I hate Richard Asplin. Not in any mean or vindictive sense, you understand, this is purely the type of good-natured hatred one feels for those individuals who go around hogging all the talent. He’s a musician, stand-up comic, and also, it appears, a writer of ingenious con thrillers.

Conman starts out as a comedic text, hooking the reader in with its irreverent humour. In the early stages, though hampered by a crook with a lexicon like a public school Ned Flanders, the laughs are hearty and frequent. It is in the second half when Conman really kicks into gear though. Asplin is no mere jester; this much is confirmed by the plethora of twists, and a killer finale that will leave far smarter readers than I utterly blindsided.

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