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The Last Match (Hard Case Crime #25) - David Dodge An American con man named Curly gets involved with a beautiful English heiress on a French beach. Soon he gets into trouble and flees all over the world to escape it. But can he ever escape her?

Sometimes the Hard Case crime series coughs up a book that makes me want to seek out and devour every book by the author. This is not one of those books.

The Last Match is a meandering mess of a novel. While I enjoyed the first person narration by Curly, the plot was almost non-existent. Curly cons his way around the world and is constantly on the run, going to such exotic locales as Marrakesh and Peru. He has stints working at a casino, on a ship, and spends a bit of time in the clink. While the experiences were interesting, it felt like a connected series of short stories rather than a novel. The female characters are definitely a product of the times, from Bodda as a mindless sex object to Reggie as a ball-breaking virgin. There isn't a non-stereotype female character in the book.

Like I said earlier, the writing is the best part and kept me from giving up around forty pages in. While I'm thinking about picking up David Dodge's To Catch a Thief, it's not high on my list of priorities.