Reviewed By: Harriet Klausner
Amazon US PB Amazon US HC Amazon Canada PB Amazon Canada HC
Series: Tony Valentine # 1
Pocket, Jun 2001, $23.95, 320 pp.
In 1998, Acropolis Resort and Casino pit boss Wily hires former cop Tony Valentine to review the tape of a man winning $50,000 at black jack. Wily is positive the man cheated perhaps with the help of his dealer Nola Briggs. While watching the tape, Tony calculates that Frank wins 65-70% of the time regardless of what is dealt. Using the Blackjack Master Program to find trends, Tony learns that a high amount of the winnings defy the odds which are typically less than twenty-five percent with the hands Fran consistently wins with. Though Tony sees Nola enjoys Frank's flirting, he cannot figure out how he or they are cheating.
Frank seemingly vanishes, but hotel security boss Sammy had Nola arrested for cheating with a player. Since the Gaming Control Board believes the casino has no case, Wily pleads with Tony to come to Vegas to help them convict Nola. Selecting the lesser of two evils, Tony agrees to come to Vegas in August when he learns his estranged son is flying from New York to reconcile with him in his home in Palm Harbor, Florida. However, once on site investigating the case, Tony will learn that even his slimy son would have been a better choice.
GRIFT SENSE is an exciting, very entertaining, and quite unique mystery. The story line is fun as a different side of Las Vegas surfaces. Tony is a great sleuth and the support cast namely his neighbor and those at the casino augment the tale with depth. The odds are very heavy that those readers who enjoy a different type of mystery will want to read James Swain's interesting novel.
Reprinted with permission. Do Not repost without permission from the author, Harriet Klausner