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Publisher's Summary

When the Las Vegas's Riverboat Casino starts to burn down, bald, overweight Ricky Smith nosedives five floors into the pool. After this death-defying jump, Smith, a one-time loser, is miraculously transformed into a major-player winner. Battered and drenched, walking across the street to another casino, he begins a million-dollar winning streak at the tables. But ex-cop Tony Valentine soon arrives, begged by the Strip's casino owners to prove that Smith's ("Mr. Lucky's") impossibly successful winning streak isn't on the square. With his finely honed grift sense and a knack for spotting cheats, Tony Valentine finds he has few alternatives, and all of them are treacherous.
©2005 James Swain; (P)2005 Books on Tape, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"In this series about gambling, the main character is a big winner. Mr. Swain's likeable detective hero is Tony Valentine...and he has some neat tricks up his sleeve." (The New York Times)
"If all Swain had going for him was a dynamite premise (inside dope on how casino games work) this series would still be good fun, but he adds all the sinew we look for in the best caper novels: quirky characters on both sides of the law who constantly surprise us with just the right mix of comedy, violence, and humanity." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

If you liked Skinny Dip you will like this.....

A darn fine story with characters that hook you and a plot lines, or lines...that keeps you both guessing and learning interesting things. Well read and engrossing I wandered around the house listening to the last hour to get the ending.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Fun light reading!

From the first 10 words I was captured. I just loved this book. I'm only 1/2 way through but it's so good I wanted to let people know how fun it is.
I've been listening to alot of the heavier stuff lately and needed a break with something different. This book is in the elmore leonard line of books. Light reading with entertaining characters, subplots and subcharacters. But liked this one better than any Elmore book I've ever read.

Narration is tremendous, he makes the characters come alive. Try this one it won't dissapoint.

Unless you're in the mood for War and Peace!!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not a book about casinos or gambling

Would you try another book from James Swain and/or Paul Boehmer?

yes

Would you ever listen to anything by James Swain again?

yes

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

did the best he could with such poor material

What character would you cut from Mr. Lucky?

Mr Lucky and both Valentines :)

Any additional comments?

In addition to not finding this book to have many redeeming elements, I expected a book that focused around casinos and gambling. That element was only a back drop while the main story was focused in a small town

What little there was about casino life, was annoyingly inaccurate. For instance, one of the scams depicted was a dealer stealing chips from his rack by placing a box of tissue on his table -- he had a cold and needed to blow his nose from time to time. Uh - yea. I'd like to see an actual dealer try to place anything other than their hands and cards on the table.

Problems with the story were numerous, and the story was too simplistic to over come (over look) the literary license taken by the author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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Very Disappointing

Sophomoric, cliche-ridden writing. I love books about Las Vegas and the gambling culture, but this one was poor. The plot premise was intriguing but I kept getting diverted by the comic-book style writing. Swain- Never again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • David
  • Bend, OR, USA
  • 06-12-05

Great Summer Read!

I got more than I bargained for on this one! I purchased the book based on the other online review... and I'm so happy I did! If you enjoy books about the inner workings of casinos, gambling or even if are just a fan of books with action, snappy dialogue and characters from all walks of life... then this one is for you! Similar in style to the writings of Janet Evanovich' "Stephanie Plum", John Sandford's Prey series, or, yes, even Elmore Leonard (although most comparisons to the great Leonard pale in comparison). Light, fun, entertaining, and a good use of audible bucks!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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