Book Review: Con Me Once, JL Delozier
Mystery/Thriller: Con Me Once, JL Delozier
Con Me Once is available for preorder now and pubs 2/5/2020.
After writing a trilogy of books about doctor and FBI consultant Persephone “Seph” Smith, thriller writer and medical doctor JL Delozier has turned her talents to a different type of novel. Con Me Once is a fun and funny story about two best friends. Frankie Lambda is a wannabe vigilante hero in Philadelphia. Comic book store clerk by day, tights-wearing, cape-bearing, taser-wielding masked man by night. Rauch is a part-time mob enforcer. These unlikely friends and roommates get pulled into a new organization, Heroes2B, which is not exactly what it seems.
As Frank and Rauch learn more about Heroes2B, the stakes grow higher. A good friend is murdered. They team up with a transgender man awaiting reassignment surgery, a trigger happy lunatic, a high-tech wizard, and a leader who cosplays as Psylocke. Involve both the Italian and Irish mobs, move the action to Vegas, and stir vigorously to keep everyone unsettled. What results is a kind of Oceans 11 meets Scorsese romp (not sure Scorsese would ever do a “romp” movie, but the mob is involved) with things looking more and more desperate for our protagonists and their friends.
Con Me Once is hard to put down. It is a relatively short novel (at least compared to some of the 500 page tomes I have been reading lately) with lots of action and fast-paced dialog. Delozier is a good writer, and this novel seems like it was as fun to write as it is to read. The characters are fresh and sharp, the plot (albeit farfetched) is fun, and there are enough twists to keep things interesting until the very end. The body count is high enough to make the stakes clear, but the blood flow would probably only get a PG-13 rating as a movie.
I have mentioned before that JL Delozier is a personal friend, but I only review books I like even when they are written by friends. Con Me Once is a fun book. It is always good to see authors stretching themselves and trying new things. Although this does not wander far from the thrillers she has previously published, Con Me Once has a much different tone than her previous works, with characters that are quirky and unique. If you like mysteries and thrillers but want something that’s a little less intense, this is an excellent choice.
Con Me Once, this gritty yet geeky heist novel, is available for preorder now and pubs 2/5/2020.