Pokergeist, by Michael Phillip Cash

Four stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Michael Phillip Cash, Chelshire Inc., and AuthorBuzz for providing me with a copy of this book, which allows me to provide you with this review.

Cash provides readers with another entertaining novella, full of humour and paranormal activity at the same time. Clutch Henderson is a great poker player, so great that he’s made it to the final table at the International Series of Poker. After falling just short, his heart literally cannot take the pressure, leading to his death. A year later and Las Vegas is gearing up for another tournament, with young Telly Martin itching to get in on the action. Telly, a decent poker player amongst his friends, simply cannot make ends meet at the Vegas tables and has all but given up his dream. Walking down The Strip one night, he makes a wish, one that Clutch Henderson, now in spirit form, wishes to help him meet; winning the International Series. Skeptical at first, Telly tries to dodge Clutch’s grasp, but after a series of events, it’s all in for the young player. Clutch and Telly work together, weaving their way through the twelve-thousand entrants in hopes of making it to the final table, where one man stands in their way. Cash puts all his chips down in this wonderfully crafted story, mixing he nuances of competitive poker with the banter between the living and the dead. A must-read for those eager to be swept up in the river of high-stakes cards.

Cash shows that he can return to his paranormal theme, yet make the premise new and exciting. While Telly Martin is not haunted by the likes of Clutch, their banter is one that tickles the funny bone of the reader. At times I thought how interesting a screenplay this might make as well, with the give-and-take between the two characters. Cash does, however, flesh out the story with a number of other characters and storylines, all of which add to the excitement of the larger plot. With quick narrative and intuitive dialogue, peppered with poker lingo, the reader can feel in the middle of the tournament and the world of high-stakes cards without leaving their couch. Easily read in an afternoon, Cash pulls the reader in and will not let go until the story’s been told; the test of a real author’s abilities.

Kudos, Mr. Cash for another great book. I have added you to my radar to check out in the future.