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King Con: A Novel
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King Con: A Novel

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  859 ratings  ·  59 reviews

When it comes to creating unforgettable criminal characters, nobody does it better than Emmy Award winner Stephen J. Cannell, the force behind such acclaimed TV hits as "The Rockford Files," "The Commish," "Wiseguy," and "The A-Team." Now come Cannell's most engaging characters yet—a spirited assortment of clever con artists.King Con vs. The Don

Raised in a world of flimfla

Kindle Edition, 448 pages
Published (first published December 12th 1981)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,367)
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This may not be up to the level of Oceans 11 or The Italian Job, but it's close. The cons in this story are a lot more involved than I expected, and Cannell has done a whole lot of research to make everything as believable as possible. The writing is taut and often brilliant, though not so much so when it comes to the romance angle. A great read: edgy, filled with surprises and cool lingo. I generally expect a lot of cheese from Cannell (he is the creator of the A-Team, after all), but his novel ...more
Leon Aldrich
I loved it just as much the second time around.
This was entertaining, though full of silliness too. It's about a con man getting revenge by setting up a situation like in the movie "the Sting". What I liked best was that this writer has some kind of real research source. He has to be talking to a person who travels around ripping people off. It occurred to me several times during the book that tricks like this had been tried on me in NY. Not the big deal, but some of the smaller scams he describes- what a "grifter" would do, scamming 50 buck ...more
This book was nothing short of captivating. Beano Bates is the star of a huge (I mean HUGE) extended family of con artists. Victoria, New York City prosecutor gets screwed (figuratively, this time) by her boss and lands on Beano's team to finally trap the bad guys. This plot is fun and fast and fantastic. It's the kind of book that is hard to put down because you don't trust the characters not to pull a fast one behind your back!
Ryan Burt
A fun con book. Had some good explinations of cons. Enjoyable.
Television's super-producer (he created, wrote for or executive-produced over 30 different series, including The Rockford Files, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Hardcastle and McCormick, The Greatest American Hero, Wiseguy, Profit, Stingray and Silk Stalkings) has become a full-time novelist, with fourteen novels to his credit. King Con was one of his earliest, and is still one of my favorites. Cannell was well known for his snappy dialog and quirky characters on TV, and King Con seems to capture that writ ...more
Benjamin Thomas
"How you gonna play the bubble?"

"Gonna rope the mooch with a tat, steer him with a mack, probably put him on the country-send to his drop, and play him off against the wall."

This was my first Cannell novel and it was much as I expected, having come highly recommended by a good friend of mine. The author cut his teeth as a writer/producer of TV shows in the 70s and 80s and this novel reads kinda of like that. Plot is what it's all about, a little less on characterization etc, and you will need to
We provide leverage...

The book is different from Cannell's Shane Scully series. Rather than a police procedural, this is more of a caper. More similar to Donald Westlake than Michael Connelly. The book takes a little to get into, but once the action starts, the story movies quickly through various schemes culminating the really big con.

The one draw back to the story is the female protagonist. She is by far the least interesting character. Cannell has populated the story with some intersting cha
Huge story. Grandiose plotline, like most of Cannell's work. A friend turned me onto this one and I really enjoyed it. Being my first encounter with this author, I didn't know what I was getting into, but I'm glad in hindsight that this was the first I had read. It wasn't a Shane Scully novel, and it was probably (at least so far, in my opinion) Cannell's best book. I will probably read it again, and would recommend it to anyone who likes big gigantic storylines with a lot going on.

