After a hectic August, I’m FINALLY catching up on some overdue reviews!
Thanks to the author for the free copy in exchange for my honest review
CLEANTECH CON ARTISTS: A TRUE VEGAS CAPER – Jim Rossi (out now!)
Fraud costs Americans over a trillion dollars per year. So in Sin City, we made fraud prevention into an extreme sport.
Las Vegas, founded on the idea of getting people to not think about the long-term consequences of their actions, seems like the last place anyone would go to study history and sustainability. But look closer. Las Vegas is also the City of Second Chances, the surrounding Mojave Desert a land of mirages. Here the line separating reality and fantasy gets blurred. So do the lines separating graduate school, entrepreneurship, journalism, and fraud.
When I first went local, enrolling at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, I made new friends – and a few enemies. Among them: a young British tycoon who bought Mike Tyson’s mansion, poker players and golf hustlers, FBI agents and ex-cons, friendly neighborhood bounty hunters, and one charismatic frenemy: a young, clean energy technology entrepreneur named Xavier.
As The Strip seduces me, I uncover a complex web of scams spanning from Sin City to the Rocky Mountains, China, and into the headquarters of Silicon Valley’s best-known clean energy nonprofit. As privacy disappears in the 21st century, turnabout is fair play. The hunter becomes the hunted. In Sin City, you can be whoever you want to be – but you have to pay the consequences. What is the ultimate Vegas rush: pulling off a multimillion-dollar con job – or blowing one up?
My Thoughts: 4/5 stars
Not going to lie, when this mammoth of a book showed up in the mail there was a slight moment of intimidation. I mean, being over 500 pages is quite the door-stopper when it comes to books. However, being that I love true crime I was ready to dive in. CLEANTECH CON ARTISTS: A TRUE VEGAS CAPER read surprisingly fast and didn’t feel like a regurgitation of facts to where it feels like reading a textbook. True stories like this, especially of one I’ve never heard of before, always capture my interest. The way the story was told it read like fiction, which I think really helped with the pacing.
Rossi brings us a well-researched read and we are also given some history on Las Vegas. I loved reading some about the gangsters that started there and how that all changed. Now there is a different kind of con artist running things. This takes a look into fraud and how far the reach was for this scam. In a world where privacy is harder to come by, the author gives you something to really think about and sheds light on how fraud can affect your life and how people can profit off of it.
Overall, if you’re looking for a really engrossing true crime read, then I would highly recommend this. Don’t let the size of the book intimidate you because it’s a faster read than you would expect! Well written and well researched, exactly what you want in a true crime book.
About the Author:
JIM ROSSI is a LinkedIn Top Voice and historian. An Eagle Scout, he wrote for the Los Angeles Times, Bike, and many others before the news media cratered, then earned master’s degrees from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Las Vegas. This is his first book.