Author: Joan Destino
Genre: Psychological Thriller
“Who was she trying to fool? Herself? A little late for that. She had to win; her survival depended on it.”
Do you have what it takes to lose it all? Find out in Joan Destino’s stunning debut novel, “River Card.”
Georgia Kassov Cates is a business woman, a wife, a mother…and a gambling addict. Desperate to recoup a devastating string of losses, she risks it all for one last game- a game that’s abruptly halted when the Las Vegas casino succumbs to a freak blackout.
Georgia meets some fellow patrons of the Las Vegas casino, including the wealthy Melanie Nallis, a woman haunted by her horrific childhood; Zivah Koski, an enigmatic elderly holocaust survivor; Phillip Vance, a billionaire casino developer; and Milt Braverman, a professional poker player.
As they get to know each other, a connection is slowly revealed: postwar Germany, a time and place that is reflected in” River Card’s novel-within-a-novel, “Alexandra.”
Alternating between the opulence and depravity of 1940s Germany, and the glamor and baseness of 1990s Las Vegas, “River Card” reflects Georgia’s mounting fears-both past and present-as she plays one last hand…
I enjoy playing a game of poker now and then, mostly with friends where we gamble for five bucks tops. But Georgia Kassov Cates, main character of "River Card", is anything but a casual player. She's addicted to gambling, and this leads her down a trail of losses. She's willing to risk it all for one last game though. But then during a freak blackout at the casino, the game abruptly comes to a stop. Stuck in the casino with a bunch of strangers, Georgia gets to know some of them, which reveals a connection with postwar Germany, and a lot more than Georgia bargained for.
I loved the whole combination of Germany in the 1940s and the lush, luxurious glamour lifestyle of Vegas in the 1990s. The writing worked well, and the characters were well-crafted, especially Georgia. I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good thriller.