Penzler Pick, August 2001:
If anyone knows how to keep a carousel of a plot going--with multiple entrances and exits and any number of brass rings looking like the real thing--it's Joe Gores. His "DKA files" books--DKA standing for Dan Kearny Associates, a motley crew of accomplished San Francisco repo men--provide the kind of plot where the reader must trust the author and settle back for the wild (and wonderful) ride.
In this new novel, the men and women of DKA meet up once again with members of the Muchwaya family of Gypsies. The two groups form a useful, if uneasy, alliance. Dan, in fact, agrees to be hired by Staley, a Muchwaya elder he likes despite considering him "the twistiest man he had ever known." What Staley wants is for Dan to bring to earth the elusive and extremely gorgeous Yana, apparently now on the lam after murdering her husband. Yana is as clever as she is beautiful, and her wily disguises keep her--barely--one step ahead of Kearney.
Cons, Scams & Grifts lives up to its title, with the usual Gores gusto keeping the action fast, furious, and funny. I'm not going to tell you about the talking orangutan, or the phony baron, or the lesbian dominatrix, or the mortuary cosmetician known as Becky Thatcher, or what part the Pope plays, or how the Japanese mob got involved. Just trust me--it all makes sense in the end. And you're going to love it. --Otto Penzler
From Publishers Weekly
The likable pack of operatives for Daniel Kearny Associates of San Francisco return for a tremendously fun romp, working fast repos on a list of classic cars missing after a raid on a shady auto dealer. Better yet, they slam the gas on a collision course for another battle of wits with the Gypsy gang they faced a couple of novels back in the delightful 32 Cadillacs. Told vignette-style, with a huge cast of characters and many subplots, this novel is anchored by the adventures of the beautiful Gypsy witch Yana, cast out from her clan, forced to scam her way alone through the gadjo world and now wanted in the death of her husband. The Gypsies hire DKA to find Yana, but seem more interested in having them lead the assault on a millionaire's fortress with its secret treasure. Caper novel, murder mystery, encyclopedia of con games here Gores has reached a masterful level, loose (street accuracy is not as solid as in his early books, for example) and playful (with a cameo from Michael Connelly's L.A. sleuth, Harry Bosch, and a hilarious nod to Gores's longtime pal Donald Westlake). Gores includes a few hard-boiled scenes, since he did start out as a tough-guy writer (no one conveys as well the joy of fishtailing away in a popped car), but the relaxed veteran of many novels and teleplays is much more enjoyable. You cannot go wrong joining him for this masterpiece of monkey business. (Aug. 28)Forecast: This novel should appeal to the same audience that goes for Donald Westlake's Dortmunder series. The pulp-like look of the dust jacket will also attract hard-boiled fans.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.