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Book Information: Grift Sense

Grift Sense (2001) [Novel]
by James Swain Rating: Weighted - 7.9 / Average - 8.0 of 10 (1 votes) (Rate!)
Reviews: None (show them) Review!

Series: Tony Valentine
Part: 1

Summary (From the publisher):

Amidst the neon and the big special ugly of Las Vegas, mild-mannered Frank Fontaine is beating the brains out of the Acropolis Casino. The house cops think the dealer, a blonde named Nola, is part of the con, but no one can prove a thing. For Tony Valentine, it’s the first new scam he’s seen in decades—and maybe the best. Three things Tony knows: The blonde is guilty, the grifter has lived a former life, and the biggest scam is the one that hasn’t happened yet. In a dream world of fake Greek statues, statuesque hostesses, and a casino owner whose sex life might just burn down his own house, Tony Valentine is plying his special trade. While some people have a sixth sense, Tony has a grift sense—and he needs it now to separate a grifter from a scam that’s worse than anyone’s wildest dreams. . . .


Genre: FictionCrime and MysteryCrime/Caper

Edition #1: Grift Sense

Grift Sense (2003)
Edition Details:

Language: English

Edition: Paperback
  • "Billed as one of the best card-handlers in the world, Swain packs this first novel with enough tidbits on the art to back up the claim. Combine that insider's knowledge with clean writing and a reasonable con, and the result is a fun read la Elmore Leonard. A grifter named Frank Fontaine strolls into a faded Las Vegas joint, the Acropolis Resort & Casino, and cleans up at a blackjack table. Though the dealer at the table, Nola Briggs, has a spotless record, it seems impossible that Fontaine could have pulled it off alone. The club's owner, Nick Nicocropolis, calls in consultant Tony Valentine, a retired cop from Atlantic City who's an expert on casino scams. Tony is puzzled by this one: he watches the surveillance tape repeatedly, but he can't figure out how Fontaine is doing it. Even more mysterious to Tony is that Fontaine obviously enjoys the attention he attracts. Good hustlers like to rake in their chips as inconspicuously as possible; it's the only way they can continue to work. Tony heads for Vegas, where he meets up with a group of near-stereotypes who are saved from that fate by some nice details. The plot unfolds, and our hero is properly modest and clever. Quirkiness is occasionally forced and names are singularly unimaginative. The domestic scenes in the book, with Tony's neighbor Mabel or his son Gerry, are a little stilted and unconvincing, but the heart of the book lies in the dubious charms of a second-rate Las Vegas casino, and there the author does a terrific job. Agent, Jennifer Hengen at Sterling Lord." Publisher's Weekly
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Manifested in:

Grift Sense (2003)

Format: Paperback
Place of publication: New York
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 034548035X
Dimensions: 6.7 x 3.9 x 1.1 in
Pages: 336

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