Hard Luck Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Hard Luck

Perhaps it is Cat Marsala's hard luck that she happens to be mere feet away from Jack Sligh - when he lands on the pavement next to her after having fallen from a significant height. Jack's death opens up an avenue of investigation for Cat, as she was supposed to have an appointment with him that very day, researching for a story about the Illinois State Lottery.
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'Hard Luck' is a well-researched tale about what some may consider a rather boring topic: the world of state lottery funds. How exciting can that actually be? It becomes exciting in a big way when Cat gets hot on the trail of supposed misappropriation of those funds in the hands of those working in high positions for the Illinois State Lottery - mostly the members of one family.

Soon after Jack's plunge, Cat becomes the victim of arson. With a ruined apartment, Cat is quite convinced that Jack's death wasn't suicide. Jack had hinted to Cat that there was some chicanery going in the state lottery the day before he died.

With a lottery convention in full swing in Chicago, Cat learns as much as she can about the ins and outs of legal gambling, all the while searching for a reason why anyone would want Jack Sligh dead. And her, too.

D'Amato deserves full praise for taking a thoroughly dull subject and making it appealing. The world of legal gambling outside of Las Vegas has never been so fascinating.
The review of this Book prepared by tesubcalle

Chapter Analysis of Hard Luck

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 60%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 10%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   journalist


United States    -   Yes City?    -   Yes City:    -   Chicago

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Unusual forms of death    -   dropped from large heights Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Barbara D'Amato Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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