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The Big Gamble  By  cover art

The Big Gamble

By: Michael McGarrity
Narrated by: Dick Hill
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Publisher's Summary

When a fire in an abandoned fruit stand in rural Lincoln County reveals the murdered body of a woman gone missing from Sante Fe years ago, Police Chief Kevin Kerney finds himself cooperating with his estranged son, a man he hardly knows, Deputy Sheriff Clayton Istee. While Kerney digs into the woman's past, hoping to find clues that will lead to a credible suspect, Clayton must unravel two more homicides that seem on the surface totally unrelated.

As Kerney chases down clues that raise questions about the legitimacy of a highly regarded modeling and talent agency, Clayton works to discover the identity of a murder suspect alleged to have ties to prostitution and illegal gambling.

Set against the backdrop of the high mountains of southern New Mexico, where gambling is big business and private sexual encounters for VIPs can be discreetly arranged, Kerney and Clayton must go up against the rich and politically powerful opponents who are willing to protect their reputations at all costs.

Catch all of our Kevin Kerney titles.
©2004 Michael McGarrity (P)2004 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about The Big Gamble

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

What Happened McGarrity? Not Up to Par

I've long been a McGarrity fan -- enjoying all the Keven Kearney books so far -- until this one. It missed the mark by a mile. The story was just "meh" and the ending so abrupt and inconclusive as to make me think my audio file was missing many minutes at the end. Dick Hill's narration is something you have to get used to or not; which just makes him another annoying issue with this particular book. I guess I made a big gamble in using a credit on this one -- and I lost big!

6 people found this helpful

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Not as good as his previous books.

I rarely give a bad review, but am making an exception on this one. McGarrity's books started out well, but have gone downhill ever since The Judas Judge. I loved his trilogy!! Hard Country, etc. But doubt I will be buying anymore. Also, the narrator on this one was horrible. Giving everybody some affected Minnesota accent. In New Mexico? I wish they'd go back to George Guidall. He was great.

4 people found this helpful

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Good story overshadowed by poor choice of narrator

I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the Kearny series books, especially the ones narrated by George Guidall. I have heard several books narrated by Dick Hill, and most are not great, a few are okay. He does not fit this book and is a very distant second to Guidall when it comes to narrating the Kearny books. if you are hooked on the Kearny books you should listen to this story, but don't expect it to be anywhere as good as most of the others because of the narrator.

3 people found this helpful

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Very disappointed

I really really liked McGarrity's earlier books -- good plots, human relationships and dynamics had depth, great descriptions of the Southwest, nature and scene. I had him up up there with Tony Hillerman and Craig Johnson. But this book, the Big Gamble -- I'm sorry to say that all the characters are shallow - even Kerney; the plot is obvious and run-of-the-mill and worst --most of the book is taken up with smutty seedy places, people, scenes, actions and motives. Sure, detective mysteries have this element. You need the bad guys for plot and tension but a good detective novel, for me anyway, is held together by the crime-solving characters having depth and meaningfully interactions while they work on solving the crime and there's as much or more time given to their work than to the criminals and crimes.

I didn't finish it. Where did McGarrity's great writing go? Maybe he got tired. I did not like the narrator either - he makes his voice whiny to show he's speaking as a different character. and in doing so, made characters sound sleazy when they didn't have to.

1 person found this helpful

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The Big Gamble it wasn't

It wasn't a big gamble buying this book. McGarrity really is a top notch author. Some earlier reviews focused on Dick Hill's narration. I will give this to you he isn't George Guidall. That being said Dick Hill is a very good reader. If Hill had started the series no one would have had any concerns with his narration. Yes Guidall is simply fantastic but Hill isn't bad.
This wasn't my favorite story line but it was very good. The relationship of father and son was disturbing to me. He should had been furious with his mother not his dad. She is the one who kept the secret. Enjoyable read.

1 person found this helpful

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Good series

I enjoy listening to the series by Michael McGarrity. These books are a series so therefore, he doesn't necessarily tie everything together before one book ends. In other words, if you enjoy the book you keep coming back for more. I like the main character Kearney. I envision him as a John Wayne and I appreciate the way that McGarrity lets us have little glimpses into his past as well as he current situations. I would recommend these books to anyone who enjoys reading a good detective mystery.

1 person found this helpful

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Good effort, but.....

I thought the book was a good effort and very much in the same thing as McGarity's other books. I enjoyed the storyline very much. However, Mister Hill's narration left much to be desired. His transition from Anglo to Hispanic accents often through in a little Irish brogue and even a Dan Aykroyd like accent from Blues Brothers! Just didn't seem to fit with the storyline to me.

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Couldn’t wait for it to be over.

Story was okay. Narration was downright annoying. I should have read it instead. I really like Kevin Kerney but this one didn’t measure up.

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New Mexican that didn’t sound New Mexican

The narrator sounded more Irish than Mexican or Navajo! Liked the story - not the story teller.

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Sorry - Could barely make it through

The narrator killed this one, but the dialogue was awful as well.... I trudge on through, because the plot line was promising.