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God Wants You To Roll

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This swiftly paced book follows two young scam artists who finagled money up front for cars that never materialized. In 1997 in a church in LA.’s Compton area, Robert Gomez, 22, climbed into the pulpit and told congregants that his (mythical) late father intended ”that items from his estate go to Christian men and women who need help in their lives. . .who want some sort of miracle to demonstrate that God is watching.” Those items — extremely low-priced automobiles — became known to the faithful as Miracle Cars. Soon, Gomez and his partner, James Nichols, had unwitting pastors spread the word for them in a con that continued for five years, spanned the U.S., and brought in some $21 million. John Phillips’ suspenseful story delivers what his antiheroes could not: a terrific ride.