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Funny Money (Tony Valentine Novels) (edition 2003)
by James Swain
Funny Money by James Swain
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345463447, Mass Market Paperback)"I can sense when things aren't right on a casino floor and I just take it from there," says Tony Valentine, the cop turned casino consultant who--all boasting aside--finds himself stumped more often than not in Funny Money. James Swain's smartly plotted, often humorous sequel to Grift Sense sends the 62-year-old Valentine back to his hometown, Atlantic City, where his former police partner, Doyle Flanagan, has been blown up in his car at a McDonald's. Is this murder linked to Flanagan's investigation of a $6 million blackjack hustle at the city's giant Bombay casino, allegedly perpetrated by a gang of badly coifed Croatians? Meanwhile, Valentine will have to face down thugs who are putting the squeeze on his flaky son, try to appease the Bombay's much-despised owner, and win the help--and heart--of a no-nonsense woman wrestler with a nasty attitude.
Like his debut novel, Funny Money is distinguished by Swain's knowledge of gambling scams from card counting to the judicious application of a "monkey's paw" on a slot machine. Less even is this book's character development. Valentine is expertly drawn, and the relationship between him and his late-blooming son is both convincing and heartwarming. But some secondary players are about as thinly realized as a poker chip, and Swain's too-convenient use of violence as a plot propellant threatens to undermine his story's credibility. All in all, though, Funny Money is a safe bet. --J. Kingston Pierce
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:36 -0400)
Coming up for air after a close brush with the afterlife, Tony Valentine is back on the case with an investigation into an impressive six million dollar blackjack scam at Atlantic City's legendary Bombay casino.
(summary from another edition)
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