Monday, November 27, 2017

Giles, Lamar. Overturned.

Giles, Lamar.  Overturned. Scholastic Press     2017  341p  $17.99  Hardback  ISBN 978-0-545-81250-4    hs  Adventure, Romance  VG

Nikki takes after her father, who is a world class poker player and the owner of a boutique casino just off the Las Vegas strip. He has just been exonerated from a death row sentence for the murder of another Vegas player. But his homecoming is short lived, as he is soon gunned down. Now Nikki is out to find out who killed him. This novel only somewhat successfully balances its various threads -- a high school sports rivalry with another local school, a new love interest for Nikki, the adult world of her mother’s adultery, casino rivalries and questionable business associates, and Nikki’s job of running the family casino, in which revenue rarely meets expenses. Her love interest in a high-school boy whose father is a megacasino rival seems to be more convenient to the plot than believable. For those looking for a book about gambling, this will disappoint, as it is more about the seedy side of Vegas, motorcycle gangs and murder investigations. The focus shifts awkwardly from high-school troubles to adult relationship problems, as though the author couldn’t decide if the book was for high-school students or a new-adult audience. Honest conversations between mother and daughter would have ended the book before it started. On page 283, there is a major typo: "Gavin’s arm went lip (limp?)".    The novel is recommended for those who love murder mysteries.

Summary: Nikki, a brilliant African-American high-school poker player, balances a new love interest, her father’s assassination, her desire to leave town, and high school rivalries in this Las Vegas novel of concealment, murder investigations, and family unease. Grades 9+.

Gambling-Fiction, Murder-Fiction                                  --Lois McNicol

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