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The Vegas Knockout [Kindle Edition]

Tom Schreck
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $3.99
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Book Description

Duffy Dombrowski just accepted a dream job: chief sparring partner for Russian heavyweight contender Boris Rusakov in Vegas. His obstinate basset hound, Al, and a few friends join Duffy for the ride—but before Duffy knows it, his trip turns into a nightmare. Someone’s killing local Mexican workers, friends and relatives of Duffy’s gym buddies. And to make matters worse, Duffy’s got Boris’s Russian mobster pals chasing him with murder on their minds.

Quirky characters, rapid-fire dialogue, and nonstop action propel The Vegas Knockout into the sphere of gritty thrillers that hit with astonishing power.



Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tom Schreck is the author of five novels, including On the Ropes and Out Cold. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame and has a master’s degree in psychology—and a black belt. He previously worked as the director of an inner-city drug clinic and today juggles several jobs: communications director for a program for people with disabilities, adjunct psychology professor, freelance writer, and world championship boxing official. He lives in Albany, New York, with his wife.

Product Details

  • File Size: 527 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (May 15, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006JTTKNO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,693 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Delivers a nice jab -- but no TKO April 2, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The hero of this book, Duffy Dombrowski, splits his time between working as a social worker for a Jewish welfare group in upstate New York and as a heavyweight boxer of questionable talent. In this book, we get lots of pugilism in and out of the ring but no social work.

Thrillers or mysteries, I've found, can be broadly divided into two categories -- those set in what is more or less recognizable as the real world and those which create their own fictional universe with its own behavioral norms. I tend to favor the first -- but this book has only the vaguest connection to reality so I would place it in the second.

Dubrowksi is invited to become the sparring partner in Las Vegas for two weeks for an aspiring Russian heavyweight champion. Despite the fact that his doctor tells him he may have taken a few too many punches and he suffers from incipient brain symptoms that would be a matter of grave concern for anyone half normal, he accepts. Accompanied by his stinky and out-of-control dog Al (who acts as his moral conscience) he boards the plane for Vegas where he is accommodated in a brothel just outside the city. Wouldn't you know it, he meets a whore with a heart of gold.

Vegas itself is a rather seedy and unappealing character in this book.

Al is supposed to provide some kind of comic relief (and he gets to visit a pet spa) -- but this reader wasn't laughing too hard.

We also meet, through italics, a mysterious serial killer who is gunning down Mexicans in the town. This particular aspect of the plot is not handled with any realism at all. The faceless killer is supposed to be creepy and menacing but comes off as a caricature. The resolution of this plot strand doesn't pack much of a punch.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great - Don't Believe the First 60 Pages March 28, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Other reviewers have compared Mr. Schreck to Coben and Parker. They are absolutely right. He is definitely in that league. I was shocked this is his third book. I immediately went and bought his first. This book has all the humor, intelligence and human warmth of their best stuff.

This book has a few intrigues going on at once. Like the best of Parker and Coben, Schreck's main character, the professional sparring partner and social worker, Duffy Dombrowski, is well-developed and with great depth. This enables the plot to include some real human interest elements to go with the humor and the mysteries.

Although classified as a mystery, this is not a standard whodunit. Duffy is going through life in his usual take-it-as-it-comes manner. There is a parallel under story of murders of Mexicans in Las Vegas, but this does not impact him for quite some time. For most of the book, Duffy is dealing with the vagaries of being employed by the Russian mob.

There is a lot of good humor here to go with the good story lines. Duffy's "posse" of four, who normally don't leave their usual bar stools is priceless. Their conversations are laugh out loud funny while being perfectly believable despite their absurdity. Duffy's bassett hound, Al, adds to the book in unforeseen ways.

I have only one caution. In the first 60 or so pages, there was a lot of scatological humor that would put a 14 year old boy on his knees with guffaws, but not so much for adults. I was pleased and relieved that after that start, the humor became much richer.

