Swain's books have gotten consistently better as his voice has developed and the character of Tony Valentine has established itself. Loaded Dice is well worth the price of admission.
All the things that were pretty good in the first two novels are now great. The pacing is terrific, and the information on casino cheating and on gambling rings with the voice of experience. If you want a mystery that has a different flavor, Swain's books may be the answer.
Some books don't abridge well, some do. I don't know if this one would, but this version is, simply put, awful.
This is by far a terrific reading of an awful abridging of a book. I had to borrow (not wanting to throw good money after bad) the novel to see just how poorly this version was cut. Important plot and character development seem to have been willy nilly taken out, and the work as a whole suffers for it. Seemingly unrelated events pop up unexpectedly in what seems an amateurish manner. Deaver's writing deserves far better.
The reader, though,was great, I thought. I enjoyed a good performance of what was in effect a horrible script. If the unabridged version is ever released, try it, but don't waste money or a credit on this version. An editor somewhere at Simon & Schuster needs a new career.
Don't get this one.
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