A girl grifter becomes caught up in a scheme that might be too big to handle.
At only 15, Julep already is an accomplished grifter. No wonder: She learned from the best. Her dad is such a great con artist that he’s never been caught. Despite his success, Julep must run cons and fixer services for her rich classmates to keep paying her tuition to a select private school because Dad throws his money away on the horses. When she arrives home one night to find their apartment trashed, she realizes that her dad has become involved with some dangerous characters and sets out to find him. Meanwhile she has to pay the rent as well as her tuition and living expenses while hiding her parentless state to avoid foster care, so she steps up her services, involving her best friend, Sam, and her possible new heartthrob, wealthy and handsome Tyler. Her efforts to track her father down hinge on cryptic clues he left for her, and following the trail puts her, Sam and Tyler into real danger. Summer creates a standout character in Julep. She lies and cheats with so much confidence and skill that readers will cheer her on, but she also adheres to her own strict moral code. The nature of the crime her father is caught up in, when revealed, just ratchets up the suspense.
A memorable debut; here’s hoping for a lot more from Summer. (Thriller. 14-18)