Sunday, July 17, 2016

Review: The Poker Game

Judge Leonard Kurtz presides over a Saturday-night poker game fifty weeks each year. But this is no ordinary game—it begins at precisely seven p.m. and lasts exactly twelve hours, and to sit at the table, each of the six players must have ten-thousand dollars in cash. But then, on a warm summer night, five players are brutally murdered, victims of a single gunshot wound to the head.
Veteran homicide detective Jack Dantzler is faced with the task of finding the person—or persons—responsible for the crime. His initial questions are, which of the victims was the primary target, and what is the name of the missing player? Was that player lucky, or could he be the killer?
As Dantzler begins to peel away the many layers of this baffling case, the answers he finds are not what he expected. They put him on several different paths, including one that will bring him face to face with the only murderer he has failed to catch.
--- book description
Few things give me more reader joy than a intricately plotted, well executed thriller.  Tom Wallace's The Poker Game (Hydra Publications, 2015) definitely brings the joy.  Just when you think you might have figured things out, Wallace throws a curve that takes your suspicions and speculations in an entirely different direction.  It's a wild ride, and Detective Jack Dantzler is a perfect traveling companion.  Smart, funny, and truly likable, Dantzler is a marvelous detective (and character) without falling into the tiresome infallibility trap.  The Poker Game is an excellent, keep-you-up-all-night read, and I highly recommend it.

I received a complimentary copy of The Poker Game to facilitate my review.  No other compensation was received.  For full disclosure, see the sidebar.