Rebel author Marek Hlasko was considered the James Dean of the communist bloc. In this gripping novel, Robert and Jacob are two down-and-out Polish con men living in Israel in the 1950s. They plan to run a scam on an American widow visiting the country. Robert, who masterminds the scheme, and Jacob, who acts it out, are tough, desperate men, exiled from their native land and adrift in the hot, nasty underworld of Tel Aviv. Robert arranges for Jacob to run into the woman, who has enough trouble with her young son to keep her occupied all day. Her heart is open though, and the men are hoping her wallet is too. What follows is a story of love, deception, cruelty and shame, as Jacob pretends to fall in love with the American. But it's not just Jacob performing a role: nearly all the characters are actors in an ugly story, complete with parts for murder and suicide. Hlasko's writing combines brutal realism with smoky, hardboiled dialogue, in a bleak world where violence is the norm and love is often only an act.