High Hand (Martha Chainey Mysteries)

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9781575666167: High Hand (Martha Chainey Mysteries)

A former showgirl-turned-mob courier, Matha Chainey finds herself in conflict with Frankie Degault, the owner of the Riverhead Casino, after she is ambushed and robbed of seven million dollars by a team of thieves and is given three days to recover the money or pay with her life. 15,000 first printing.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Martha Chainey, athletic, gun-toting ex-showgirl and mob money courier, makes her hard-hitting debut in this tawdry heist thriller, in which everybody is a crook. Las Vegas casino-managers Frankie Degault and his sister Victoria entrust Chainey to drive from Nevada to a swank address in Mill Valley, Calif., to deliver $7 million in 100-dollar bills. Soon after she arrives, several masked thugs shoot everyone but her and steal the cash. Suspecting that Chainey double-crossed them, the Degaults give her 72 hours to find the thieves and recover the money. They assign Baker, a sadomasochistic South African (and one of the book's few white characters), to keep Chainey running for the money and her life instead of running away. The trail leads to an Indian reservation with a casino that wants to expand into Las Vegas. Various Indians, gamblers and the creeps who stole the $7 million menace Chainey. With help from Cuban mobster Ira "Mooch" Maltazar and reporter Rena Solomon, she manages to worm out the surprising truth behind the theft, but not before Baker gets her at his mercy, tied up upside-down and bare-bottomed. Phillips, author of Zook and the Ivan Monk series, knows the history of black Las Vegas and serves up a fast-moving, uncomplicated plot. Many readers will be put off by this sordid tale, but no doubt plenty of others will look forward to further degradation for Chainey in the sequel. (Nov.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

Phillips is on a roll. His Ivan Monk series is back in high gear with Only the Wicked [BKL Ag 00], and now he launches a new series, starring Martha Chainey, courier for the corporate Vegas mob. She's assigned to carry a bundle of cash from Vegas to L.A., but she's ambushed when she arrives. Martha escapes, but the money's gone, and she only has 72 hours to get it back or face the worst sort of ramifications from the mob-connected casino owner who hired her. The trail takes Martha on a hip-hop journey from Vegas to California and back, with bullets flying at various points along the way and the levels of deceit piling up like spent casings. Chainey is tough, sexy, smart, and thoroughly charismatic--sort of a Pam Grier for the new millennium. Phillips effectively uses the cartoon appeal of the best blaxsploitation flicks but overlays it with three-dimensional characters living in an all-too-real world. There's also some fascinating historical material about black Las Vegas in the '50s and '60s. A fine debut in the hip, hard-boiled tradition. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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