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Publisher's Summary

From Johnny Shaw, the Anthony Award-winning author of Big Maria, comes a wild tale about the wonderful things that bring a family together - larceny, deception, and revenge.

Fifteen years ago, Axel, Gretchen, and Kurt Ucker lost their father. At the same time, they learned that he had secretly been a thief their whole lives - and left a fortune unaccounted for. Since then, the Uckers have lived a precarious existence. Their small town shunned and shamed them. Their mother, Bertha, retreated into her religion and her favorite televangelist, Brother Tobin Floom. Axel got a dead-end job. Gretchen turned to petty crime. And Kurt stayed with his mom and his garage band. 

When Bertha dies, she leaves everything she has to Floom and his gold-plated revival. The Uckers are at a loss for words. And an inheritance, a house, and a future.

Until their long-lost aunt shows up with a secret: Floom is their grandfather; some new relatives: a family of liars, cheats, and thieves; and best of all, a plan: infiltrate Floom’s multimillion-dollar ministry and pull off the grandest heist in Ucker family history.

When you’ve got nothing left to lose, you might as well risk it all.

©2018 Johnny Shaw (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Tim
  • United States
  • 09-18-18

Adolescent Age

Johnny Shaw is the most underrated author that I always recommend to my friends, but yet, the book club that I belong to, refuses to read any of his stuff. Shaw's writing isn't for everyone. It is almost like a summer read for anyone who have a high level of testosterone rather than estrogen. I read for his jokes, outrages adventures and quick character development. I always have fun reading any of his books.

As for his new one, "The Upper Hand", it wasn't as funny as his previous books and a bit of a let down with limited swearing, but I still got a chuckle here and there. All of his books take me back to my adolescent age. Just funny with no responsibilities.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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family you gotta love them

what a riotous bunch of misfits. I wasnt sure if I would like this book but I really enjoyed this book.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not Bad, But I miss Jimmy Veeder.

Big Johnny Shaw fan. Love his ne’er do well characters and the crazy shenanigans they seem to find themselves in. I liked the Uckers. I just really didn’t find the Jimmy Veeder magic here.

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johnny shaw delivers

as always, the characters in the l a test novel were uniquely comedic yet still believeable. each chapter builds until the final rollicking one. who knew crime could be so fun?