The Only Girl in the Game

Value of THE ONLY GIRL IN THE GAME John D. MacDonald (Gold Medal D-1636, 1966) |

This book takes the reader back to the Vegas of the early sixties. It was still a wild, untamed zone, more controlled by organized crime than by multinational corporations. It was still a place of dreams and desperation where people came to drown their sorrows or to throw their lives away.

MacDonald skillfully people’s this world with some of the deepest, most fleshed out characters found in twentieth century literature and sets them on a collision course for destruction.

There’s Betty, the daughter of a San Francisco physician, who took off at a tender age with a performer who whisked her off her feet, only to spend years being badly used by him and others, and trapped into a life in Vegas, where she did four acts a night and, when asked to, shilled for the high rollers.

There’s the voluptuousness of a head turner who makes no bones about the fact that she is a predatory piece of arm candy and has the sharpest of teeth.

There’s Darren who runs the hotel portion of the casino and wants no part of the dirty tricks that goes on. His head is spun round by a Vegas performer.

There’s the whale or tycoon come back to town after a year of working on a system to get back his money. An old hard shelled lizard, that one.

There’s the resort promoter from the Carribean out to find new investors before his lines of credit dry up.

There’s the glitz and the glamour and the behind the scenes look at the operations. Although best known for his Travis McGee books, this novel is tight, well-written, and absolutely gripping.

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