The protag ha
I was a good book, but I found myself day dreaming a lot while I was reading. I love the way the author rights. He is able to define each character differently with the way talk. Which, in this book, was sometimes hard to figure out what they were trying to say. But I enjoyed each character. Good book, but sometimes found it hard to stay focused.
King Steelo
This is truly one of my favorite books ever. Ironically I read it while incarcerated and the cons were very entertaining. It made me wonder how many prisoners I was surrounded by ever tried these cons before? Truly a masterpiece by Cannell and I recommend it to all readers incarcerated and in the free world!
Second book that I've read from this author and I will definitely read more of his books. It was a well written story, and the research that went into this book is quite evident. Fun read worth the time
Nainesh Jadwani
It felt like I was watching a movie. Amazing fast paced writing. I loved the cons and the lingo. They should make a movie on this.
PROTAGONIST: Beano Bates, con man
SERIES: Standalone
RATING: 2.75
WHY: Beano Bates is "King Con" and a member of a huge family of grifters. When his cousin is murdered, he teams up with a Prosecuting Attorney named Victoria Hart to avenge the act. He sets up a huge con to take down the New Jersey mobsters responsible. Although I love caper books, this one just didn't cut it. There was one clever con. A second con was not credible involving cellophane gas, wheelchairs and dice. The major con was way
I really enjoyed the story of this one. It was easy to follow and a quick but highly enjoyable read. XD My favorite scene was the one in which they (Beano and Victoria) bought the black pearl and continued to resell it right back for a higher price. It was quite amusing XD
I also watched the first six episodes of Missing Persons (from the 90s XD) which was produced by Cannell, and I was yet again reminded of the genius this man gave us.
**little salute to Cannell** <3
Beano Bates
well, guess how i came up with my username. bingo!
this is the first Stephen book i've read and i got hooked. I like heist and caper stories, that's why i'm into Donald E. Westlake too.
i like the story because of the revenge thing. always want to do something like it. hehe. and i've learned some cons which made me aware of those . at least, i won't be an easy mark.
Fast read. LOTS of characters. Stephen Cannell obviously does a lot of research into his areas and I really enjoy that. In some ways, he's a moderated version of that chappie who writes that fiction based on the US Armed Services and is very technical about it This book is all about the argot and techniques of con men and women.
Audio Book. A Con artist on the FBI 10 most wanted list gets beat nearly to death after cheating a mafia don at a poker game. The mafia don has his brother kill the witness who happens to be the Car artist's (Beano Bates) cousin and closest friend. Bea
Debbie Madrid
Fast and entertaining read
I love the Shane Scully series by Cannell and some how missed this stand-alone...A DA joins a con man in a huge "revenge" con on a gangster who was behind the murder of a good friend & family member of the con man...not Scully, but a decent read!
A splendid story about the art of the con with colorful and vividly written characters and settings. It is a shame that the author did not continue the adventures of the King of the Con (Beano X. Bates) in a further series of novels.
I thought this was one of the best books that I have read by Stephen J. Cannell. It's very violent in the beginning but once the plan is hatched, it really takes off.
This was another one of those books I started, but couldn't get into. It seemed like generic mob crime / cop nonsense with nothing new or interesting going on.
I would recommend this one. It was really entertaining. The author seems to have an extensive knowledge of the lingo associated with cons. Very interesting!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Matthew Cousens
Started reading a book about a big con played on some gangster and ended with a love story. I enjoyed every minute of it.
Donna Kass
What a fun book- this would make a great TV show. Some gruesomeness, but I guess that makes it more real? No gain without pain?
Sandy Kell
I found this very entertaining - professional cons vs nasty mafia goombahs. A bit like "Ocean's 11/12" - but a bit darker.
I think this was the best of his books. He wrote Rockford Files. King Con is very much like movie The Sting.
Ray Charbonneau
Written by a guy who's worked on numerous TV dramadies. If you like that sort of thing, you'll like this.
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Received the Shamus Award, "The Eye" (Lifetime achievment award) in 1994.

An Emmy award-winning writer/producer and Chairman of Cannell Studios, Cannell overcame severe dyslexia to become one of television's most prolific writers. In a highly successful career that spans three decades, he created or co-created more than 40 shows, of which he has scripted more than 450 episodes and produced or execu
More about Stephen J. Cannell...
The Tin Collectors (Shane Scully, #1) The Viking Funeral (Shane Scully, #2) The Prostitutes' Ball (Shane Scully, #10) Cold Hit (Shane Scully, #5) Vigilante (Shane Scully, #11)

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