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The Con Job (Leverage #1)

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  535 Ratings  ·  105 Reviews
The rich and powerful take what they want. We steal it back for you.

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 Internati
Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 31st 2012 by Berkley
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Valerie All the main characters, it follows different members of the crew at different points.
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John Patrick
Dec 31, 2012 John Patrick rated it it was amazing
Edit: TNT officially announced they have not renewed Leverage so the Long Goodbye Job which aired on Christmas was the series finale. So now we can only hope that the franchise will live on in a novel series.

I have been a fan of the Leverage TV show since the first episode and it is the single oldest series recording on my DVR. Add in the fact that this book revolves around the crew running a job at Comic-Con International and I couldn't believe my luck when I got the opportunity to receive an e
Feb 24, 2013 Liriel27 rated it did not like it
Shelves: pop-culture
This was really very terrible. The set-up for the plot was not bad, but the writing....oh, the writing. A small sample for you:
"As one of the toughest mercenaries Nate had ever met, Eliot - Nate felt sure - had never had much time for things like comics. If it wasn't featured on ESPN or didn't involve cooking, it wasn't the kind of pastime Eliot cared about. He preferred to do things rather than read about them" (9).

If this seems clunky, simplistic, and out of character for season-four versions
Dec 31, 2012 David rated it it was amazing
If you follow my reviews much then you know it is a rare event that I give a book five stars.. Even really good books suffer from some sort of flaw that keep me from rating it above a four. However, Forbeck has done an excellent job with this particular intellectual property and I believe it deserves the highest rating.

When one reads a book based on a television series, there are a number of pitfalls that authors fall into. Forbeck manages to avoid every pitfall and rather than simply rehashing
Jan 01, 2013 Kaniac rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Leverage fans, Kaniacs, drama lovers, comedy lovers
Shelves: favorites, 5-stars
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 11, 2013 Abhinav rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-read, tv-tie-in
You can read the full review over at The Founding Fields:

Shadowhawk reviews the first Leverage novel, based on the hit TV show created by John Rogers and Chris Downey.

“Matt Forbeck strikes again in a love letter to geeks and nerds.” ~The Founding Fields

Matt Forbeck is undeniably my favourite author, and over the last one year, definitely the one I’ve read the most, with seven novels and eight comics that were all released in 2012. And 2013 is shaping up to
Nov 19, 2013 Elizabeth rated it it was ok
Leverage is a major fandom for me and I want to like the books badly. But I can't even finish this one. I really can't. One of my beloved characters has been kidnapped and we haven't heard from them in ages, and I am walking away because I can't stand my cringe level any longer.

I'm rather suspicious that the author has much of any familiarity with the tv show, as characterization here is sketchy at best (Parker's led "a sheltered life"? Nate's easily emotionally vulnerable? Eliot's practically d
Siskoid Albert
Aug 11, 2014 Siskoid Albert rated it liked it
The Con Job is a cleverly-titled Leverage tie-in, because the con is being perpetrated at San Diego's Comic-Con. Get it? Writer Matt Forbeck does a good job of translating the TV show's characters into book form, and he certainly puts his research (or experience) of conventions to good use in this caper about faked comic book art, wronged artists and dangerous hentai magnates, with nods to cosplay, nerf sword fighting and backroom role-playing. As a piece of writing, it feels padded (do I need t ...more
Mar 03, 2016 Robin rated it liked it
Shelves: books-in-16
The potential was there. I mean, it had all the elements: great set-up, solid con job, compelling bad guy, and a Wil Wheaton cameo.
And it could have been better. The dialog was stilted, and I feel like the continual revisiting of Nate's son was overkill. If you watched the show, you know about it. If you didn't watch the show, the odds that you'd find and be interested in the book are pretty slim.
The climactic end scene went on way too long, there was a superfluous and poorly motivated
Jan 08, 2013 Enigmaticblue rated it really liked it
There was a lot of backstory that I didn't need as a fan of the show, but I think that's the nature of a tie-in novel. It's a tough balance to strike between giving a lot of background for the new fans, and not overloading long-time fans. But the con was excellent, and the characterizations and dialog was spot-on. I loved the backdrop of comic books and Comic-Con, and once I really got into it, it was quite good.

