Saturday 31 August 2019

Guest Review: Bluff By Jane Stanton Hitchcock

There has never been a better time for revenge.
One-time socialite Maud Warner polishes up the rags of her once glittering existence and bluffs her way into a signature New York restaurant on a sunny October day. When she walks out again, a man will have been shot.
Maud has grown accustomed to being underestimated and invisible, and she uses her ability to fly under the radar as she pursues celebrity accountant Burt Sklar, the man she believes stole her mother's fortune and left her family in ruins. Her fervent passion for poker has taught Maud that she can turn weakness into strength to take advantage of people who think they are taking advantage of her, and now she has dealt the first card in her high-stakes plan for revenge.
One unexpected twist after another follows as Maud plays the most important poker hand of her life. The stakes? To take down her enemies and get justice for their victims. Her success depends on her continuing ability to bluff--and on who will fold.
Can she win?

Review: This is the sixth suspense novel by Jane Stanton Hitchcock. It draws on her experiences of growing up in New York Society and of playing poker at tournament level. It follows the attempts of the heroine Maud Warner, who has fallen on hard times, to try and exact revenge for what she perceives as wrongs perpetrated on her and her family.

The narrative is very fast moving, helped by the fact that each chapter is relatively short. I also liked the fact that some chapters are written in the third person, whilst others are written in the person of Maud. The plot has more twists and turns than a mountain road, although readers may be able to guess the final twist towards the end because clues have been planted cleverly throughout the book.

I enjoyed the book because of the suspense built up and because of the strong heroine. The moral of the story is that one should never underestimate women of a certain age. So, how does Maud play the hand that she has been dealt: will she fold or will she bluff? You'll have to read to the end to find out.

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