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THE PICASSO FLOP by Vince Van Patten


by Vince Van Patten and Robert J. Randisi

Pub Date: Feb. 21st, 2007
ISBN: 0-89296-070-1

Multiple murder at a major Vegas poker tournament.

Gambler Jimmy Spain emerges from a ten-year sentence for manslaughter to a poker world overtaken by Texas hold ’em. After limbering up in a star-studded game, Jimmy enters the Five Diamond World Poker Classic at the Bellagio casino. When a friend from prison, Harold P. Landrigan, secretly hires Jimmy to watch over his daughter Kat, a high-stakes rookie with big dreams and scant experience, Jimmy manages to meet Kat and make his mentoring her idea. The tournament swarms with colorful players, including the one Jimmy hooks up with, sultry Sabine Chevalier. But a chill runs through the shrinking field with the murder of rising star Tim Bennett, informal leader of a preppy group calling itself “the posse.” Jimmy lands in the middle of the case when both Kat and Sabine use him as an alibi. As it happens, he was with neither but, needing an alibi of his own, backs up Kat’s story and makes it up to Sabine by spending the night with her. Because Jimmy’s dad was a cop and because his criminal past isn’t known, investigating detective Cooper asks him to poke around informally. Meanwhile, more posse members are murdered, raising the stakes.

Actor-turned-poker-celebrity Van Patten and veteran Randisi (Everybody Kills Somebody Sometime, 2006, etc.) keep the action coming with interesting poker detail. A promising series kickoff.