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"The trick is to work out where your limits are--and to go beyond them", states Jason Shoe, explaining his success as an accomplished con artist. This is the mantra he shares with his assistant/girlfriend Fran--and passes on to their naïve protégé Eileen, who they recruit from a Soho sandwich bar. They travel Britain as a threesome, lying to, stealing from and cheating all they meet, from simple bag-snatching to elaborate Lonely Hearts cons. From the very outset Melting is a real page-turner.

"You must be constantly alert to the opportunities that arise at any time and be in a position to capitalise on them", Jason lectures. Set in a late 90s Britain of loft apartments, gentrification, designer drinking, the Turner Prize and concept restaurants (where marketing and style rule over content) his philosophy is not dissimilar to legitimate entrepreneurs. One day opportunity knocks in the form of an accidental meeting with a cool, young artist in a Manchester café-bar. The story skips to the equally booming redevelopment of Cardiff's Tiger Bay and a chain of events crazier than any of them could imagine.

Fran, Jason and Eileen decide, in classic crime fiction tradition, to do one last big job, the scam to end all scams. Naturally, things do not go according to plan. Their confused relationships, damaged upbringings, guilt paranoia and superstition begin a meltdown that gathers pace.

While, Davis' first novel The Dinner felt constructed and self-consciousness, in her second she gets into her stride, finding an easy, fast style and writing convincingly about Manchester where she was at college. The plot is compelling, keeping you guessing right until the last page. From the very start you'll be hooked, like the gullible clients her characters suck in, except unlike these unfortunate dupes you will not feel ripped-off by the ending. --Sarah Champion

 
Used availability for Anna Davis's Melting


See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US
 

Paperback Editions

January 2001 : UK Paperback
Title: Melting
Author(s): Anna Davis
ISBN: 0-340-71844-7 / 978-0-340-71844-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Sceptre
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   

May 2000 : UK Paperback
Title: Melting
Author(s): Anna Davis
ISBN: 0-340-71843-9 / 978-0-340-71843-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Sceptre
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Audio Editions

February 2002 : UK Audio Cassette
Title: Melting: Complete & Unabridged
Author(s): Anna Davis
ISBN: 0-7531-1364-3 / 978-0-7531-1364-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: ISIS Audio Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   



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