When the Las Vegas's Riverboat Casino starts to burn down, bald, overweight Ricky Smith nosedives five floors into the pool. After this death-defying jump, Smith, a one-time loser, is miraculously transformed into a major-player winner. Battered and drenched, walking across the street to another casino, he begins a million-dollar winning streak at the tables. But ex-cop Tony Valentine soon arrives, begged by the Strip's casino owners to prove that Smith's ("Mr. Lucky's") impossibly successful winning streak isn't on the square. With his finely honed grift sense and a knack for spotting cheats, Tony Valentine finds he has few alternatives, and all of them are treacherous.More
"In this series about gambling, the main character is a big winner. Mr. Swain's likeable detective hero is Tony Valentine...and he has some neat tricks up his sleeve." (The New York Times)
"If all Swain had going for him was a dynamite premise (inside dope on how casino games work) this series would still be good fun, but he adds all the sinew we look for in the best caper novels: quirky characters on both sides of the law who constantly surprise us with just the right mix of comedy, violence, and humanity." (Booklist)
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