Title: SUCKER BET: A TONY VALENTINE NOVEL - Scarce ...
Publisher: New York City, NY: Ballantine Books, 2003
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Signed: Signed by Author
Edition: 1st Edition.
1st Printing. Signed. 304 pages. Published in 2003. The author's third "Tony Valentine" novel. One of James Swain's finest achievements. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents James Swain's "Sucker Bet". A triumphant achievement. "In the mystery genre, there's always room for a new premise, and Swain has come up with a doozy: His hero, Tony Valentine, is an ex-cop who specializes in catching casino cheats. The downside of the job is that Tony must work for casino owners, which is why he is on the lam, enjoying a romance with a lady wrestler and even participating in the odd tag-team match. But when the romance founders and Tony gets a summons from the head of security at Florida's Micanopy Indian Reservation Casino, he heads for the Everglades. The scam is several layers deep: Crooked blackjack dealers and fixed basketball games play roles, along with a couple of nasty alligators eager to test Tony's wrestling skills. The gambling details are a treat, the banter is worthy of a place at Elmore Leonard's table, and the Floridian sense of absurdity draws on Hiaasen without seeming derivative" (Bill Ott). An absolute "must-have" title for James Swain collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed in blue pen on the title page by James Swain. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. This title is now collectible. This is one of few such signed copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especialyl fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. A scarce signed copy thus. One of the finest American mystery writers of our time. A fine copy. ISBN 0345461754. Bookseller Inventory # 10941
Synopsis: A hardened ex-cop with great instincts, a sharp eye, and a short fuse, Tony Valentine still catches crooks, but a very special breed of them. He nabs hustlers who rob casinos, and finds the fatal flaw that allowed the place to get ripped off in the first place. Sometimes that means biting the hand that feeds him, but Valentine isn?t paid to sugarcoat the cold, hard truth. Along flashy strips and in seedy dives, if there?s a game to be fixed, Valentine knows how to spot the tricks, the scams, the sleight of hand. And with his new case, there?s definitely more on the table than meets the eye.
Harry Smooth Stone, head of security at the Micanopy Indian Reservation Casino in South Florida, desperately needs Valentine?s expertise. A blackjack dealer has rigged a game, dealt a player eighty-four winning hands in a row, and disappeared. Valentine?s gut tells him a different story: that the runaway dealer is alligator food and his employers are keeping secrets.
But the missing dealer is part of an even bigger, far deadlier scheme. Valentine?s trail leads him to Rico Blanco, a ruthless gangster who once worked for John Gotti, his shady, elusive partner-in-crime, Victor Marks, and a bombshell named Candy Hart, a hooker with dreams of love, a combination tailored made to double-cross. It appears they have a con going down involving a cocky, filthy rich Brit and his millions of dollars. Valentine?s challenge: to figure out how all the pieces of the seamy puzzle fit together . . . before his luck runs out and his life goes bust.
In prose that sizzles with style and a wicked sense of humor, with plot twists that could cause whiplash, James Swain takes readers behind the neon-lit scenes of casinos and the gambling trade?and reveals a colorful cast of hustlers and con men, bookies and grifters. Make no mistake about it: on the crowded shelves of fiction, Sucker Bet is a sure thing.
About the Author: James Swain, a gambling expert, is the author of Grift Sense and Funny Money. Swain is considered one of the best card handlers in the world. He lives in Odessa, Florida, where he is currently working on his fourth mystery featuring Tony Valentine. Visit his Web site at www.jimswain.com.
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