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Blind God's Bluff: A Billy Fox Novel (The Billy Fox Novels) Paperback – January 8, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Billy Fox is not having a good day. Some tough guys are hounding him for some money he owes them, making not-at-all subtle threats about damage to Billy’s person if he doesn’t make good. Billy is on the run when he comes across a man with no eyes, just empty sockets, who appears to be under attack by a swarm of nasty fairies. Well, as it turns out, the eyeless man is a god who’s supposed to be playing in a high-stakes poker tournament. He recruits Billy, who appears to have some small supernatural powers of his own (hey, who knew?), to play in his stead. If he’d known who his opponents were going to be (an Egyptian mummy, for one; a succubus, for another), Billy might have turned down the gig. On the other hand, anything’s better than getting beat to a pulp by the tough guys he owes money to, right? This is the kind of story someone like Mike Resnick or maybe Joe R. Lansdale would have knocked out of the park, but in Byers’ hands, it doesn’t have the light, effortless tone it needs to be completely successful. You can feel the author working hard to convince us to suspend our disbelief, and occasionally the story creaks under its own weight. Not a bad novel by any means—it has many moments of excitement and humor—but not as good as it might have been. --David Pitt

About the Author

Richard Lee Byers is the author of approximately forty fantasy and horror novels as well as scores of short stories. He holds a BA and an MA in Psychology, worked in a psychiatric facility for many years, then left the mental health field to become a writer.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Billy Fox Novels
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Night Shade Books (January 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597804436
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597804431
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,100,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richard Lee Byers is the author of over thirty fantasy and horror novels, including a number set in the Forgotten Realms universe. A resident of the Tampa Bay area, the setting for many of his horror stories, he spends much of his free time fencing and playing poker. Friend him on Facebook, Follow him on Twitter, and read his blog on Livejournal.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jacque Howell on January 2, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is a great story.
Billy has apparently hit bottom when thugs come to claim his gambling debts. His fiance is ex and now he's holed up in an abandoned house with what looks like a homeless vagrant, who smells worse than a goat, and who's eyes have apparently been scratched out by the hoards of brown winged fey. The stakes are high, and when he stands in for the blinded god in a poker game the risks run even higher. Many lives are on the line and the play runs at many levels.
This book starts out at a run and doesn't stop. Urban Fantasy with humor, if you like Dresden, give this a try!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Merritt Stone on January 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is an outstanding introduction to Richard Lee Byers, to the city of Tampa, to urban/modern fantasy, to poker, and to Billy Fox and the weird world in which he finds himself.

Billy Fox is not your standard-issue flawed hero, in that he doesn't just have the usual "failure to launch" syndrome so many have had, and his past wasn't one most people would ever have envied. But he's not hopelessly tragic either.

The characters that surround him in his new environment are certainly strange, yes, but their appearances aren't the end of who they are. They're still real people too, whether they have fins on their heads, or they're not exactly among the living, or they have the bodies of snakes. As an added bonus, Billy winds up with one of the worst bosses anyone has seen in a long time.

Tampa is more than just a backdrop, or a couple of set pieces; it's written from the standpoint of one who has lived here, and knows the ins and outs, although the title character winds up running through what I think is the Interbay area for the first time in his life. Of course, anyone who lives here knows that Tampa is a massive sprawl, and it's pretty easy to find new and unusual places. Maybe some of them ARE populated with Old People (and not the kind who hunch over the steering wheels of ancient Lincolns and Cadillacs).

"Blind God's Bluff: A Billy Fox Novel" isn't a long read, but it tells a helluva story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Sozaeva VINE VOICE on March 8, 2013
Format: Paperback
Book Info: Genre: Urban Fantasy
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of urban fantasy, especially fans of male-oriented action-type stories
Trigger Warnings: general violence, cannibalism
Animal (-like creatures) Abuse: A lot of the minions and thralls are creatures of various types and are beaten or otherwise mistreated.

My Thoughts: Several sections of this book are, basically, playing poker. Specifically Hold 'em poker, about which I know next to nothing. I think if a person understands the game, there would be more in this story. For me, those sections are basically "blah blah blah Ace/Queen/King blah blah blah cheating blah blah blah violence". Since the thing is told from Billy's point of view, it does give us a better glimpse into his thought processes though, so I wouldn't say it's a waste, just that if you--like me--don't really understand much about the game, there will likely be some subtle clues missed. Another section with billiards was the same way. It would have been nice if the book had been written so that people who are clueless about these games would have had a better idea what was going on.

Timor is a cruel, sadistic, and paranoid old jerk. Wow. I don't blame his people for wanting to be rid of him. Of course, the others really aren't all that much better. They all seemed like the type that would stab you in the back while smiling and saying, "Hail, fellow, well met," and acting like they were going to clap you on the shoulder.

This copy was a galley, which means it still was to go through a final round of editing, so I will assume that the few editing errors I noticed will have been cleared up for the final copy.

However, don't take all that to mean I didn't like the book, because I really did.
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Beyer delivers the same action in this urban fantasy novel that he does in his other novels. The main character happens to be in the wrong alley at the right time and is swept up in a divine power struggle played out during a high stakes game of poker! The characters are wonderfully described in all their forms, Tampa Bay is swarming with "Old Ones" who are a variety of supernatural beings, some even undead. Billy learns the stakes could not be higher, cheating is encouraged, and as players are eliminated as he realizes his sponsor is not the most benevolent of deities. Many of his vassals have reason to wish him ill, but one of the fellow players engineered for him to loose his eyes, the same foes that Billy is up against. The action is not limited to the poker game as Billy must deal with efforts to distract or kill him while the game is not in session. Plans within plans are made and the even after the game is done the story is not finished. I have only been to Tamps a few times but Beyer's portrayal of the city does it justice and makes it a character of its own. Beyer shines with the action sequences especially with a wonderful fight scene against a Norse god, and a completely over the top outlandish final challenge for the ownership of Tampa! A great first entry and hopefully not the last!
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Blind God's Bluff: A Billy Fox Novel (The Billy Fox Novels)
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