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Early Autumn. Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins. Publisher's Summary Hard-boiled ex-cop Tony Valentine has a new profession: spotting casino cheats and exposing a casino's flaws to the owners. Now he must unravel the mystery of an amateur player impossibly raking in the dough on blackjack.
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However, his investigation stirs up a hornet's nest worth of problems. First of all, the suspect bears a distinct resemblance to Valentine's late wife; second, she's captured on a video surveillance tape with Valentine's lifelong enemy; third, his son Gerry is also in Las Vegas, getting lessons in illegal card-counting. Valentine now sees a new breed of criminal in Vegas, one who is not after money but, instead, is after maximum destruction of human life.
It's up to Tony to stop the killings, or risk losing everything he holds dear. Don't miss any of Tony Valentine 's casino adventures. Critic Reviews "Great fun with just the right amount of edge, sort of like a night at the blackjack table. What members say. Amazon Reviews. No Reviews are Available. Sort by:. Most Helpful Most Recent. He took a deep breath. Betrayal was the worst. It shattered everything you held to be true, and was as damaging as a bullet to the flesh. He cracked her bedroom door and peeked inside. Kris lay beneath a leopard-skin blanket, eyes shut, her wheat-gold hair displayed luxuriously on a pillow.
His heartbeat quickened. Longo opened the door fully and stared at the bathroom door. Was her friend with the cigarette in there? It was a little ritual she performed whenever they made love. It always made him smile. He stepped into the room. His instinct told him to check the bathroom first, and his heart told him to check her. His instinct won out, and he kicked the bathroom door open. He sat on the edge of the bed. He looked down at her. The color was draining from her face, her exquisite features turning hard. He lifted the blanket with the tip of his finger and saw where the bullet had entered her body, and taken her life.
Her killer had been kind. Lowering the blanket, he rose from the bed, looked at the ceiling, and tried not to sob. Only one thing to do. Get in the Explorer and burn rubber. He looked down at her a final time. Putting his shoes on in the kitchen, Longo stared at a pair of socks sitting on the table. As he picked up the socks, the words Oh, no, escaped his mouth. How many more of his things were in the townhouse? And what about his fingerprints? They were probably on every doorknob and light fixture. All trails would lead directly back to him. He pulled a chair out from the table and dropped his massive bulk into it.
He was about to become a suspect in a murder investigation. The detectives in charge would not be his friends. They would look at his lifestyle, questioning his expensive vacations and the new cars he bought every year. What was he going to tell them? That he found a bag of money behind a casino? That would be suicide. He would lie about the money. His life was about to be ruined. Standing, he slid the chair beneath the table. The leg hit something soft, and he looked beneath the table and saw a black gym bag.
The bag was open and stuffed with casino chips from several different casinos. He pulled it out and let his fingers run through the chips. Reds, greens, purples, and yellows. There was even a brown chip.
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He blew his cheeks out. There was twenty grand here, easy.
This was worse than bad. Zipping the bag closed, he saw a sliver of paper tucked in a side pocket. He pulled it free.https://ruptymufor.tk
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It was an embossed business card, and he stared at the raised lettering. He's an expert in the gambling world, as you are. He's also an ex-cop, which you're not. In what other ways is Tony most like and unlike James Swain? A: I'm often asked if Valentine is my alter ego, which he is not! Valentine doesn't gamble I do , doesn't drink I enjoy an occasional beer , and thinks hustlers are slime I have several good friends who are hustlers. The one thing I share with my main character is a passion for understanding how people are cheated, and exposing it.
Q: Where did this passion come from? A: I was raised in a household where lying and cheating were not tolerated. Having the amount of knowledge I do about this subject, I realized I'd be doing people a favor by exposing hustlers' methods. Q: One thing about Tony that's a welcome change from a lot of male detective heroes is that he's believably his age. Not just mentally, but physically.
Loaded Dice: A Tony Valentine Novel by James Swain | eBay
Tony is capable of heroics, but his body pays a price. How were you able to get inside not only the head but the body of an older character so convincingly? A: When I first started writing these books, Valentine was a minor character whom I based upon several older gentlemen I knew including my father. He had his own voice, and I simply wrote down his feelings and thoughts. It was my wife's idea that he should be my main character.
The real motivation behind Valentine comes from a comment myfather made a few years ago. I asked my dad how he liked being retired, and he said, "I don't count anymore. Q: Are the various scams in your books actual scams that people have used? How do you find out about them? And have you ever gotten into trouble for publicly exposing them, either from cops or criminals? A: The scams in my books are real, and used by hustlers and cross roaders throughout the world. I became interested in the world of cheaters in , when I saw a man switch a hand at blackjack at the Golden Nugget casino in Las Vegas.
After that, I started collecting scams, and through my contacts in the magic world, meeting hustlers in the hope that they would educate me. So far, no one has taken exception to my exposing their methods. Magicians like to say that the best way to hide something is to put it into print. I think this also applies to cheating. Q: What's a cross roader, and how does a cross roader differ from a hustler? A: A cross roader is a person who specializes in ripping off casinos.
The expression comes from the Old West practice of cheating at saloons that were located at the crossroads of one-horse towns. Q: What does it take to be a successful con man, besides good luck? Who is the most successful con man you've personally known?
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