Veteran spymaster Freemantle, creator of Charlie Muffin and other clandestine types (Dead End, 2005, etc.), spins a sly tale of cons, crooks and star-crossed lovers.
Harvey Jordan steals identities. He can fasten like a barnacle onto his chosen mark—a certain affluent London investment banker, for instance—because he’s a whiz at computers, a talent he likes to think he exercises with “Robin Hood integrity.” He robs only the rich, and though he doesn’t exactly give to the poor, he’s always considered himself deserving. At 40, Jordan is well-heeled enough to frequent the South of France for posh vacations that regularly involve some dalliance. His companion this time is Alyce Appleton, a lovely New Yorker about to finalize her divorce from a caddish multimillionaire commodities dealer. After two weeks, the affair between Alyce and Jordan, mutually delightful, comes to the end earlier agreed by both. Alyce returns to the States and Jordan to his name game, which is shockingly interrupted by a communication from a firm of American lawyers. Jordan’s been identified as a correspondent in the Appleton divorce. Apart from the threat of owing a substantial amount of cash, Jordan is outraged. Feeling caught out in a way that strikes directly at his self-regard, he vows vengeance. And as it probably goes without saying, a con man conned is a payback machine.
A little long, but there’s much fun in watching all the biters get bit.