Narrator: Chase Johnson
Publisher: Michelle Rabe (2015)
Length: 45 minutes
Harry recently got out of prison and he has returned to his old haunts on the Las Vegas strip. He’s always been one to look for easy cash and now he’s looking for a larger card game with some whales he can play against. He won’t get what he came to Vegas for, but he might just get something better.
Harry took a knock to the head about three months back and since then there has been this voice. He has learned to listen to the voice, but not his innate common sense. He proceeds with his plan to cheat at cards and win big. He ends up at the elite Coffin Club with a wad of cash to buy in. There, we meet a few more characters. Mr. Cristoff Marchon runs the place. Mandy is his right hand-woman who manages the manager. David is a floor manager and his main job is to keep an eye out for cheats.
Harry is an enigmatic character. We don’t know why he was in prison. The only ‘bad’ thing we witness him doing is cheating at cards. He seems to have at least one friend, Mickey the bartender who we meet at the beginning of the story. Harry is out for the simple, fast solution and isn’t looking to find long term work or turn socially respectable. So, honestly, I’m not sure I liked this main character, but I did find him interesting.
All the other characters are pretty fleeting and by necessity are one dimensional. There’s only 1 female character, Mandy, and most of the time spent with her is discussing her looks and her sashaying hips. With a short story and a small cast, having only 1 female character is not unusual but I would have liked to have the time spent with her on her other attributes, such as her special talents.
The supernatural part of the story comes in really, really late. I had an impression going into this tale that this aspect would permeate it instead of being the final crescendo. Needless to say, the side characters with these special talents soon become interested in Harry because he appears to have his own special talent.
The ending was pretty abrupt, even as I felt it was fitting. My biggest criticism is that this story is too short. The characters needed a little more time to develop, the plot point of these supernatural talents needed more time on the page, and the ending needed more time to be dramatic and satisfying. This story has potential and I hope the author chooses to build upon what she started here.
I won a copy of this book from the author.
Narration: Chase Johnson did a decent job. He had a good voice for Harry that was full of skepticism and a disregard for authority. He made Harry believable. Later in the story, he does a passable French accent for one of the characters, and the same for the one female character.
What I Liked: Harry’s an interesting character; the seedy, desperate feel to the story; the supernatural quality that comes into play near the end.
What I Disliked: The story needed more time overall to develop – as it is, things feel rather rushed about it; most of the time spent on the lone female character is concerning her looks.