A Gambling Man (An Archer Novel #2) (Hardcover)
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.
"David Baldacci is no stranger to hitting literary home runs, but his second book to feature World War II veteran turned avenging angel Aloysius Archer, A Gambling Man, is a flat-out grand slam . . . Few authors are able to frame period pieces for a contemporary sensibility, but Baldacci proves more than up to the task in fashioning a tale that's as close to perfect as a thriller can get."—Providence Sunday Journal
“Baldacci . . . definitely is onto something with Archer. He’s a very interesting guy, in a rough-and-tumble way, and Baldacci renders Archer's postwar world with the kind of vivid detail that catches a reader’s eye . . . Readers new to the series will definitely want to catch up on what they've missed.”—Booklist
"Fans of Baldacci should go all in for A Gambling Man. This spicy novel deals out a hand of brothels, gambling dens, drug operations, and government corruption—all a sure bet for a rollicking good time."—New York Journal of Books
“Baldacci establishes bona fides for this historical mystery with great delicacy, deftly navigating the cliché minefield and giving his readers a sense of the milieu without drowning them in minutiae. He delivers a cracking good suspense novel in the process.”—BookPage
"Baldacci delivers, every time!"—Lisa Scottoline, New York Times bestselling author
"David Baldacci is a master storyteller."—Associated Press
"With drugs, gambling, brothels, murders and more, for historical crime fans, this one’s got it all."—CNN Underscored
"A Gambling Man is delicious crime noir with fascinating historical data thrown in to keep the story interesting . . . Archer is one of today’s standout fictional characters, and you are missing out if you don’t jump into this terrific series at the beginning."—Bookreporter.com
"A master storyteller."—People
“A Gambling Man moves at a steady clip, as Baldacci’s plot pays homage to private eye novels by Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald. Archer is a well-drawn character, a man of his times who tries to overcome his past and embrace new attitudes. Liberty is no damsel in distress but is a strong woman who knows how to protect herself and isn’t fooled by any man, rising above clichés that may surround showgirls . . . A return to Archer and Liberty will be welcomed."—South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"In Archer, Baldacci has plumbed post-war time and place. His story’s personality is framed by Archer’s snappy dialogue [and] infused with just the right amount of suspense to keep you glued to the narrative."—Jersey's Best
"Good stuff from a master. Can’t wait for another."—Florida Times-Union