Dead Man's Hand

Dead Man's Hand

by Luke Murphy


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What happens when the deck is stacked against you...

From NFL rising-star prospect to wanted fugitive, Calvin Watters is a sadistic African-American Las Vegas debt-collector framed by a murderer who, like the Vegas Police, finds him to be the perfect fall-guy.

...and the cards don't fall your way?

When the brutal slaying of a prominent casino owner is followed by the murder of a well-known bookie, Detective Dale Dayton is thrown into the middle of a highly political case and leads the largest homicide investigation in Vegas in the last twelve years.

What if you're dealt a Dead Man's Hand?

Against his superiors and better judgment, Dayton is willing to give Calvin one last chance. To redeem himself, Calvin must prove his innocence by finding the real killer, while avoiding the LVMPD, as well as protect the woman he loves from a professional assassin hired to silence them.

Reviews for DEAD MAN'S HAND

"Luke Murphy's Dead Man's Hand is a pleasure, a debut novel that doesn't read like one, but still presents original characters and a fresh new voice." -Thomas Perry, New York Times bestselling author of Poison Flower


"It's a pleasure to welcome a new voice to the ranks of mystery-thriller authors. So welcome Luke Murphy, who delivers plenty of both in his debut novel, Dead Man's Hand. Give it an evening and you may want to give it the whole night, just to see how it turns out." -William Martin, New York Times bestselling author of Back Bay and The Lincoln Letter


"Part police procedural, part crime fiction, Dead Man's Hand is a fast, gritty ride." -Anne Frasier, USA Today bestselling author of Hush


"Luke Murphy writes in a clean, mean style, as compelling as a switchblade to your throat. Murphy's the real deal." -Rick Mofina, award-winning author of They Disappeared


"Dead Man's Hand is a pedal-to-the-metal thriller. Luke Murphy pours a load of talent into his first novel, and it takes off on the first page. Vivid characters and wire-taut plotting make Murphy's novel a five star read. Don't begin Dead Man's Hand if you need to do anything else today." -James Thayer, author of White Star


"What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas? Luke Murphy puts on display the seedy underbelly of Sin City, where deceit, treachery, vengeance and the double cross are practiced like an art form. For a taut thriller, bet on a Dead Man's Hand." -Anthony Bidulka, award-winning author of the Russell Quant Mysteries


"Calvin Watters is an anti-hero you will cheer in this solid debut that poses twisted questions about crime and punishment." -Julie Kramer, award-winning author of Shunning Sarah


"Dead Man's Hand gripped me with terror from the first sentence. Luke Murphy is a great mood-builder on the order of Dean Koontz!" -Betty Dravis, award-winning author of Six-Pack of Blood

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781775375913
Publisher: ANM Books
Publication date: 05/25/2018
Pages: 234
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.49(d)

About the Author

Luke Murphy lives in Shawville, Quebec with his wife, three daughters and pug.

He played six years of professional hockey before retiring in 2006. Since then, he's held a number of jobs, from sports columnist to radio journalist, before earning his Bachelor of Education degree (Magna Cum Laude).

For more information on Luke and his books, visit:, 'like' his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter

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Dead Man's Hand 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
CPBialois More than 1 year ago
In Dead Man’s Hand, we’re introduced to Calvin Watters, a former college football star whose life was changed by a single mistake. Working as the top collector in Las Vegas, Watters has developed a reputation of someone to be feared. Detective Dale Dayton seemingly has it all: a good job and a loving family. Until one day his desire to work and exclude his family drives his wife to take their son and leave him. Their lives are brought together when a high profile casino owner is murdered and everything points to Watters. Believing the man’s innocent, Detective Dayton faces pressure from the higher ups in his quest to find the killer after more people are found dead. From the very beginning we’re taken into the lives of the characters and experience both the good and bad with them. It reminds us how unfair life can seem at times when we think we have everything under control, but it also shows how we each have a choice to make on whether we want to stay what we become or rise above it. I like how it shows that no matter how different we think we are, each of us often need help at some point by someone we don’t think is viable. More than anything, that drew me into the book as I can relate to both characters. There’s a piece of me in each of them from my own football playing days to balancing a relationship against your career ambitions. When I wasn’t in nostalgia mode, I loved the story as well as it took a great number of twists and turns until finally it reached the home stretch. In many ways, the ending was predictable, aside from the final revelation, but that didn’t bother me. The story was told in a smooth, fast way that kept me turning the pages. All in all, this was a very entertaining read for anyone that enjoys a good crime/mystery novel. 
Jesse_Kimmel-Freeman More than 1 year ago
This is the kind of book that sucks you in and then you're stuck inside its world. Luke has created a world that is full of unexpected turns. He does a great job of crafting this world and the amazing mix of people in it. I'm a sucker for characters and Luke doesn't disappoint on that front. I fell in love with Cal. There is something about the big and scary collector that touches my heart and makes me root for him. I want his life to turn into the fairytale that he deserves. It sucks when you make one bad choice that changes the entire path you were on. And for athletes it's even worse because one false move will destroy your career and break your will. I totally loved the detective too. Maybe if the world was full of guys that were that dedicated to their jobs, we'd have a lot less unsolved cases. Luke does an amazing job with plot development, character arcs, and sticking with the overall feel of the story. You never wonder if this story is EVER going to end (you know you've read some like that), and you generally want to know what happens, there isn't anything left hanging in the air. I truly enjoyed this book. I recommend it for those that like suspense books, but also like action. If you like cop books, or books where the hero is the underdog... It's a great book!
ksen More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed Dead Man's Hand by Luke Murphy. I liked the story and the fast pace of the book--I didn't want to put it down. I look forward to more books by Luke Murphy, and would love to see the characters in this book in a series!