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Strictly for Cash by James Hadley Chase
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Strictly for Cash (1951)

by James Hadley Chase

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Reference to the author's work being published by Harlequin can be seen at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlequi...
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Johnny Farrar is a third-grade boxer, thumbing a ride to Miami, where he figures he can hit a jackpot. As fate would have it, he has a brush with gangsters in Pelotta, a small town on the way, only to be persuaded to fight a fixed boxing match and earn some money, a suit of clothes and a beat-up car, so he can arrive in Miami in style. But a woman's looks and challenge make him forget the fixed match, and soon he is running out of town, with the woman, Della, who is the wife of casino boss, Paul Wertham. The getaway car is involved in a crash and Wertham dies. Della's idea is simple but dangerous: Johnny has to impersonate Jack Ricca, manager of the Los Angeles casino and arrive at the Lincoln Beach casino, managed by Reisner, who has never seen Ricca. Della and Farrar would collect half a million from the Lincoln Beach casino, ostensibly on the instructions of the owner, Wertham, who is already dead...

But Della is not just after the cash reserves of the Lincoln Beach casino; she wants to take over the entire casino herself, and she wants Johnny as a partner - provided he remains faithful to her. But Johnny falls in love with a local girl, Virginia, and the real Ricca of Los Angeles arrives in Lincoln Beach.
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