Pocket, Jun 2002, 24.00, 304 pp.
Retired cop Tony Valentine supplements his pension by exposing grifters at the Las Vegas casinos. He figures he needs the extra income because his son is always hitting him for a “loan” to pay off a questionable debt or two.
Tony's former partner Doyle Flanagan is in the same line of work currently employed in Atlantic City. Doyle calls Tony to tell him about his current case involving a six million-dollar scam at the Bombay Casino. While on the phone together, a bomb explodes killing Doyle. Tony takes this personally and decides he must bring his partner's killers to justice, his style. He knows the prime path to identify the murderers is through the Bombay Casino besides which he believes that the corrupt gambling industry needs periodic cleansing so that the mark is not illegally fleeced.
The second Tony Valentine tale lives up to the fabulous debut novel, GRIFT SENSE, with a strong investigative story line starring a hard-boiled yet somewhat soft in the middle sleuth whose actions and reactions make James Swain's tale feel excitingly genuine. Tony is the novel with his ambivalent attitude towards his son and his linebacker approach to justice and fairness. Fans of a modern day bruising yet compassionate private detective not afraid to wristlock and kiss lock women wrestlers will relish FUNNY MONEY.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner