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Publisher's Summary

Aloysius Archer, the straight-talking World War II veteran fresh out of prison, returns in this riveting new thriller from number-one New York Times best-selling author David Baldacci.

The 1950s are on the horizon, and Archer is in dire need of a fresh start after a nearly fatal detour in Poca City. So Archer hops on a bus and begins the long journey out west to California, where rumor has it there is money to be made if you’re hard-working, lucky, criminal - or all three. 

Along the way, Archer stops in Reno, where a stroke of fortune delivers him a wad of cash and an eye-popping blood-red 1939 Delahaye convertible - plus a companion for the final leg of the journey, an aspiring actress named Liberty Callahan who is planning to try her luck in Hollywood. But when the two arrive in Bay Town, California, Archer quickly discovers that the hordes of people who flocked there seeking fame and fortune landed in a false paradise that instead caters to their worst addictions and fears. 

Archer’s first stop is a P.I. office where he is hoping to apprentice with a legendary private eye and former FBI agent named Willie Dash. He lands the job, and immediately finds himself in the thick of a potential scandal: a blackmail case involving a wealthy well-connected politician running for mayor that soon spins into something even more sinister. As bodies begin falling, Archer and Dash must infiltrate the world of brothels, gambling dens, drug operations, and long-hidden secrets, descending into the rotten bones of a corrupt town that is selling itself as the promised land - but might actually be the road to perdition, and Archer’s final resting place.

©2021 David Baldacci (P)2021 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"A master storyteller." (People)

"David Baldacci is one of the all-time best thriller authors." (Lisa Gardner, number-one New York Times best-selling author)

"David Baldacci is a master storyteller." (Associated Press)

What listeners say about A Gambling Man

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  • Overall
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PI Aloysius Archer moves to California

This series is set during the years following WWII. In Book 2 of the Archer series by David Baldacci Archer moves to coastal California to work for a more experienced private investigator. Along the way he meets an aspiring actress and singer who travels with him and becomes his love interest. Once in California he takes on a case that centers on a local political campaign. Dead bodies start to mount as Archer investigates the case.

THE GAMBLING MAN is an outstanding suspense thriller with a very likable protagonist. Narration is stellar.

41 people found this helpful

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Weak and I can't recommend it

If all the prose around smoking cigarettes and having a nip out of the pocket flask were eliminated, about 1/3 of the book would disappear. I have been a follower of the author since Absolute Power. I have been disappointed with several books, such as Wishing you Well, and this is the most recent disappointment. I have found him to be absolutely on his game with Oliver Stone and Amos Decker and Atlee Pine, and many others.

Where this book came from and why it hit print is a bit confusing to me.

32 people found this helpful

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Understated Masterpiece

Went back and read “One Good Deed” again the day before beginning “A Gambling Man.” It really made me appreciate the character development in the context in which this new book is set.

Once again Baldacci crafts a thoroughly burning page turner. It was full of suspense without being suspenseful. The pace was slow and steady yet feeling like a sprint at times. The manner in which the ending and all the characters were intertwined was a cherry on top. Thanks for all the time and effort in making this book available to me.

18 people found this helpful

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Kinda Goofy

It was hard to take this book seriously when the characters were so sarcastic to everyone and each other. This is not the case today, nor when this book was to have taken place back in the 50's or 60's, I had to stop half way through because I just couldn't hang with the dialogue of the characters. I typically love David Baldacci's work, but this was just way out there. I especially disliked the high-pitched female narrator.

10 people found this helpful

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Baldacci is a great writer but this didn’t work

I’m a huge fan of Baldacci’s work. However this was a departure for him. He attempted a Raymond Chandler turn and it was not expected and a bit disappointing given the high level of his previous work.

10 people found this helpful

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A Gambling Man

David Baldacci does it again, live his style of writing. Keep you guessing to the end. Love the way he describes the characters, surroundings, weather etc areal grasp of words.

10 people found this helpful

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This story sucks you in quickly!

If you give yourself five minutes to immerse in this story, you WILL NOT want to stop listening!

10 people found this helpful

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I LOVED THIS BOOK

I hope that this is the start of a series. I would pre-order the next book right now.

8 people found this helpful

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Excellant Story and Narration!

Archer is a great character and Baldacci is a masterful story tellar. I finished the book in one Day!

6 people found this helpful

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Baldacci writing a Noir mystery

Baldacci writing a noir mystery didn't seem to be believable. Conversations didn't appear real. Not his best.

4 people found this helpful