THE JACK BARNETT / LAS VEGAS SERIES
This book is a work of
fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the
author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events,
locales, or persons, living or dead, is unintended and entirely coincidental.
All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced or
transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without
permission in writing from Mike Dennis.
Published by Mike Dennis
Copyright 2011 by Mike Dennis
designed by Jeroen ten Berge
by Harry Dewulf
Bought by Maraya21
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Yesterday could never really be discarded.
always a part of now. There was just no way to get rid of it.
No way to
push it aside, or throw it in an ash can,
or dig a
hole and bury it.
buried memories were nothing more than
own sweet time to come back.
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NOBODY is actually from Las Vegas. It's one of those towns that eats its own. Needs a
constant supply of fresh blood, like a vampire.
Fresh blood to keep coming with outlandish ideas
that won't work anywhere else. Fresh blood to keep bringing money in to dump on
the tables, or pour down the slots, or drop it on somebody else's questionable
Las Vegas. A grifter's heaven for sure, because
there's always a new mark somewhere. They flow through McCarran Airport and the
Greyhound terminal every day by the thousands, looking to throw money at
someone or something, or even just the promise of something. You can find them
up in the ritzy suites at the Venetian, in the desperate two-bit motels on the
edge of downtown, and everywhere in between.
Even people born and raised here aren't from here.
Not really. First of all, there aren't that many of them to begin with. Then,
their parents quite likely came from somewhere else. In most cases, the kids
leave as soon as they're old enough, looking to connect with more sensible
locations. Most of those who defy the odds and stay eventually wish they
hadn't, because what the city needs can't be produced locally.
Halt the flow of fresh blood into Las Vegas and
you might as well halt the flow of water. The whole place would dry right up.
Take me, for instance. I
moved up here from LA about eight months ago, back in May of '01. An old buddy
of mine was a pit boss at the Desert Inn and told me he could get me on there
in some kind of job.
Moving seemed like the right thing to do because
things were starting to close in on me in the City of Angels. I'd lost my
private investigator's license for pushing a guy around and doing some other
stuff while trying to collect a debt for a client. Problem was, the guy had big
juice, so before I knew it, my license was gone. He was threatening criminal
action against me, too, so late one night, I packed up and headed out while I
Not long after I got to Las Vegas, they announced
they were going to blow the Desert Inn up. Then, September 11th blew a hole in
the country. So I stayed on, scuffling around in the poker rooms for awhile
until I could find something.
Well, it wasn't long until something found me.
It started late one winter night downtown at
Binion's, two or three months after they imploded the DI. I was sitting at a
low-limit seven-card stud table. A hand tapped my shoulder twice. It belonged
to the swing shift supervisor.
"Jack," he said in a low tone.
"Someone here to see you." He gestured toward the cardroom entrance.
Glancing that way, I saw an older guy in a camel
hair topcoat over a suit and tie, way too well-dressed for Binion's. I