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03 October 2015

James Swain: Take Down

How to take down a Casino
Billy Cunningham is a grifter - a person who can rip off a Casino. He works with a crew of beautiful women and other grifters to carry out carefully planned very skillful scams that have earned them a wonderful life. Billy has a luxury house, a Maserati and cash to spare. It is the kind of life that absorbs all of Billy's life and he cannot afford to make mistakes which would land him a long-term jail term.

An old-time grifter offers Billy a place in a scam that would rip off the high rollers' room of a new casino. The offer looks foolproof but soon Billy finds himself up to his neck in trouble from the casino's violent managers. To keep himself and his crew out of trouble Billy agrees to help the casino to defeat a family of cheats who are planning a huge scam at the casino.

Billy has no intention of ratting on fellow cheats and works out his own way to protect the cheats and at the same time get his own back on the casino's managers and the owner who is using the casino to launder drug money. The stakes are high, up to eight million dollars, the risk is extreme for Billy's life or a life in prison. The risk is also high for his crew which Billy will defend with his life.

I have been fascinated by several of James Swain's series about casino cheaters where Tony Valentine is on the other side of the game tracking down cheaters. This time the table is turned and Swain takes us into the world of a charming and skilfull cheater. It is exciting, challenging and a rewarding look at a most unusual world.

I was also lucky to read this as an audiobook narrated by talented voice actor Nick Podehl who brought the world of casinos and cheats to life with his marvellous representations of the players from all sides of the game. Highly recommended for those who like something a little different from the straightforward thriller.

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