The Big Gamble Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Big Gamble

Dutton July 2002, 23.95, 320 pp.
ISBN 0525946564

On a little traveled road in Lincoln County, New Mexico at the site of a burned down fruit stand, two bodies are found in the remaining rumble. One body is that of small time gambler Joseph John who recently struck it big on the reservation casino while the other corpse is that of Anne Marie Montoya, a woman who disappeared into thin air one decade ago.
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The primary on the Montoya case is Santa Fe Police Chief Kevin Kerney and the man in charge of the Humphrey investigation is Deputy Sheriff Clayton Istee. Although the two men are father and son, neither knew about the relationship until recently. Clayton would prefer to forget about the relationship but when the two cases intersect in an unexpected manner, the two men are forced to work together and take a step closer to forming a relationship.

Like Tony Hillerman before him, Michael McGarrity puts the state of New Mexico on the map. His style is smooth, subtle and his storytelling abilities keep the reader in thrall, wondering what will happen next. THE BIG GAMBLE is no gamble at all for reader; it is a surefire winner for anyone who likes a fascinating police procedural.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Big Gamble

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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 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Murder of certain profession?    -   businessmen Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, American Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings towards family/friends Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   police/lawman Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   West

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   mostly dialog

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Michael McGarrity Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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