So, long time Leverage fans can skim the backstory, and new Leverage fans can get a
Jan 12, 2013 Caiti rated it really liked it
A great read for all Leverage fans, especially those of us mourning its cancellation. It reads like a great episode with fast pacing, a perfect setting, a believable con, and fabulous character moments for all. I can't wait for more!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 19, 2016 Valerie rated it really liked it
Shelves: media-tie-in, mystery
The book was good, media tie in books can really be hit or miss depending on the plot and characterization, but this was done fairly well. My main complaint is that the book came off as self-aggrandizing in its name dropping with real life people who never would have guest'd on the show and even if they did, not to the sheer number depicted in the book. Plus, the Cha0s/Wil Wheaton joke was fine the first time, it was grating by the second. Plus, though the characterization was generally good, bu ...more
Apr 16, 2013 Gaisce rated it liked it
Shelves: superhero
The Con Job is a tie-in novel for the (now sadly cancelled) show "Leverage," which is about five criminals who break the law in order to punish the rich and powerful, people who steal from others yet cannot be held accountable by legal means. The show was a fun romp, made more enjoyable by the character dynamics and the banter rather than the twists at the end showing how they pulled off each con, so I wasn't going into it expecting a wildly clever mystery story. And Forbeck seems to get why "Le ...more
Jessica Snell
Jan 16, 2017 Jessica Snell rated it liked it
Shelves: suspense
Very fun. Definitely got the feel of the characters right. Great weekend read!
Aki Yun
May 19, 2013 Aki Yun rated it did not like it
Okay. Let me start by saying that I am a huge fan of the show. I, like many others, was disappointed to find that TNT would not be renewing Leverage for another season. So I was pretty stoked to find that they decided to make the shift to books.

But, god, this book was awful.

Now to begin with, Leverage is a rather light show -- fun characters, light-hearted humor, wacky schemes, etc. The novel did its best to reflect the sort of 'harmless' B-rated fun that made the show so watchable. However, i
Jan 25, 2013 Courtney rated it liked it
Shelves: tie-in, thriller, reviewed
While this book will be a hit with the fans of the television series, I don't know if it will bring new fans to the table.

For one thing, this book is written with the assumption that we know who the characters are and what their skills are. Secondly, there are little (if any) physical descriptions of the characters. Maybe this was intentional on the author's part, so that readers could picture whoever they wanted as the physical representation of a particular character. It just seemed strange to
Alison House
Feb 18, 2015 Alison House rated it did not like it
Shelves: never-again
This Is Not The Job You’re Looking For

As someone who has watched Seasons 1-4 of "Leverage" (and is a big fan) I found this book not up to the standard I had come to expect from the series.

The exposition is over the top and distracting, with the author trying to cram a full character history into almost every paragraph. The author consistently “tells” us about the characters, often repeating himself and giving more information than is necessary. Everything in this book is justified at length – ev
Jul 26, 2014 Yune rated it it was ok
Shelves: media-tie-in, heist
I know. What did I expect from a book based on a TV show? (My previous foray proved pretty bad, and that one was supposed to have been written by a fictional bestselling writer.) But I happened to rewatch some episodes of Leverage, and down this dark tunnel I went.

To give Forbeck some credit, there were genuinely amusing moments peppered throughout. The con this time actually takes place at a con, Comic-Con, and geek celebrities like Wil Wheaton are present, even while the hacker Cha0s (played b
Apr 08, 2013 X5-494 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this book immensely.

The characters are spot on (imo), the chapters are short(-ish) and often change between the characters, telling us what they’re doing at the moment. (So it’s really pretty much as the TV show.) The POV changes, too, so we get to read the thoughts and plans (and sometimes even a few memories) of our favourite character at least once during the book, though I think I remember that we’re mostly looking through the eyes of Nate and Hardison.

I think they handled
Ethan Powers
Nov 24, 2015 Ethan Powers rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David Berkowitz
Jun 27, 2015 David Berkowitz rated it liked it
Con Job puts the Leverage team through an exercise that would have formed the premise of a good TV episode if the show were still in production. The team has to deal with a con artist who is taking advantage of retired comic book artists. And it is happening at ComicCon in San Diego.

It should be fun, right? But for me it fell flat. The author described the Leverage team character backgrounds to a medium depth. That's way to much for a Leverage fan and not enough for a reader unfamiliar with the
Jul 03, 2013 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the tv show and was devastated to find out it had been cancelled but when I was informed the show would continue on, not only in the hearts of its fans, but in the form of a book series I immediately picked up the first of the series. The story starts out like a typical Leverage episode: the downtrodden is worn down by someone with more wealth, power and control then they, and in comes Nate and his team. I have read the first two and have the third book waiting to be picked up and I find ...more
A Leverage story that's a little lacking on the Leverage style.

If you're a fan of the show, this story is very by the numbers. I could ask a series of very specific questions right now, and if you're someone that's watched enough of this really good television series to think this may be an interesting read, you'll know the answers. If the team is running a con at San Diego Comic Con, which of their recurring characters is most likely to make an appearance? If Hardison is in charge, will he avoi
Matt Horowitz
Jan 23, 2013 Matt Horowitz rated it liked it
I love Leverage and I am very sad that it has ended. In my opinion it was very premature and I shall never forgive you TNT.... Until Falling Skies starts again, but that's beside the point!
I was very excited to discover this existed and I am even happier I work in a bookstore again. The story itself is a lot of fun too. The crew goes to Comic Con to take down a crooked art dealer who has ripped off some great old comic masters. Combining my love of TV, comics and books? Sold!
I would say the writ
May 28, 2014 Alli rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-2014
I just started watching (and finished watching) the tv show in the last few weeks, and I was curious to find that three tie-in novels had been written based on Leverage. It's rare that I find the tie-in novels to be particularly good, and this book, sadly, was no exception.

Based on when the novel is supposed to take place, the characters in it just don't match with the characters on the show. And the author spent so much time telling things, sometimes repeatedly (such as how each character felt
Feb 16, 2013 Janice rated it liked it
Shelves: action-thriller
I don't normally read books based on TV shows, or movies for that matter - though I read plenty of books that have been made into movies or TV shows. It's just not something that interests me. However, I saw this one in the bookstore shortly after the series ended and picked it up. When I saw it was set at San Diego Comic Con, I decided I needed to give it a shot. The author did a good job of walking that fine line between too much background information for those that followed the show and not ...more
Mar 11, 2013 Daniel rated it it was ok
Media tie-in books are my bread and butter...whether it's Star Wars, Doctor Who, Star Trek, or Hellboy. I long for more stories about characters I love. Some authors handle translating characters from one medium to another better than others--and, to be fair, some characters just translate better from, say, a movie or television show to a novel. The characterization of Nate and his crew was...flimsy, at best. (My familiarity with these characters borders on unhealthy, so your mileage may vary.)

Mar 19, 2014 Robs rated it liked it
I'm addicted to Leverage, and when I realized there were novels I could read to extend the series, I was elated.

Novels set in TV universes tend to not be the highest quality; this was no exception. If you don't love Leverage, this will be a rather boring book. If you love Leverage but aren't up on your geek culture (the entire plot takes place at a geeky convention--which is a LOT of fun for those of us in on the jokes, but I can only imagine how old it would get for those who don't enjoy such t
Feb 22, 2013 Cheri rated it it was amazing
Awesome book! If you are familiar with the Leverage TV show and already love the characters and the capers, this book will NOT disappoint! Matt Forbeck did an OUTSTANDING job of capturing the essence of each of the characters and it was almost like watching an episode on TV. If you are NOT already familiar with the show and the characters, you will still enjoy this book very much! Again, Matt does an amazing job of giving you enough background information on each of the Leverage team members and ...more
Aug 13, 2014 Ren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, read-in-2014
It was okay, I guess, but I only read it because I miss the characters so much. The writing was clunky and suffered from the same problem as every tie-in novel ever, an overload of background information. "I'm so glad this book is telling me everything about Nate's drinking problem or Hardison's rivalry with Cha0s," said absolutely nobody ever because only people familiar with the series read the tie-in books anyway, come on! I don't believe anyone read this book unless they had already watched ...more
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I'm an award-winning, New York Times-bestselling author and game designer and happily married father of five, including a set of quadruplets. For more on my work, see
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Other Books in the Series

Leverage (3 books)
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“Hardison held up a gigantic bag that Parker could have used as a dress. "I picked up all sorts of things," he said with a smile. "I grabbed the entire run of Chew, and I savaged the first trade paperback for the Magic: The Gathering comic, signed by the writer, no less.” 2 likes
“You're a lot of horrible things - untehical, sociopathic, evil even - but you're no idiot.” 2 likes
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