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A Gambling Man (An Archer Novel) Paperback – September 28, 2021
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The 1950s are on the horizon, and Archer is in dire need of a fresh start after a nearly fatal detour in Poca City. So Archer hops on a bus and begins the long journey out west to California, where rumor has it there is money to be made if you’re hard-working, lucky, criminal—or all three.
Along the way, Archer stops in Reno, where a stroke of fortune delivers him a wad of cash and an eye-popping blood-red 1939 Delahaye convertible—plus a companion for the final leg of the journey, an aspiring actress named Liberty Callahan who is planning to try her luck in Hollywood. But when the two arrive in Bay Town, California, Archer quickly discovers that the hordes of people who flocked there seeking fame and fortune landed in a false paradise that instead caters to their worst addictions and fears.
Archer’s first stop is a P.I. office where he is hoping to apprentice with a legendary private eye and former FBI agent named Willie Dash. He lands the job, and immediately finds himself in the thick of a potential scandal: a blackmail case involving a wealthy well-connected politician running for mayor that soon spins into something even more sinister. As bodies begin falling, Archer and Dash must infiltrate the world of brothels, gambling dens, drug operations, and long-hidden secrets, descending into the rotten bones of a corrupt town that is selling itself as the promised land—but might actually be the road to perdition, and Archer’s final resting place.
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"David Baldacci is no stranger to hitting literary home runs, but his second book to feature World War II veteran turned avenging angel Aloysius Archer, A Gambling Man, is a flat-out grand slam . . . Few authors are able to frame period pieces for a contemporary sensibility, but Baldacci proves more than up to the task in fashioning a tale that's as close to perfect as a thriller can get."―Providence Sunday Journal
“Baldacci . . . definitely is onto something with Archer. He’s a very interesting guy, in a rough-and-tumble way, and Baldacci renders Archer's postwar world with the kind of vivid detail that catches a reader’s eye . . . Readers new to the series will definitely want to catch up on what they've missed.”―Booklist
"Fans of Baldacci should go all in for A Gambling Man. This spicy novel deals out a hand of brothels, gambling dens, drug operations, and government corruption—all a sure bet for a rollicking good time."―New York Journal of Books
“Baldacci establishes bona fides for this historical mystery with great delicacy, deftly navigating the cliché minefield and giving his readers a sense of the milieu without drowning them in minutiae. He delivers a cracking good suspense novel in the process.”―BookPage
"Baldacci delivers, every time!"―Lisa Scottoline, New York Times bestselling author
"David Baldacci is a master storyteller."―Associated Press
"With drugs, gambling, brothels, murders and more, for historical crime fans, this one’s got it all."―CNN Underscored
"A Gambling Man is delicious crime noir with fascinating historical data thrown in to keep the story interesting . . . Archer is one of today’s standout fictional characters, and you are missing out if you don’t jump into this terrific series at the beginning."―Bookreporter.com
"A master storyteller."―People
“A Gambling Man moves at a steady clip, as Baldacci’s plot pays homage to private eye novels by Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald. Archer is a well-drawn character, a man of his times who tries to overcome his past and embrace new attitudes. Liberty is no damsel in distress but is a strong woman who knows how to protect herself and isn’t fooled by any man, rising above clichés that may surround showgirls . . . A return to Archer and Liberty will be welcomed."―South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"In Archer, Baldacci has plumbed post-war time and place. His story’s personality is framed by Archer’s snappy dialogue [and] infused with just the right amount of suspense to keep you glued to the narrative."―Jersey's Best
"Good stuff from a master. Can’t wait for another."―Florida Times-Union
About the Author
- Publisher : Grand Central Publishing (September 28, 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 480 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1538719681
- ISBN-13 : 978-1538719688
- Item Weight : 11.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.2 x 1.55 x 7.95 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #12,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Top reviews from the United States
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Baldacci, a good writer is learning on the job with this format and quite obviously is using this book as one that will continue. In LA I suspect. He has not yet learned to capture the specula aura the time and conditions of that captivating era that has been captured successfully by other mystery writers . I was ready to close the book and give it one or two stars after I was about 15-20% into it. However, as a Baldacci fan I hung in, enjoyed the book more than I anticipated, allowing me to give it 3 stars hoping for improvement in the next episode.
