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Fresh Pick | THE CALIFORNIA ROLL by John Vorhaus

January 18, 2011
The California Roll

March 2010
On Sale: March 16, 2010
Featuring: Radar Hoverlander; Allie Quinn; Vic Mirplo
272 pages
ISBN: 0307463176
EAN: 9780307463173

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Fiction, Suspense
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Even a warm con in CA is better than…hilarious peek into the world of the grift

The California Roll
by John Vorhaus

Meet Radar Hoverlander, a witty, gifted con artist with the mind of David Mamet, the voice of Tom Robbins, and the morals of a sailor on shore leave.

What do the Merlin Game, the Penny Skim, the Doolally Snadoodle, and the Afterparty Snuke have in common? They’re all the work of world-class con artist and master bafflegabber Radar Hoverlander. Radar’s been “on the snuke” since childhood, but he’s still looking for his California Roll, the one big scam that’ll set him up in sushi for life.

Trouble arrives in the stunning, sassy package of Allie Quinn—either the last true innocent or a con artist so slick she makes Radar look like a Quaker. Radar’s hapless sidekick, Vic Mirplo, a lovable loser who couldn’t con a kid out of a candy cane, thinks Radar’s being played. But if love is blind, it’s also deaf, dumb and stupid, and before Radar knows it, he’s sucked into a vortex of double-, triple-, quadruple-crosses that’ll either net him his precious California Roll or put him in a hole in the ground.

As timeless as a perpetual-motion machine, as timely as a Madoff arraignment, The California Roll brings you deep inside the world of con artistry, where every fact is fiction and the second liar never has a chance.


1. on the snuke

The first person I ever scammed was my grandmother, who had Alzheimer’s disease and could never remember from one minute to the next whether she’d just given me ice cream or not. I’d polish off a bowl, drop it in the sink, walk out, walk back in, ask for another, and get it. Boom. They say you can get sick of ice cream if you eat too much. I found that was not the case.

They also say you can’t cheat an honest man, but I say you can. The honest ones never see it coming.

In first grade, I cooked up the Golden Recess, which was a Ponzi scheme, though I didn’t know to call it that then. I got my classmates to pool their allowances for me to invest Read More…

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