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"Oh, it's not really gambling when you never lose." - Jennifer Aniston. The House Always Wins: A Vegas Ghost Story is a paranormal fiction tale by Brian Rouff. Small town reporter Anna Christiansen finally gets a serious assignment to cover a band performing locally. She falls in love with Aaron, the bass player, and leaves with him for Las Vegas shortly after the interview. Anna soon becomes pregnant while trying to adjust to her unfamiliar surroundings. They lovingly renovate a dilapidated house haunted by Meyer Levin. Meyer tells Anna about his life, but cannot remember how he died. Pykowski, a sleazy casino owner, terrorizes the couple to sell their house so he can build a parking lot. Anna fights back with help from Meyer. The ghost was a former racketeer who knows the corrupt game Pykowski plays so well. He thinks it's time to deal a hand the casino owner will never forget.
Brian Rouff's writing of The House Always Wins: A Vegas Ghost Story is impressive. It's a charming, fast-paced story beautifully narrated by the main character, Anna. It contains wit, mystery, and a bit of nostalgia. Meyer reminisces about his racketeering life and how developed Las Vegas has become. Anna is a strong-minded person who possesses a sense of humour, even when her problems are serious. I thought the road trip was interesting, also the descriptions of the communities that had seen changes, for better or for worse. The author has shown the other side of Las Vegas in this must-read novel. - Reviewed byMichelle Stanleyfor Readers' Favorite
Rouff has a chance to be to Vegas what Carl Hiaasen is to Florida. (Tod Goldberg author of Gangsterland)
I have enjoyed all of Brian Rouff's books, so I began reading this one already a fan. This is a really fun read. Brian's writing is witty, emotionally moving , and unpredictable. The book is engaging and lots of fun, with a satisfying end, with lots of twists snd turns getting there.. It is a fast read, and would be perfect for a cozy, stay-home-all-day-and-read kind of a day. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Read this book....and all of Brian's other books, too!
After enjoying several of Brian Rouff's prior books, I had heightened expectations for this new one. With a vivid style, fast-paced action, surprising plot twists, and a familiar location seen through the eyes of a newcomer, I was certainly not disappointed. I stayed up later than expected on some nights due to such a compelling story, portrayed in a deft combination of drama, travel, humor, and frequent insights into human nature. Brian Rouff has a superb talent for bringing his characters alive, almost as if you know them, in concise enough detail while not interfering with the timely progress of events. For anyone who has been to Vegas, or ever wants to visit, reading this book should be especially appealing. I also liked how seemingly unrelated details were all tied together by the end. In summary: another masterful work by one of my favorite authors.
As someone who had a similar experience 15 years ago, I was very interested to read what Anna was going to do next. I was surprised by what I read at times, as I was familiar with a lot of the places that were mentioned in the book. I felt as though I was reliving some of my own memories. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire build up that culminated with a dramatic ending. I will definitely recommend this book to my friends and relatives. I'm sure they will all enjoy it, even though most are not Vegas locals, as I still am.
Rouff has an easy familiarity with Las Vegas that will make natives feel right at home and help others get a taste of what it's like to be one. I wasn't sure exactly what to expect when I picked this up, but it turned out to be a lot of fun spending time with the characters he brought to life by interweaving their stories with Las Vegas lore and the minutia that only comes from living here for a lifetime.
Like Money Shot and Dice Angel, Las Vegas serves as the backdrop and I find all of Brian's characters quite familiar. For all my Las Vegas friends and to all my friends of Las Vegas, I highly recommend Brian's books. They are great.