Good morning and welcome to this week’s installment of In the Books, featuring Luke Murphy’s Dead Man’s Hand.
In Dead Man’s Hand, we’re introduced to Calvin Watters, a former college football star whose life was changed by a single mistake. Working as the top collector in Las Vegas, Watters has developed a reputation of someone to be feared.
Detective Dale Dayton seemingly has it all: a good job and a loving family. Until one day his desire to work and exclude his family drives his wife to take their son and leave him.
Their lives are brought together when a high profile casino owner is murdered and everything points to Watters. Believing the man’s innocent, Detective Dayton faces pressure from the higher ups in his quest to find the killer after more people are found dead.
From the very beginning we’re taken into the lives of the characters and experience both the good and bad with them. It reminds us how unfair life can seem at times when we think we have everything under control, but it also shows how we each have a choice to make on whether we want to stay what we become or rise above it. I like how it shows that no matter how different we think we are, each of us often need help at some point by someone we don’t think is viable.
More than anything, that drew me into the book as I can relate to both characters. There’s a piece of me in each of them from my own football playing days to at one time balancing a relationship against my career ambitions.
When I wasn’t in nostalgia mode, I loved the story as well as it took a great number of twists and turns until it reached the home stretch. In many ways, the ending was predictable, aside from the final revelation, but that didn’t bother me. The story was told in a smooth, fast way that kept me turning the pages.
All in all, this was a very entertaining read for anyone that enjoys a good crime/mystery novel.