by Bill Collins
Today Gentle Readers I have the pleasure of reviewing the debut fiction novel of Bill Collins, already the author of three non fiction works about his career as a wedding photographer.
Vegas Fever is the tale of small town Iowa farm boy Ray Hitchcock and his latest obsession. When Ray latches onto an idea, he is a bear trap that is for sure. His latest quest is to master the art of “dice setting” on a craps table. To accomplish his goal he creates a replica in a stall of his family’s old barn and goes to work mastering his toss. He has plenty of time to get better as he cannot set foot in a casino for about 18 months.
Quickly on the heels of his 21st birthday, Ray and his older brother Joe set out for Las Vegas to try out his hard won skills. The results are a week of excitement and adventure in the City of Lights. But not all is money and glamour in Sin City.
Bill does a good job making this book conversational, like Ray is telling his tale over a couple of beers. There are parts where I felt like I had just witnessed one of Ray’s progression bets and maybe should have thrown some place bets of my own. Bill does well with integrating the basic rules of craps into the book without bogging the reader down. He leaves the lengthy explanations for the handy guides in the back of the book.
Overall I liked the story, being a craps player myself. I even enjoyed the explanations of the concepts for “dice setting” that Bill included at the end. I recommend you pick this one up if you are looking for a little romance and adventure cast against the backdrop of Las Vegas gambling. Available on Feb 1st, pre-orders are now available.