`Christ! You guys look like a couple of Feds.'
1977, the Thunderbird Motel.
J.J. Wedick and Jack Brennan - Two fresh-faced FBI agents were about to go undercover. Their target: the charismatic, globe-trotting con man Phil Kitzer, who was responsible for swindling (and spending) millions of dollars and who some called the world's greatest.
One problem, the FBI under J Edgar Hoover didn't really do undercover operations or fraud investigations.
So they did it anyway, making it up as they went along.
As the young agents became entangled in Kitzer's outrageous schemes, meeting other members of Kitzer's crime syndicate and powerful politicians and businessmen he fooled at each stop, they also grew to respect him - even care for him. And Kitzer began to think of Wedick and Brennan like sons, schooling them in everything from writing bad checks to picking up women.
Chasing Phil by journalist and author David Howard is the story of an incredible round the world manhunt, a charismatic conman and a friendship that changed crime forever.
A thrilling true crime caper bursting with colourful characters and awash in 70s seedy glamour, chronicling the FBI's hunt for the world's most charming con man.
In the genre of truth-is-stranger-than-fiction, Chasing Phil is a standout. What a wild, wonderful story of cons and crooks, told with great style and swagger * Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief *
David Howard has written for the New York Times, Men's Journal, Outside, Travel & Leisure, and National Geographic, among other outlets. He is the author of Lost Rights and is currently the executive editor of Organic Life.