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Tony Valentine Books In Order

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Publication Order of Tony Valentine Books

Tony Valentine is the lead character in a series of crime fiction books written by American bestselling author James Swain. He is a retired cop from New Jersey who originally used to patrol the Atlantic City Casinos. After his retirement, he moved on to Florida but later lured to La Vegas where he can put his skills to work and more so against the casino cheats. The series was optioned for adaptation in 2009 by Langley Films.

The series began publication in 2001 when the first book in the series Grift Sense was published. The second novel Funny Money was released in 2002.

Grift Sense

Grift Sense is the first book in Tony Valentine series by Tony Valentine series. The book title refers to the ability of a hustler to determine whether he is being hustled. In this first installment, we meet, Tony the lead character who has worked in New Jersey and possessed a list of crooks and hustlers who attempt to defraud casinos. He does not like Las Vegas, but he is compelled to answer a phone call from the owner of Acropolis. A gambler by the name Frank Fontaine has arrived in town and has hit mega wins three nights in a row. Frank is way too good to be purely lucky, and he is making plays that not even a single gambler would dare make. Worst of all, all his games are paying off, and given the poor state of the casino finances, if he continues to play, the casino could soon go under.

When the security team at the Acropolis views the tapes, they cannot see any means that the man could have used to cheat and furthermore they cannot figure out if the dealer has been helping him. When Tony Valentine arrives in town, he is convinced that the cute blonde dealer has been helping Fontaine, but the problem is that he cannot figure out how this scheme is being worked out.

During his investigations, the investigator encounters more than just a fair share of very colorful characters and soon discovers that he is threatening the interests of some the evil people who do not take his threatening investigations lightly.

Grift Sense is a fascinating read and an introduction to one of the unique and appealing protagonists you will ever encounter. Tony is torn between two worlds, one protecting his estranged son and second continuing with his job. Then there is Mabel, Tony’s neighbor who writes atrocious classified ads for kicks, and Nick, the casino owner who is a sucker for all beautiful women.

Funny Money

In the second installment of Tony Valentine series, we meet the sixty- two- year- old Tony Valentine, a retired police force living in Florida and running his consulting service, Grift Sense. He possesses the ability to spot people who are cheating in casino games, and he is often hired by casino owners to detect cheaters that most often outsmart the casino’s personnel.

He often does this sometimes from the comfort of his home in Florida; casino security personnel sends him a video recording of a suspected fraudster, he analyzes the video, spots the cheater and reports back via the phone. However this time round he receives a phone call from his longtime police partner by the name Doyle Flanagan. Flanagan has gone out on his own and is investigating a blackjack punter who has hit the Atlantic City casino for approximately six million dollars. He is stuck in his investigation and hopes that he could use some help, but before Tony gets a chance to have a glimpse at the video, Flanagan is killed by a bomb planted by the people he was investigating.

So this time round the case becomes personal and Tony flies up to Atlantic City and takes over the investigation. It is clear that some very bizarre things are going to happen to this casino and more so at the blackjack tables, but Tony is initially puzzled.

He clear knows well that the big winner is playing with a partner and that they must have to be cheating, and neither of them is that lucky or good. However with all his experience, Tony seems not to figure out how the cheaters are working their scam and not long he finds himself in the circle of the same people responsible for the death of his friend.

For Tony, more trouble keeps on knocking, as he has to deal with his son’s never ending problems. From time to time he has had to bail out his son, Gerry but the stupid kid keeps on digging himself deeper into trouble. This time, Gerry has lost $50,000 to some dangerous mobsters who are always threatening him with bodily harm and even much more.

Sucker Bet

In the third installment, we again meet Tony Valentine, a retired cop who captures casino fraudsters and this time, the Micanopy Indian Reservation Casino in South Florida desperately require his services. A blackjack dealer has manipulated a game, gave a player 84 wins in a row and then disappeared. Furthermore, the missing dealer is also a part of an even far deadlier and bigger scheme. His trail of investigation leads him to Rico Blanco where some violent gangster who once worked John Gotti, his partner in crime Victor Marks and a hooker named Candy Hart. Apparently, it appears that they have a con game going on involving a wealthy Brit and his millions of dollars. However, Valentine’s challenge is a piece all these pieces of clues together before his luck runs out which could ultimately mean his end as well.

Sucker Bet is the third installment and far much more interesting read than the first two books. In this book, Tony is maturing in significant ways which make him a more likable character. He is helped by his trusted neighbor, Mabel who is often in charge of the office while Tony is out. Valentine has several clients, and his friend Mabel frequently makes calls to him to figure several scams he is tasked to investigate. Sucker Bet is an engaging read with likable characters, twisted plots and several hits of humor that spices up the narrative.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Tony Valentine

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