For ex-cop Tony Valentine, life in balmy Florida provides little R&R. In fact, he’s in demand now more than ever. Armed with a special grift sense, Valentine can spot card cheats and even bigger game whose sole purpose on earth is to relieve a casino of its cash. But when his son, who was going to card-counting school, goes missing, Valentine jets to Las Vegas. Once in town, he is pressed into service—and lands inside a treacherous game with higher stakes than he has ever encountered before.
There’s a new casino in town, aptly named Sin, the largest on The Strip: three thousand guest rooms and a gambling floor as big as an airport terminal. The owners of Sin want Valentine to show them how the scams are done. But these powerful men harbor ulterior motives: They want to use their newfound skills to put a rival casino out of business.
Sin’s competition is the Acropolis, run by Valentine’s longtime pal. Nick taps Tony to figure out how an amateur won $50,000 at his blackjack tables. But the small job is full of landmines. For starters, the suspect bears a strong resemblance to his late wife. What’s more, Valentine’s son is still M.I.A. Upping the ante, a dead stripper is found with Valentine’s calling card—and her grief-stricken boyfriend is vowing revenge.
Yet in a city where barracudas wear pinstripes, time seems motionless even while it flies, and reality and illusion shift depending on the neon light, a greater threat maneuvers through the streets: an all-new breed of criminal with an agenda propelled by fury that will shake not just Valentine, but the city of Las Vegas.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of Mystery & Detective eBook: Loaded Dice||Series: A Tony Valentine Mystery, , #4|
|Release Date: 06-01-2004|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Ballantine Books|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||Loaded Dice|
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The most desirable women in Las Vegas didn’t live there. They lived in southern California and worked as dental hygienists, aerobic instructors, and nurses. They lived regular, nine-to-five lives. Then, on the weekend, they flew to Las Vegas—usually on Southwest, because it had the most flights—got off the plane, and became different people. Their names changed, and so did their hairstyles and their clothes. It was as if a magic wand had been waved over them, although the change was anything but magical.
They became strippers in the gentlemen’s clubs that hung on the periphery of the Las Vegas Strip. They paid the club owners two hundred bucks a night and made the money back in twenty minutes from drunken men wanting a friction dance. On a good night, they took home a grand.
It wasn’t that these women were more beautiful than the women who lived in Las Vegas. Vegas was filled with knockouts. What made them different was that they weren’t used to being treated like garbage, which was how most women in Vegas got treated. No, these women still had dreams. They lived in la-la land, and it came through on their faces every time they smiled.
Her name was Kris, and she danced at the Pink Pony.
Lieutenant Pete Longo of the Metro Las Vegas Police Department had met Kris while responding to a call about a fight. Normally, he would have let a uniform deal with it, only the prospect of seeing naked women dancing against a backdrop of sporting events projected on a colossal screen had propelled him into action. That, and not having to see his wife for another hour.
The fight was between a drunk and a bouncer, and it