Mr. Lucky (Tony Valentine Series #5)

Mr. Lucky (Tony Valentine Series #5)

by James Swain

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Mr. Lucky (Tony Valentine Series #5) by James Swain

Tony Valentine made his living and his name as a cop in Atlantic City–and is now known worldwide for his ability to spot the kinds of scams, grifts, and rip-offs that cost casinos billions every year. A man with a biting wit who drives a ’92 Honda, Tony is low-profile, old-school, and has seen it all–until he meets the luckiest man on earth.

Ricky Smith was once a small-town loser. Then he went to Las Vegas, jumped out the window of a burning hotel, lived to tell the tale, and tore up the Strip on an incredible winning streak. Ricky didn’t just win at one slot machine or table game. He won at blackjack, roulette, and craps, and then beat the pants off the world’s greatest poker player. Tony knows that goofy, loudmouthed Ricky Smith–or anyone else, for that matter–couldn’t possibly be that fortunate. But when “Mr. Lucky” returns home to the little town of Slippery Rock, North Carolina, he keeps on winning everything from a horse race to a $50,000 lottery.

Hired by a desperate casino, Tony starts to pry into Ricky’s past, his friends, and the strange little town that is benefiting from Ricky’s fame and fortune. Unfortunately for Tony, his cover is blown when he is forced to reveal a trick he has up his own sleeve: a pocket Glock he can shoot with laser-like precision. Suddenly, two men are dead, the cops are on Tony’s tail, and the investigation explodes in violence–putting the lives of Tony’s son and his young family in danger.

For years, Tony’s son Gerry has dueled with his own criminal impulses. Now, the Ricky Smith case has lured Gerry through the gates of temptation and into a murderous confrontation with the Dixie Mafia. With Tony stuck on the slippery slope of Slippery Rock and Gerry fighting for his life, the Valentines are finding out just how bad good luck can get.

Against a neon-tinted backdrop of adrenaline rushes, hard crashes, big money, and high-wire tension, the inimitable James Swain has set his best Tony Valentine novel yet: a funny, furious ride with an astounding array of crooks, marks, and one killer scam.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345475459
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/28/2007
Series: Tony Valentine Series , #5
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 920,495
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.80(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

JAMES SWAIN is the bestselling author of Grift Sense, Funny Money, Sucker Bet, and Loaded Dice, and is considered an authority on crooked gambling and casino scams. He lives in Odessa, Florida, with his wife, Laura, where he is currently at work on his sixth Tony Valentine novel.

Visit the author’s website at

Read an Excerpt


Excerpted from "Mr. Lucky"
by .
Copyright © 2007 James Swain.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

Michael Connelly

Mr. Lucky hits the jackpot. Impossible to put down.

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Mr. Lucky (Tony Valentine Series #5) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
KenCady More than 1 year ago
Since the novel came out in 2005, and since it has been a year when the last review was written, why bother writing a review? Well, I will write it because that's what I do when I finish a book. Since someone may still come along and read the novel, I will put the The whole story is premised on one Ricky Smith winning a million dollars at a Vegas casino. He becomes known as Mr. Lucky because, before he did that, he had escaped a burning hotel by jumping from his balcony, through a roof, and into the hotel swimming pool. He survived, and ran wet and shoeless across the street where he won the million. An investigator, former cop Tony Valentine, is hired by the casino to prove that Ricky's win were by fraud. If in fact there was a scam set up in the casino, one wonders why. Ricky, for all we knew, was in his hotel room, prepared to spend the night with a woman. That it went sour was unpredictable. That the hotel would catch fire was unpredictable. That he would jump was unpredictable. That he would survive was unpredictable and astonishing. So why would a scam be set up for Ricky to win money if there was so little, in fact, no chance that he would even be at this casino? Yet he did turn up there, and the story of how Valentine investigates is the main part of the novel, along with a side story about his son conducting an unrelated investigation- filler, actually. The novel is not unpleasant, and in fact has some interesting developments. But, how the story ends was quite annoying. The author plays some cards he had been hiding through the whole novel. Not fair.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. I found it very interesting. It ended kind of abruptly but overall I liked the story. --K--
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read my first James Swain book over the Christmas holidays. Since then, I have picked up 5 more and have read 4 of them. The main character - Tony Valentine - is well developed and I find my self laughing out loud at times when I am reading. Great series to read through.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ricky Smith, a loser from a nowhere town in the North Carolina mountains, suddenly becomes the luckiest man on earth, winning everything he sets his mind to. But he isn't fooling everyone. Enter Tony Valentine, ageing ex-cop and gambling scam detection artist. Soon he and his son Gerry are up to their ears in the Dixie Mafia, revenge-driven backwoodsmen, and corruption at the highest levels of business. Set in Florida, Nevada, and the deep South, this tale of greed and grift holds the reader to the last exciting page.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent, with a little suspension of disbelief. One glaring error: a man 'burns off' his fingerprints using Boric Acid? Boric is used in eyewashes and of you soaked your fingers in it all day you would only get wrinkled skin, same as water. OK, that's nitpicking. Still a good book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading an excellent book that I highly recommed to you. 'Mr. Lucky is an exciting, beautifully written novel. I particularly enjoyed all the insider information the author lets us in on about many types of gambling scams that crooks use. These tricks add spice to altogether satisfying and exciting story line. Tony Valentine is a totally believalbe, really engaging person. Another great book by James Swain
harstan More than 1 year ago
When a fire breaks out in the Riverboat Casino, small time gambler Ricky Smith jumps from his burning balcony into a pool. A few minutes later without a look back he enters the Mint. He borrows twenty bucks; Smith starts at blackjack, turns to roulette and dice before completing his incredible run by wiping out poker expert Tex Snyder. In a short period, Smith went from loser to millionaire never losing a hand at any of the games he played. --- The Vegas Nevada Gaming Control Board wants Tony Valentine, head of Grift Sense, to figure out how Smith accomplished this incredible run. Tony wants to refuse the assignment, but when the consortium adds the wiping out his wastrel son¿s debts, he agrees only for the sake of his daughter in-law and granddaughter. Smith is back in North Carolina, but the streak continues with a lottery win. Tony struggles to debunk MR. LUCKY as no pattern except the wins emerge.--- In his latest grift tale, James Swain provides a delightful wild gambling tale that also provides a cautionary waning to those hooked by the glitter of internet and televised poker. Tony is terrific as he cannot find how Smith can win at seemingly random events like a lottery. Wild and zany, MR. LUCKY is a terrific royal flush thriller.--- Harriet Klausner