin finds himself in a rollicking British fix: the stock-filled basement of his shop has been flooded and he’s been less than scrupulous with his insurance payments. Enter confidence trickster Christopher, a hopscotching grifter eager to pounce on any spot of bovver ripe for the ripping, and a long-winded sting unravels. The fall-out is surprisingly stupendous and Neil is left in a much darker tangle of family and foe than the comical beginnings would have you expect.

Richard Asplin’s High Fidelity-cum-British heist attempt at the comic thriller is excruciatingly unfunny at moments, and although it makes for a generally light and crafty read, some laboured attempts at a specifically London sense of humour, embarrassingly-written females, and an over-reliance on the word ‘switcheroo’ anchor it firmly within the realm of the unremarkable.

(No Exit Press)

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