Gambling man Johnnie Koscko, a loudmouthed, corner-cutting bottom-feeder, also happens to be a true believer. He's convinced you can go home again—and make all those belittlers in and around Biloxi, Mississippi, sit up and take notice. So back from Las Vegas, where he'd sweated out years as floorman at one joint or another, comes Johnnie with enough chips in his poke to buy the Jackpot Bay Casino, his head swarming with dreams of a Gulf Coast Monte Carlo serving high-rollers by the planeload. And for a while, Lady Luck does tip a wink or two. Jet-setters giving signs of being intrigued, and Snow Mountain, a chart-topping rock group, deigns to be booked in for a ballyhooed appearance. Johnnie's in seven-come-eleven heaven until, inevitably, the dice turn cold. A money drain is suspicious enough to warrant a demand from Bayou Casualty, the casino's insurance carrier, for immediate explanations. Bayou dispatches p.i. Jack Dismas (Massacre Island
, 2001, etc.) to announce the unsettling news and pave the way for Tara Stocklin, security auditor extraordinaire—she with the killer brain and legs to die for. Now it's eight-ball time for Johnnie. A couple of murders, plus a multimillion-dollar heist, plus other revoltin' developments, and suddenly jaundiced Johnnie's thinking maybe Thomas Wolfe was right after all.
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