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Kirkus’ Review

BACK HOME TO VEGAS

An office drone gets a shot at his dream job–managing a mobbed-up casino–in this fizzy thriller.

Sarasota insurance salesman Cliff Zavitch has a severe case of burnout. He’s tired of trying to sell widows unnecessary policies, and his supervisors are threatening to frame him if he exposes their shady practices. Then Phil Irish, his old boss and mentor at Las Vegas’s Midway Casino, makes him an offer he can’t refuse. Phil has been skimming for himself a slice of the proceeds due his Mafia partners and has turned state’s evidence as the FBI and the Nevada Gaming Control Board prepare to seize his casino. He wants straight-arrow Cliff to run the Midway in his stead, under a government-appointed general manager, and see that Phil’s financial interests are protected. The upside for Cliff includes a huge salary, luxurious digs, a snazzy wardrobe, perks galore and all the clout that accrues to a casino honcho on the Strip. The downside is even bigger: The mob is now gunning for him, in the form of Silas, a nondescript but consummately professional hit man whose cool improvisations are one of the story’s chief pleasures. The deals and plots Cliff becomes enmeshed in are a bit far-fetched and not always comprehensible even after they’ve been explained at some length. But Kazor delivers punchy prose and colorful characters, as well as an engrossing portrait of the workings of a high-end gambling joint. The author, a casino veteran, knows this terrain like the back of his hand, and his affection for it is contagious. As Cliff takes over–mastering elaborate security protocols, sussing out cheaters and their endlessly inventive ruses, massaging high rollers and, more importantly, their mistresses–we share his sense of fascination with this exhilarating world.

An atmospheric page-turner that shows why running a casino is more fun than gambling in one.

There’s no place on earth like Las Vegas, and now its colorful history and wild casino life come alive in C. P. Kazor’s blazing crime thriller, Back Home To Vegas. A Story of Deceit and Murder, Vegas Style. Set in the 1980s, when Las Vegas was on the cusp of being legitimate, this high voltage drama showcases an exciting and glittering world peopled with the legendary Bugsy Siegal, Bennie Binion and Howard Huges. It’s also the story of one extraordinary man, Cliff Zavitch, who comes back home to Vegas to work for his old boss at a casino. But opportunity knocks him into a whole different life, where the stakes are higher than he ever expected and all bets are off. His boss turns out to be involved in a skimming scam, and when he turns state’s evidence, the owners of the casino want him—and Cliff—dead. Who can Cliff trust? Who holds the best cards here for survival or will everything end in a brutal blood bath? Kazor’s crafted a no-holds barred crime drama that will have you glued to the edge of your seat, even as you yearn to grab the next flight to Vegas. As fast-paced as a slot machine, and as exciting as a game of craps, when it comes to crime thrills, Back Home To Vegas is the hands down winner!

 



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