Nikki Tate is infamous, even by Las Vegas standards. Her dad is sitting on death row, convicted of killing his best friend in a gambling dispute turned ugly. And for five years, he's maintained his innocence. But Nikki wants no part of that. She's been working on Operation Escape Vegas: playing in illegal card games so she can save up enough money to get out come graduation day.
Then her dad's murder conviction is overturned. The new evidence seems to come out of nowhere and Nikki's life becomes a mess when he's released from prison. Because the dad who comes home is not the dad she remembers. And he's desperately obsessed with finding out who framed him-and why.
As her dad digs into the seedy underbelly of Vegas, the past threatens everything and Nikki is drawn into his deadly hunt for the truth. But in the city of sin, some sinners will do anything to keep their secrets, and Nikki soon finds herself playing for the biggest gamble ever-her life.
Famed poker player Nathan the Broker Tate is back in Las Vegas and free from death row after fresh evidence overturns a wrongful murder conviction. When he winds up dead outside his casino, his 16-year-old daughter, Nikki, already responsible for running the business and carrying on his legacy at the card table, starts doing some detective work in order to bring his killer to justice. High-stakes gambling, low-level espionage, and more typical high school concerns intersect, though the talk of football rivalries and choosing colleges can sometimes feel out of place against the deadly serious backdrop. Giles (Endangered) excels at pulpy crime drama, including a romance with a wealthy casino heir, scattering a trail of clues and bluffs to keep readers guessing. Racial elements at play the Tates are black while their rivals, the Carlinos, are white hover in the background, adding another layer to Giles s murder mystery. Nikki s sharp observations and self-deprecating sense of humor lighten the overall mood of this dark and twisty thriller. Ages 12 up.