by Susan DiPlacido
Category: Fiction / Mystery
441 pages; ISBN: 1-55410-217-0
Rating: 10/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Kevin Tipple
Martina Martino has gambling in her blood and a career that allows her to indulge in the game. She’s smart and careful as to how she goes about her gambling sideline and is acutely aware of how their system and hers works. Win just enough to stay ahead overall but not enough to draw unwarranted attention from casino staff. Spread the damage around each trip to Las Vegas so that her winnings don’t draw too much attention at one establishment. Cash in less that the reporting requirements for the IRS as well as what the casino staff might decide on their own to report. In short, every move is thought out and always, always, keep track of the cards as she card counts at the blackjack tables.
The plan works and works well for her until she meets Miguel Rodriguez at one of the casinos. He is a card dealer and almost instantly there is chemistry been them. Not just as dealer and player, but as man and woman, and before long, she loses track of the cards. In a way, that encounter marks the beginning of her losing track of herself as he pulls her into his world where things are not at all what they seem. Miguel’s charm and sex appeal hides his major problems and by being with him, the problems have becomes hers as well. Now she is gambling, not just with money, but with her very life as the violence escalates.
This is an enjoyable first novel that clearly reveals the author’s love affair with the city of Las Vegas. The characters are richly detailed as are the settings, the gambling scenes, and everything else throughout the novel. The characters come alive for the reader over the course of this 441-page novel proving everyone has secrets—some more dangerous than others.
By Susan DiPlacido
Large Trade Paperback
Kevin R. Tipple © 2005