Review of DICE ANGEL by Brian Rouff (see his website)
Hardway Press, 2001
James Delaney, Jr. better known as Jimmy D, owns a successful bar in Las Vegas, has a great relationship with his young daughter, and thinks he has his drinking and gambling problems under control. But when a break-in at the bar turns into something more serious, everything begins to unravel. The bar has been looted, the IRS is after Jimmy for more than he can possibly afford, and the IRS lien on the business means he can't even borrow against it. Drinking starts to look more atractive. But gambling isn't an option--Jimmy has learned one thing for sure, he has no luck on the gambling tables of Las Vegas. Even when a homeless friend gives him the battered business card of Amaris, the 'Dice Angel,' Jimmy has learned how to say know. Gambling nearly ruined his life and cost him his marriage. But what other options can he pursue?
Author Brian Rouff delivers a truly fine read in DICE ANGEL. Jimmy comes off as real and human, battling his problems, the IRS bureaucracy, and himself as he gets more and more deeply into trouble. Rouff does a good job letting Jimmy get close to a solution, only to see it twist away before he can grasp it. Jimmy's relationships with his daughter, his employees, and eventually with Amaris too are human and enjoyable.
Rouff has a good feel for Las Vegas and the people who make it their home. For them, and for those of us reading DICE ANGEL, Las Vegas comes alive in a very real way.
I enjoyed DICE ANGEL a lot and recommend it without hesitation. (See our review of MONEY SHOT, also by Brian Rouff).
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