S. & S. Audio. Mar. 2023. 10:25 hrs. ISBN 9781797152974. $23.99. F
Frumkin’s (The Comedown) latest follows Ezra and Orson, who meet at Last Chance Camp, a boot camp designed to put juvenile offenders on the straight and narrow. Instead of reforming their ways, Ezra and Orson find that they have much in common, and they begin a partnership, starting with small-time scams at low-wage jobs. They begin to engineer more and more complicated scams, often engaging the support of wealthy women, until they create NuLife, a massive New-Age company that purports to deliver bliss and spiritual healing. Narrator Em Grosland expertly provides a variety of engaging voices for the characters, capturing their growth from small-time crooks to leaders of a cultlike pyramid scheme. Grosland effectively conveys the momentum of the story—the headiness of succeeding with outrageous projects, and the growing sense that this precarious success won’t last. Grosland is at his best when portraying Ezra and Orson’s complicated relationship, poignantly communicating brainy Ezra’s unrequited love for charismatic, increasingly corrupt Orson.
VERDICT A caper novel with a twist. Share with fans of Kirsten Chen’s Counterfeit or Mateo Askaripour’s Black Buck.
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