I can't recommend this book highly enough for a good fun read.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Just Knockdown Refreshing" April 17, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I gave this story five stars because it was so refreshing in the truest sense of the word. The main character, Duffy Dombrowski, is the most likeable boxer that you could ever meet; being a social worker might have something to do with him being a people person. He helps people all throughout the story and being a professional heavyweight boxer and black belt in martial arts he is really able to help in some rough situations.

Duffy works as a social worker in upstate New York, but because he is a decent "South-Paw" boxer he is offered a chance to go to Vegas to spar with a Russian boxing heavyweight to get him ready for a championship bout for the best money that he has ever made. Of course he can't turn it down; he just has to get out of going to a social work training camp in the Catskills. With Duffy where there is a will, there is a way. Nothing is ever simple for Duffy and his big heart and since he gets a whole house to live in at a "Brothel" he invites four of his friends to come on out. Oh yeah he couldn't leave his basset hound, Al behind either. It's so funny how he gets Al there. While in Vegas, Duffy helps out prostitutes, illegal, and legal Mexicans, with the help of Al, of course.

Duffy's character reminds me of Nelson Demille's John Corey, who always keeps me laughing. Tom Schreck is a very good story teller and his words go smoothly onto the paper and back to this reader's mine to create a very refreshing story. I am going to read the two previous Duffy Dombrowski novels, since this one was so enjoyable. Like the author, Tom Schreck, I live in the Albany, NY area.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Entertaining Summer Read June 27, 2012
Format:Paperback
Duffy and his buddies remind me of some guys I know with their talk, ribbing, jokes, and most of all, friendship. You can relate to these characters as they come off the page and get into your head as you remember friends, situations, and conversations of your own. This is a well written story with depth of characters, plots, and witty dialouge. Maybe a little of it seems far-fetched, but it's a work of fiction, it's supposed to be far-feteched! Of course, how can you not love Al, the Bassett! Even if you are not a fan of boxing, don't let that deter you from picking up this book. You will have a few hours of enjoyment and humor along the way.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Entertain, and a fast read.
Published 19 days ago by John Goldman
4.0 out of 5 stars fun romp with swagger
I like books that don't try to change the world but just entertain for a little while. This was fun and reminded me of my favorite author Steve Zousmer.
Published 22 days ago by Russell B. Hamlin
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I read the whole thing and am sorry if this happens in real life.
Published 1 month ago by Nancy S. Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Duffy is always fun
Published 2 months ago by Bob Rose
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
I loved everything about the story, boxing, Vegas, quirky characters, and lots of fun action.

Highly recommended.
Published 2 months ago by Loren w Christensen
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Read
Good book. Interesting read
Published 2 months ago by Jon Raccah
5.0 out of 5 stars And the winner is...
the Vegas Knockout! I really enjoyed the roller coaster ride through the dark side of Vegas and i'm looking forward to picking up more of Schreck's work in the near future.
Published 3 months ago by mark ryan
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading for fun
While I understand there was a side story about a spoiled dog, there seemed to be too much reference to it for me, and I like dogs. Read more
Published 4 months ago by John Y
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
Light reading goes fast ,enjoyable. Would recommend to others looking for something to take there mind off of things. OK
Published 5 months ago by William G. Henry
2.0 out of 5 stars Too many short chapters
I did not expect the book to read as it did. There was too much negativity in the story although that is probably what was meant to be. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Irene Cruz
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More About the Author

Tom Schreck is the author of five novels, including On the Ropes, TKO, Out Cold, The Vegas Knockout and Getting Dunn. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame and has a master's degree in psychology--and a black belt. He previously worked as the director of an inner-city drug clinic and today juggles several jobs: communications director for a program for people with disabilities, adjunct psychology professor, freelance writer, and world championship boxing official. He lives in Albany, New York, with his wife.

Publisher's Weekly called the Duffy Series, "Fresh, intense and funny...Duffy delivers a knockout punch." Kirkus said they were "Refreshingly iconoclastic." Crimespree Magazine said, "One of the five best books I read this year."

Read more about Tom on his blog at http://www.tomschreck.com, www.facebook.com/authortomschreck, www.facebook.com/duffydombrowski and follow him on Twitter at Schrecktom

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