Here’s hoping Baldacci’s next novel is an Amos Decker one.
Only just three stars
I read the book because I paid for it, but it became a pitiful joke. Mr. Bladacci would do well to study the prose of Dick Francis. Dick and Mary Francis examined every sentence for style and content. No padding.
Highly reminiscent of Dashiell Hammett's earthy and dry-witted but flawed characters, David Baldacci's crisp and edgey storytelling creates an entertaining tale of murder, corruption, and indomitable criminals in a Goliath versus David adventure, brusque yet enjoyable to the last page.
The author's skillful writing style combines 1940's post war language, social issues, and historical contexts into a believable fictional crime story ripped from newspapers over 70 years ago.
Strong characters and crusty dialogues bring the complex storyline to life with novelty and freshness without resorting to clichéd redundancies. Although a little rough at times, it is a fast, fun read with many surprises and several sharp storyline turns. Hold on!
This second Archer series installment builds on the strong plotline of book 1, but it also makes a great standalone read for any wishing to just jump right into the series here.
Audible's narration reading supplement was well done, almost recreating an old-time radio series but without sound effects.
A good divergent read to add variety to any fictional library collection to add some national nostalgia experiences to balance many more modern and experimental reading genres.
Definitely 4.5 Stars
Top reviews from other countries
He does, at least, have a new job to go to and not every 2nd World War veteran has that. His new boss, Willie Dash, a quick thinking, experienced private eye isn't swimming in cases but one lands on his doorstep at almost the same time as Archer.
His travelling companion, Liberty Callahan, was on her way to Hollywood but decides to stay a while in Bay Town and gets herself a job at a burlesque club where Archer finds himself and Dash investigating a blackmail case which is about to get very dangerous very quickly. He likes his new home town but wonders if he'll live long enough to to experience its highlights.
This is the second Archer book and is as professionally executed as the first. Archer now has a very nice ride and a lady friend who plans to be the next big thing to hit Hollywood. He also has a boss who he was recommended to by the cop from the first book. That is the only connection to 'One Good Deed' and so this can easily be read as a standalone although that is also an excellent read.
As with all David Baldacci books there is a lot of description but there are clues and relevant information hidden throughout. He also paints a vivid picture of smallish town America after the war in the sunshine state, although it seems to rain quite a bit!
The case involving the cream of Bay Town society is complex, evenly paced, and draws you in immediately. The pace of life is not hectic, the coroner smokes at the crime scene and you'll need change for the phone readily to hand all of which is delivered in a wonderfully atmospheric and realistic manner. I was glad I didn't work the solution out any faster than Archer as it made for an extremely satisfying read from the first chapter to the last. Now I just have to wait to find out what happens next.
I was able to read an advanced copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the opinions expressed are my own. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.
After reading the first book in this series I thought what an amazing exciting new character a very entertaining and pleasurable book to read written with the usual quality of Mr Baldacci.
I was certainly pleased at the time of ordering this second in the series outing for Aloysius Archer to have another chance to visit this excellent character until I started reading it.
I thought there was something wrong almost straight away but I persevered until I was convinced that this was definitely the most boring book I have ever read, it was absolute dribble I actually can’t believe Mr Baldacci could write as bad as this and feel very let down, now you might be forgiven for thinking I’m getting personal about the quality of this book well I have several other ardent David Baldacci fans who are friends and all think equally about Mr Baldacci and his superb ability to write incredible books with incredible characters and story lines and like me they all have a complete collection of his books and these people are of the same opinion as me they thought it was dribble as well and were equally disappointed in this very dull outing that some actually read through to the very end and wished they had not.
Mr Baldacci you are an amazing writer of novels and have provided me with superb entertainment over the years please don’t write another book as boring as this again I certainly look forward to your next book and hope that it’s a book created by your usual excellent talents, after all anybody of your amazing talent is entitled to have an off day having already written so many excellent books so here’s to your next novel and let’s hope it is up to your usual excellent standard.
His move to the '40's has really forced a change in style as well as content with strong Shades of Chinatown. It is really refreshing and worthwhile.