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The Empress File (Kidd) by John Sandford
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The Empress File (Kidd) (original 1991; edition 1992)

by John Sandford

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7891017,469 (3.62)7
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Title:The Empress File (Kidd)
Authors:John Sandford
Info:Berkley (1992), Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:computers, crime

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The Empress File by John Sandford (1991)

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Published about the same time as the earlier novels in the Lucas Davenport series, this second offering in the Kidd/LuEllen series is a much less compelling read. Kidd is a con artist/computer hacker/painter who teams up with burglar LuEllen on his more complex undertakings. Things usually go awry and they are left to scramble and improvise to escape with their life.

In The Empress File their scam works much better than in "The Fool’s Run," the previous Kidd/LuEllen caper. However, the story is not particularly compelling and I found it less much less interesting than most other Sandford novels.

The ending is particularly dissatisfying. Kidd’s decision to retrieve a murder weapon is particularly puzzling because it appears to be unnecessary. His decision to hold on to it instead of making use of it quickly compounds the situation. Readers can tell almost immediately that it is a plot device designed to place Kidd and LuEllen in danger and of course it does exactly that.

Following the somewhat overdone and dissatisfying climax Sandford devotes the final 15 pages to telling us how everything else turned out. This classic violation of the principle of, “show, don’t tell,” could be assigned as a textbook example illustrating the importance of that dictum. ( )
  Tatoosh | May 25, 2017 |
Kidd returns, as does LuEllen, a professional thief who is Kidd’s occasional partner and occasional lover. This time his task is to take down Longstreet, a corrupt Delta town on the eastern side of the Mississippi River, presumably in Louisiana but perhaps Mississippi. Not just an expert computer hacker, Kidd has made his official living as a designer of political strategy. It makes him the perfect person to destroy the town’s power structure. The conclusion is not as satisfying as in Kidd’s previous outing, Fool’s Run, mainly because it ends in a physical confrontation, denying us the pleasure of watching the bad guy’s world crumble around them. But still worth the read. ( )
  JohnWCuluris | Jun 23, 2016 |
Quick and lots of fun, The Empress File is the second in John Sanford's "Kidd" series. Part of the fun is that these are largely (though far from entirely) cyber-theft capers, but they were written in the relatively early days of cyber-world, so the techniques and equipment are noticeably outdated. They still make calls from phone booths, for instance. Anyway, appealing characters, if not particularly believable in terms of their slick skills make for an enjoyable reading experience. There are some bad, bad people running a southern town. Aren't there always? ( )
  rocketjk | Dec 1, 2014 |
The ultimate con game thriller from the bestselling master of suspense, featuring the con artist team of Kidd and LuEllen.

### From Publishers Weekly

Camp's witty, engrossing sequel to The Fool's Run brings back artist/narrator Kidd, who makes the most of his skills as a kind of computer-mercenary. A beautiful black activist wants Kidd to help her oust the "respectable" people who are running the small Mississippi delta city of Longstreet, in the process lining their pockets. Kidd and friend/lover/burglar Luellen pose as arty tourists on a houseboat in a plan to flimflam the greedy gang and dig into their hidden bank accounts and stashes of diamonds, stamps, coins, etc. But the caper turns murderous as they run up against a sadistic chief of the department of "animal control." Playing the good guys off the bad, who are led by ditzy, dangerous Mayor Chenille Dessusdelit,sp ok Kidd and Luellen wonder if they'll escape with their skins, and the loot, as events sweep them to a gory climax and bittersweet ending. This is a fast-moving, stylish delight, with dialogue that crackles. Camp also writes as John Sanford ( Shadow Prey ) .
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

### From Library Journal

Kidd, the rogue Tarot-reading computer-whiz-for-hire introduced in Fool's Run ( LJ 9/1/89) is back in another well-written suspense yarn. When good citizens of a small Mississippi town enlist his talents to clean up their corrupt local government, Kidd and a lovely cat-burglar cohort set up a scam operation designed to force the politicians' resignations. Cards and computers are important to the plot again, but more action and violence makes this a much livelier story than Fool's Run . The imaginative con scheme is clever yet believable, but the biggest thrills occur when events don't go as planned. Top-drawer escapist fare. Highly recommended for public libraries. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/90; as John Sandford, Camp is also the author of the forthcoming Eyes of Prey, Putnam, April, previewed in Prepub Alert LJ 1/91)-- Will Hepfer, SUNY at Buffalo Libs.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. ( )
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  Hans.Michel | Sep 13, 2013 |
Kidd and LuEllen take on a corrupt political machine by building a political machine of their own. Danger and deception in the deep south.

Still not my favorite Sanford characters, but the pair is definitely growing on me. ( )
  SunnySD | May 5, 2013 |
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For Roswell S. and Anne B.
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The heat was ferocious. (prologue)
The computer alarm went off at four in the morning.
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Listen, even when Marxism was in style, you could get lynched for laughing at Groucho and Zeppo, much less believing in Karl.
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This book was originally published under the name John Camp. It has been republished under the author's more widely known pen-name John Sandford.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425135020, Mass Market Paperback)

The ultimate con game thriller from the bestselling master of suspense, featuring the con artist team of Kidd and LuEllen.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:49 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Previously published under John Camp.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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