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Friday, June 14, 2013

Casino Infernale: A Secret Histories Novel by Simon R. Green

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Terrance McArthur

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of this post.

“The name’s Bond. Shaman Bond.”

Shaman Bond (Yeah, he’s sort of like a James Bond fighting paranormal threats) always seems to be at the edge of where the action is happening, getting whatever piece of that action he can acquire. Actually, he’s Edwin “Eddie” Drood (Yeah, as in Charles Dickens’ unfinished The Secret of Edwin Drood), a secret agent who is in and out of his powerful family/secret society and/or a clandestine agency (The Department of the Uncanny) run by his grandfather in Simon R. Green’s Secret History novels (Live and Let Drood, For Heaven’s Eyes Only, The Spy Who Haunted Me, Daemons Are Forever, and now Casino Infernale; yeah, they’re all riffs on James Bond titles by Ian Fleming). Eddie wears Drood armor, a golden outfit with futuristic technology that can shrink down to a torc (archaic term for a golden collar or neckpiece).

Eddie is assigned to accompany his lady love, Molly Metcalf, the Wild Witch, to an island north of Scotland where they plan to infiltrate the revival of a group of ecoterrorists with paranormal leanings, in the creepy mansion where Molly’s parents died…and this is only the warm-up adventure that sets up their main job, breaking the bank at Casino Infernale, where winning and losing fortunes is only the prelude to the real games where souls are on the line.

Image source: Penguin

Eddie is at a disadvantage there, because his parents have already wagered and lost his soul…a soul he has to win back.

Down to the French Riviera they go, battling Nazi women on pterodactyls, fighting in pits, outwitting security systems and cloned security guards, creating environments and creatures to defeat other worlds, shape-changing in a fight to the finish, and—deadliest of all—playing poker. Their assets: a shifty snitch, some paranormal paraphernalia, and a car with a mind of its own.

The puzzles and solutions are clever, the banter is snappy, and the action reaches world-rending levels. Green’s other books (the Nightside series and the Carnackie Institute novels [Ghost of a Smile]) also show the wry, British humor lavished on Shaman Bond, and there are guest appearances of characters from the other lines. Take a chance, defy the odds, and place your bets: Casino Infernale is a winner!

To enter to win a copy of Casino Infernale, simply email KRL at life@kingsriverlife[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Casino”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 22, 2013. U.S. residents only.

Terrance V. Mc Arthur is a California-born, Valley-raised librarian/entertainer/writer. He lives in Sanger, four blocks from the library, with his wife, his daughter, and a spinster cat.

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