This novel is as gloomy as its components: aging pensioneers desperately clutching fading vitality in the gaudy atmosphere of rhinestone Jewish Miami, compulsive gamblers making the rounds in smoky rooms, neon dance halls and seedy couples, stale jokes, loud music, louder voices and characters that are ""merchandise on life's sales counters."" Leo Roth becomes the ""Fourth Horseman"" in a cabana set when he arrives in Miami to track down his ""treacherous no good"" gambling cousin Bernie who has swindled Leo out of a sizable amount. But Leo is sidetracked by the camaraderie around the pool and eventually enters into pathetic little affairs, once almost renewing vitality and hope with his lovely young dancing instructor (Leo is finishing a course that the former ""Fourth Horseman"" who died, had started). Meanwhile Bernie is on the run from gangsters as well as cousin Leo but Bernie, a ""ladies' man,"" manages to find enough dumpy mistresses to keep him in food and funds. Time runs out for Bernie, Leo leaves Miami a wiser man, and the pensioners linger on waiting for a new ""Fourth Horseman."" The cliches are as depressing as the story.