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With dialogue reminiscent of Dashiell Hammett and Elmore Leonard’s works, a ripping pace and a cast of characters you won’t soon forget, Dead Money is a first-rate mystery like no other.

When Rick Redman’s infuriating boss puts him on the Jules Fitzgibbon case, Rick suspects he’s being set up to lose. After all, the murder victim was found dead in a nearby alleyway after a very vocal argument with the accused, a young man with an unhealthy fondness for sharp implements. But Jules’s father is an important client of the firm, and Rick is told to keep the young man out of jail. Could it be, though, that Jules’s father also wants Rick to fail? Rick turns to the one person he knows he can trust – in life and on the case – Dorita, a leggy dame with a platinum cigarette lighter and a wit as sharp as her stilettos.

Meanwhile, at home, Rick’s wife is slowly killing herself with drink, and their spirited teenaged daughter, Kelly, is forced to watch helplessly. Rick seeks consolation at his local watering hole, The Wolf’s Lair, where he meets a young and charming actor, Jake, who asks him to join a high-stakes poker game. But like everything else in Rick’s complicated life, there’s more to Jake than meets the eye.

Dead Money is the first in a series featuring Rick Redman: lawyer, drinker, rookie investigator, father, poker hound.

From the Hardcover edition.

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