Cold Deck
a novel

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Author: H. Lee Barnes

Format: Cloth
Pages: 216
ISBN: 9780874178845
Published Date: 2013

Jude is a Las Vegas casino dealer who barely survived the deadly MGM fire in 1980. More than two decades later, he’s still dealing, a tired, middle-aged man, divorced, struggling with debt, and trying to be a good father to his children. Then he loses his job and his car is totaled in an accident. When an attractive woman friend offers to help him get another job, Jude is happy to go along. Gradually, he realizes that his new job is part of an elaborate scheme to cheat a casino and that his own fate and that of his children depend on his finding the courage and ingenuity to extricate himself.

Cold Deck is the exciting story of an ordinary man who finds himself in extraordinary circumstances. Moving from Las Vegas’s mean streets to the insider’s world of casino workers, this is a story of survival set against the greed, fears, and glitz of Sin City.  

Author Bio
H. Lee Barnes is a former Green Beret and Vietnam War veteran who has worked as a deputy sheriff, private investigator, and casino dealer. He currently teaches English and creative writing at the Community College of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas. He is the author of three short story collections, another novel, a memoir, and a nonfiction book about casino workers. His short fiction has received the Willamette Fiction Award and the Arizona Authors Association Fiction Award, and in 2009, he was elected to the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. 

Cold Deck, H. Lee Barnes’ novel driven by a savvy even hell-bent narrator, immediately draws you into the underworld of Las Vegas gambling and won’t let you go until the treachery and intrigue run flat out.” --Darrell Spencer, author of One Mile Past Dangerous Curve  

“The world of the Vegas casinos--particularly the less glitzy side--creates a wonderful palette for the novel, and Barnes stamps almost every page of the book with the feel of it. The author, unlike his likeably unlucky main character, is holding a winning hand here.” --Keith Lee Morris, author of The Greyhound God and The Dart League King  

"Gritty details and the realistic depiction of casino life demonstrate Barnes' easy familiarity with the terrain of Sin City." -Booklist

"Barnes has crafted a worthy thriller to go along with his sterling short fiction and stellar war memoir." The Veteran (Vietnam Veterans of America), July / August 2013

"Sometimes, as Cold Deck makes clear, the flames that singe us stem from conflagrations of our design. . . . Cold Deck plays it consistently cool, cat-and-mouse. . . . The storytelling is quiet, confident, assured, literary. . . . Cold Deck is seamlessly plotted, the tension subtly ratcheted. . . . If you read one Southwest-set crime fiction this summer, you should hotly consider making it Cold Deck." Tucson Weekly, June 13, 2013

"Finely crafted fiction that's also an authoritative look at how the casino business and cheating scams work." Las Vegas CityLife, May 16, 2013