Pokergeist by Michael Phillip Cash

(No Series)

Sometimes life, as well as death, is about second chances. Luckless Telly Martin doesn't have a clue. An awful gambler trying to scrape by as a professional poker player, he becomes the protégé of world famous poker champion Clutch Henderson. The only catch…Clutch is a ghost.
Telly and Clutch must navigate the seedy gambling underbelly of Las Vegas learning to trust each other in order to win the elusive International Series of Poker, repair their shattered personal relationships and find redemption in this life and the hereafter.

I couldn't resist the lure of this book - a bad ass cover and a ghost. I love ghosts, but they're kind of the underdog of fiction. Random hauntings are common, but actual ghost character? I don't read enough of them.

I went into this thinking it was a paranormal ghost-themed mystery. By the way, there's no mystery and I was wrong. I don't know how to categorize this other than general paranormal fiction. It's a short read and a fast fly through this ghostly romp, but while the beginning is great and the ending satisfying, the middle lags behind.

Writing style was good and dialogue convincing enough, but the author does need to work on point of view shifts. Points of view are randomly changed in the middle of the scene, which is a 'writing no.' Some of the characters got on my nerves eventually, like the girlfriend, who became too whiny and demanding. She was all for it before, so why - when he wins - is she so against? I get the lying deal but if she'd just listen for a second to someone she supposedly trusts and let's the man actually explain...

At first I was into the poker spiel, but I couldn't hold interest for the whole duration. I think what it was is that the story dished out all the goodies too soon, so that the first part was entrancing, but when you get to the mid and there's no big revelations, game changers, twists, or surprises left, you're kind of coasting along for the rest of the ride until it stops.

I did like the ending though, it had a surprise at the big showdown and then a sweet wrap-up.

Overall worth a read - it's different and it has a GHOST (*heart*), but it needs some tweaking to be a higher rated haunt.

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