Dead Money-Dean Wesley Smith

Dead Money
Dean Wesley Smith
WMG, Jun 13 2013, $15.99
ISBN 9780615824901

In Idaho, poker champ Carson Hill dies when his small plane crashes. A person detonated an explosion in the plane’s engine while watching the crash but cannot retrieve the coveted key from the victim. Also in Idaho, on a whitewater trip Carson’s estranged son Jonathan “Doc” Hill learns from his business partner and BFF Fleet Korte that his father died. They tell the former’s grandfather Ace who asks them to learn the truth.

Someone hires Grove to dig up the grave of great poker champion Jeff Taylor who was murdered in an unsolved case twelve years ago. The smell is overwhelming in spite of the really good condition of the remains and worse to Grove is the gross touching of the shirt to remove a key from the deceased’s neck. Grove goes to Vegas to deliver the key to his client for a sizable fee. Steve Harrison the client takes the key while musing one down eight players with keys to go before killing Grove. As Doc seeks what happened to his father after the Big Game, he finds a connection to a 1982 game and the White House.

Though the premise should be over the top of the Central Idaho Mountains, Dean Wesley Smith draws a royal straight flush by making the hand he deals readers seem possible with this exhilarating political poker thriller. With his DNA containing the poker gene, the protagonist, accompanied by his loyal sidekick, raises the stakes, bluffs and calls his way in a Dead Money game in which the players ante is their life.

Harriet Klausner

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