— Abhinav Jain, The Founding Fields
“Yeah, it’s licensed tie-in stuff and full of inside baseball, but it’s really, really well done and terrifically engaging to anyone that either watched the show or has been to a comics convention. If you are in both categories, then you just need to get this book, that’s all. Well done, Mr. Forbeck.”
— Greg Hatcher, Comic Book Resources
When a disreputable dealer starts swindling aged and ailing comic-book creators out of their wealth—and their high-valued comics and artwork—the daughter of one victim comes to ex-insurance investigator Nathan Ford and his team of counter-crooks for help.
Their scheme: run a con at the Comic-Con International, where the crook intends to sell the goods. But there’s more going on than simple theft. An arson plot is in motion that will not only destroy countless rare collectibles, but may end up costing lives.
With time short, the team must take down a ruthless mark whose true motives have yet to be revealed…
This is the first in a series of novels based upon the hit TV show Leverage, created by John Rogers and Chris Downey. Keith R. A. DeCandido wrote the second (The Zoo Job), and Greg Cox wrote the third (The Bestseller Job).
The Con Job is set at Comic-Con International, the annual pop-culture entertainment festival held in San Diego every July. I’ve gone to the show several times, and it’s the place where I first met one of the show’s creators, John Rogers, long before Leverage ever hit screens. It’s one of my favorite events of the year, and by the time you finish the book, I hope you’ll see why.
The set-up for the plot is that a crook is ripping off aging comic-book artists, then turning around and selling their art in an auction at Comic-Con, with much of the proceeds supposedly going to the Hero Initiative, a real-life organization that helps support ailing comic-book creators in need. The Leverage crew — a team of thieves who use their abilities to do good — discover that the money will be stolen instead, and they set a plan of their own in motion to recover the artwork and the cash and give the crook his due.
As you might imagine, I had an absolute ball writing this book. I jammed in as many pop-culture references as I could, dropped the names of many comic-book industry friends, and even engineered some head-tripping encounters with Wil Wheaton’s villainous character from the show, Cha0s. In many ways, it’s a love letter to both the con and the show itself.
Now that the show’s over, it falls to the books to carry on in its stead. Go grab the book, and give it a read. I hope you find it lives up to the show that spawned it.
- January 2013
- 320 pp mass-market paperback
- ISBN 978 0 42525383 0
- January 2013
- ISBN 978 1 10161850 9
“I give this one five stars and two thumbs up. And those who read my reviews know that I am often quite critical of every minor flaw.”
“Forbeck has to be a fan of the show, and that the real con of the book: he’s pretending to be a writer writing about a television show when he’s really just doubling down on flying his geek flag with the Leverage crew and Comic-Con.”
— Mel Odom, Bookhound
“The Con Job is a fun book and really captures the energy of the show… a quick, entertaining read that holds true to the show canon.”
— Curtis Silver, Wired.com