[By Nic Lindh on Sunday, 13 November 2005]
Having the “grift sense” means you can feel when a con is going down, even if you have no idea what the con is or who is doing it.
James Swain’s debut novel Grift Sense is about Tony Valentine, a retired cop who is a widower, has an estranged son, and spends his retirement running a consulting operation for casinos.
Swain possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of how casinos and con artists operate, and uses this knowledge to great effect in Grift Sense. The plot is tight and fast, with schemes and double-crosses coming fast and furious, and is populated with an assortment of characters that although recognizable are saved from being stereotypes by the care Swain puts into drawing them.
If you like the genre, Grift Sense is an excellent read.