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Mr. Lucky: A Novel of High Stakes (Tony Valentine Novels (Paperback)) Mass Market Paperback – August 28, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
Checking Ricky out takes Tony to Slippery Rock, NC, Ricky's sleepy home town and it takes his son on a trip to Mississippi where Ricky has bested one of the top poker players in the world in a game of Texas Hold 'Em.Read more ›
The dual plot (Tony and Jerry) is well developed and could be a little more interrelated, but Jerry finally becomes more than a cardboard cut out. In this novel he is in contact with his father learning the family casino detective trade by way of trial and error and with some long distance help from dad while Tony is concerned with the main plot. Enough is said in other reviews concerning the role of "Mr. Lucky" and it is a shame to tell much, but the implications of big cheating is big money and bigger schemes and Swain plays this well.
The added attraction in this novel is the consideration, not in any preaching fashion, but reflectively of the moral and ethical implications of actions: is it proper to simply cut an addicted gambler loose, what is the role of the community in developing a gambling culture, what harm comes to innocents? And in a modern society, how does all this lead to violence? Swain does not preach, but like Tony he knows cause and effect. Come to think of it, logical analysis is very much in the center of his writing.
If you haven't read a Swain book before prepare yourself for an entertaining read and an introspective look at life and your own morality. The twists and turns of this novel will have you reading as much and as quickly as possible. I highly recommend Swain's writing!
Tony thinks he's seen it all until he meets Ricky Smith, once a small-town loser, who now seems to be the luckiest man on earth. Ricky gets caught in a hotel fire in Las Vegas, and survives when he dived off a high-rise balcony through the hotel spar glass roof and onto a mattress. In bare feet he runs over to the next door casino and starts an incredible winning streak around the tables and even beats world's greatest poker player Tex "All In" Snyder.
Nobody has that kind of winning streak and the casino won't pay out until all possible scams are investigated. Despite vowing never to work on Nevada casino matters again Valentine takes on the challenge of showing that Mr Lucky hadn't been lucky at all. When he travels to Ricky's home town, appropriately called Slippery Rock, to find out more about the lucky man he finds more than he expects, especially when his investigation starts to become violent.
Because he is on a tight time schedule and can't be in two places at once, Valentine reluctantly co-opts his son Gerry, who has had gambling problems in his past, to visit Tex Snyder, reportedly a pretty obnoxious individual. Gerry gets tempted by Snyder which brings him into a violent confrontation with the Dixie Mafia.
Swain takes us on a switchback of violence and tricks which extend his magic understanding of gambling tricks to the limit. Again it was an easy and entertaining read which gives an amazing insight into the murky world of gambling scams and cheating.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this Character (Tony Valentine) and how there are several re-occurring characters in this series. You get to know them along with a great mystery. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Lewis Craig Brown
This is the fifth novel in James Swain's series featuring Tony Valentine, and it's among the best in the series. Read morePublished 5 months ago by James L. Thane
swain's stories are just great ; l have read several of his books & they seem to get better; this story has so many twists & turns along with great characters; suspense til the... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Ed Deisley
My husband and I live in Las Vegas and love the city. I really like Swain's books and plan to read them all.Published 9 months ago by SHARON W. LEE
Another excellent chapter in the life of Tony Valentine and his family. This series is hard to put down!Published 14 months ago by G. J. Moore
The Tony Valentine series is great fun, due mainly to Swain's knowledge of casino security and cheating. Where Mr. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Ted Streuli