Sirk TV Book Review: ALL IN [Thomas & Mercer]


The aspect of a forbidden love can be fun especially when you throw some money in the mix. Well not so much forbidden as not inherently smart. “All In” [Joel Goldman & Lisa Klink/Thomas & Mercer/308pgs] starts out almost as a cat and mouse game with two honest would-be thieves. Our lead is not a thief but everyone thinks he is a cheat. His adversary-nay-love interest is just a thief but one for hire with a purpose. The inherent structure of the piece starts off well where the focus of time is within the aspect of one building with a whale in terms of money on the roof. This man has cheated many people including our lead character with a Madoff scheme to the tune of 15 million dollars. Our lady thief coming at it from a similar path in that she needs to recover a sex tape and jewels that same said whale had taken and stolen from her client. Both are residents in transit in the same building. Like “Entrapment”, the book is initially good at building the separate stories of these two until they intersect. We see more of our lady theif functioning to turn the wife of the whale while we see our debonair con man escape at one point to make some money in a high stakes card game in Argentina. The set up, especially his access to money (when he seems more like a Schulz), strains credibility but tends to move in pace because he is charming, laid back, has a sense of a self preservation and is not without intelligence. What works better is her. As the story progresses he becomes her mark and that is why it works. This story hinges on the push/pull scenario they have despite any kind of danger they are in. The second half of the book tends to go a little nuts on the locales including a yacht and helicopter interlude which, while fun and provides a necessary plot point, isn’t as necessary to the story. The back and forth on the boat where the latter part of the book is staged has a romanticism and the multi levels allows for different story elements to exist much like “Casino Royale” did. Whether it a Greek rich kid goon and his thugs on the hunt or a pissed off whale with a brother/sister hit team, the boat is where the action is. While it does gets a little convoluted towards the end, the use of small but effective characters like the head of security, our gambler’s private butler and the flamboyant but slightly slimy organizer of the event, the quips never stats coming. “All In” is not a farce but it is very aware of itself which in the end is what makes it fun.

By Tim Wassberg

Posted on September 9, 2015, in Other Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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