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Mr. Lucky by James Swain
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Swain knows how to tell a story and that knowledge is evident in each
and every book in his Tony Valentine series. Valentine, a retired
Atlantic City detective, now makes his living as a casino consultant,
catching cheaters. Each book is a thrill ride of scams, con men, and
cheaters.

The fifth book in the series, Mr. Lucky, takes place primarily outside
Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Except for the opening scenes which
combine scenes from the Towering Inferno with every high stakes
gambling movie, much of the story takes place in small Southern
towns. Makes for a good change of pace. The storylines develop slowly
with Valentine out to catch Mr. Lucky, a man who comes out of
nowheresville with the Midas touch and can't seem to lose no matter
what he does. Valentine's son Gerry also plays a fairly big role in this
book, running his own investigation.

This is a thoroughly fun read, well plotted, and easy to read. ( )
  DaveWilde | Sep 22, 2017 |
no reviews | add a review
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345475453, Mass Market Paperback)

Tony Valentine made his living and his name as a cop in Atlantic City–and is now known worldwide for his ability to spot the kinds of scams, grifts, and rip-offs that cost casinos billions every year. A man with a biting wit who drives a ’92 Honda, Tony is low-profile, old-school, and has seen it all–until he meets the luckiest man on earth.

Ricky Smith was once a small-town loser. Then he went to Las Vegas, jumped out the window of a burning hotel, lived to tell the tale, and tore up the Strip on an incredible winning streak. Ricky didn’t just win at one slot machine or table game. He won at blackjack, roulette, and craps, and then beat the pants off the world’s greatest poker player. Tony knows that goofy, loudmouthed Ricky Smith–or anyone else, for that matter–couldn’t possibly be that fortunate. But when “Mr. Lucky” returns home to the little town of Slippery Rock, North Carolina, he keeps on winning everything from a horse race to a $50,000 lottery.

Hired by a desperate casino, Tony starts to pry into Ricky’s past, his friends, and the strange little town that is benefiting from Ricky’s fame and fortune. Unfortunately for Tony, his cover is blown when he is forced to reveal a trick he has up his own sleeve: a pocket Glock he can shoot with laser-like precision. Suddenly, two men are dead, the cops are on Tony’s tail, and the investigation explodes in violence–putting the lives of Tony’s son and his young family in danger.


For years, Tony’s son Gerry has dueled with his own criminal impulses. Now, the Ricky Smith case has lured Gerry through the gates of temptation and into a murderous confrontation with the Dixie Mafia. With Tony stuck on the slippery slope of Slippery Rock and Gerry fighting for his life, the Valentines are finding out just how bad good luck can get.

Against a neon-tinted backdrop of adrenaline rushes, hard crashes, big money, and high-wire tension, the inimitable James Swain has set his best Tony Valentine novel yet: a funny, furious ride with an astounding array of crooks, marks, and one killer scam.


From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:29 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A dramatic escape from a fire at a Las Vegas casino changes Ricky Smith's luck, transforming him into a major-league winner, until ex-cop Tony Valentine is hired by casino owners to prove that Ricky's winning streak is anything but kosher.

» see all 3 descriptions

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