Mark Jacobs is a freelance writer, martial arts instructor and semi-professional poker player who regularly plays for more money than he can afford to lose. His written work has appeared in publications such as Sports Illustrated, Men’s Health and TimeOut New York. The author of the acclaimed instructional text, The Principles of Unarmed Combat, he currently serves as a monthly columnist for Black Belt Magazine. Pascal’s Wager is his first novel.
Pascal's Wagerby Mark Jacobs
Pascal Silver is an action junkie down on his luck. One of the best poker players alive, a losing streak has forced him to
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Whether it’s in Las Vegas’ glitzy casinos or its seamy back alleys, Black Belt magazine columnist and poker pro Mark Jacobs captures the excitement with the vision of an insider in his new novel Pascal’s Wager...
Pascal Silver is an action junkie down on his luck. One of the best poker players alive, a losing streak has forced him to take work as a private detective. But when the gorgeous daughter of murdered casino owner “Houston Phil” LaPierre turns to him for help, he finds himself in over his head dealing with the cops, the mob and the enigmatic but beautiful Allegra LaPierre. Now he’ll have to pull off the biggest bluff of his life to come out on top. And even if he does, he’ll still be left with the question “Who killed Phil?” a question only he is shrewd enough to answer.
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Can you create a better philosophically risk-taking gambler addicted detective than Pascal? I doubt it. He oozes Descartes, Kierkegaard, Socrates, and more if they were alive today and gambling men. I wish I could give away the entire plot to this story, but I can't. I will tell you that Pascal's easy job of investigating the case of Phil LaPierre's death turns out to be not so easy in the end. You'll find out when you read this book, and if you are anything like me, you are going to love this ending. For readers who enjoy some sexy action adventures with some philosophical gambling, and a whole lot of mystery, this is the book for you. A free copy was provided on April 3, 2012 for review.
Pascal’s Wager By Mark Jacobs After working on his philosophy dissertation Pascal Silver decides to move to Las Vegas in order to find the meaning of existence through playing poker and actually living. On the side he is a part time private investigator where his skills at reading people come in handy, one day a beautiful woman hires him to find out who really killed her father. The police’s prime suspect is Allegra’s mother since her father was found shot in her bed by his own gun that never left his side. Can Pascal find out who truly killed him or will all the evidence lead back to the mother? As if this is daunting enough Allegra’s half-brother is murdered and the police think she is the one who is to blame. Mark Jacobs did a wonderful job with this book, even if you don’t play Texas Hold ‘Em you can easily follow along. If you are a fan of the old school detective novels this book will be right up your alley as Pascal gets the girl and kicks butt all at the same time he is solving a gruesome murder. It is a fun read that leaves you guessing as to “who done it” to the very last second. Mark Jacobs’ background in martial arts also comes into play making his action scenes believable and intense the descriptions could not have been any better. This book is definitely worth the read and I hope the author has a follow up on Pascal’s adventures.
Reviewed by Paul J. for Readers Favorite Pascal Silver was headed for a brilliant career in academia, at least his parents thought so. Instead he packed up and moved to Las Vegas to pursue his goal of winning the World Series of Poker. Usually low on cash, Pascal took a part-time job at a local private detective agency with an ex-LAPD detective. With his boss out of town, Pascal accepts a case from Allegra LaPierre to find out who murdered her father, casino owner 82 year old “Houston Phil” LaPierre. Allegra’s mother has been charged but something just doesn’t add up. Pascal soon finds everyone involved with Houston Phil has something to hide, including his ex-stripper ex-wife, his new trophy wife, Allegra’s half brother Bruce, and his old business partner, Fat Johnny. To make matters worse, Bruce LaPierre is found dead in his office and Allegra is soon arrested for the murder. When Chicago mob guys show up and tell him to drop the case, Pascal knows he is on to something. With Allegra’s life hanging in the balance he decides to pull off the biggest bluff of his life. But, even if he gets Allegra back that still doesn’t answer the question, “who killed Phil”. I liked this story very much. It is a simple mystery with a different point of view. The characters are first rate and described in such detail that you can see them in your mind’s eye. With details about the old Vegas and new Vegas intertwined, it gives you a good picture of “Sin City”. The plot, while simple, was well-thought out and suspenseful enough to keep the reader eagerly waiting to see the outcome. Well done.
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