Let It Ride: Gambling, Casinos, and Danger
G.W. Hawkes' third novel is the suspenseful and engaging story of a family of card sharps working Hawaii in 1971. Playing cards for a living has obvious risks, and trying to cheat even more, but combined with family history and a new need for a different life, the combination proves combustible. Part adventure, part love story, Gambler's Rose is a crisp, taut read about love, high stakes, and what risks we're willing to assume
From the author of Horace Afoot comes this affectionate and beautiful tale of a six-year-old prodigy with a photographic memory and a penchant for the Gnostic gospels and Byzantine history. Set against the background of Caesar's Palace, Henry of Atlantic City is a satirical "hagiography" of a troubled child trying to make sense of the world around him. Henry, whose imagination has been fed by ancient texts, finds himself living in a conflated world of past and present where casino owners are Byzantine Emperors, and the world is populated by Huns, Cappadocians, and Visigoths. When his father, a casino security guard, lands in trouble with the mob, Henry begins a peripatetic life wandering from relatives to foster homes to orphanages. As Henry struggles to find a place for himself in the world, we are treated to an exploration of spirituality and childhood that is heartbreaking, uplifting, and simply divine.
"With a mandate given to her through a dream, the Navarro matriarch announces that in order for La Estrella to thrive once more, the family must be reunited in Miami. Only there's a hitch: the youngest daughter, Diamond, a journalist living in Las Vegas, is missing. The family must find a way to rescue her, not only in time to restore the family's lost business to its shimmering glory, but also to save Diamond's life."
The year is 1980. Las Vegas has grown from a crude desert wasteland filled with bawdy miners and bingo parlors into a showplace of dazzling casinos - a gambler's paradise. Fanny Thornton has recently married Sallie's son, Simon, but theirs is not a happy union. Simon is a jealous, domineering man whose suspicions and increasing paranoia about his brother - Fanny's ex-husband Ash Thornton - have estranged Fanny from her four children. But now Ash is ill, possibly dying. Babylon, his life's achievement - and Vegas's most magnificent casino - is in danger of falling into the wrong hands. It is Fanny who reluctantly steps in to take over Babylon...Fanny who vows to make her family whole again even as Simon tries to sabotage her at every turn. But when another man offers her the chance for a new beginning, it is a gamble Fanny is determined to take.
"Milt manages to talk his fellow cops into giving him custody of Burl until the trial and takes the still-steaming man to their hotel room; Burl reciprocates by disappearing. Milt doesn't think anything else can go wrong - except it does. The next morning, the young man is found dead.
"Now Milt must forgo the wonders of Las Vegas to try to find Burl and clear him from the charge of murder. He expects to get some help from the young widow's several brothers, who descend on the town 'volunteering to help.' But they are more involved with quarreling among themselves than in finding the murderer."