Item description for High Steaks by Rob Loughran...
Winner of the Mystery Novel Award. . . Davis O'Kane thought his fall from grace had reached its lowest point, with an impending divorce and a custody battle for his twin daughters, but then he finds a dead body in his restaurant, and his world sinks as deep as a Uranium pit in the high desert of Nightingale, Nevada. Nightingale is a place where high stakes gamblers and rednecks belly up to the bar with high-priced hookers and federal agents. High Steaks propels the reader into the realm of crooked horse racing, cheating the roulette wheel, and murder as hot as a Nevada summer, set against a backdrop of the town's first contested mayoral race in decades. Follow Davis as he unravels the murder and pulls himself up from the brink of despair.
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More About Rob Loughran
Rob Loughran began his life as a small child. He has since become a writer and, like many writers you've never heard of, he works a full-time job in a restaurant. He has mined his experience waiting tables and bartending for the setting of Fish Stories. Rob has twenty-three books in print and lives in Sonoma County, California.
Reviews - What do customers think about High Steaks?
A story ultimately about people. Aug 25, 2004
High Steaks is a story that is ultimately about people. You get to meet a full spectrum of characters in this book, all of them equally fascinating, quirky and engaging. Mr. Loughran has the great talent of inciting emotion in the reader. I found myself loathing some characters and wishing I could buy a drink for some of the others. The story is fast-paced and immediately engaging. I highly recommend this book.
We can't help but root for Davis May 3, 2004
Rob Loughran's career has consisted of working in restaurants. HIGH STEAKS is his first novel, and is the winner of the Fourth Annual Mystery Award.
Davis O'Kane's ex-wife wants custody of their twin daughters, the house, and to make his life miserable. He adores his twins, and his restaurant isn't doing so well either. He is a certified member of Gambling Anonymous. But when Wanda Marie, his on and off girlfriend, is found dead in the freezer in the restaurant of Nightingale, Nevada, Davis begins to wonder if there isn't a conspiracy out to get him. Freddy Finnegan, the town drunk whom Davis feeds a nightly steak, turns up in the trunk of his car, and the IRS comes knocking at the door. All the while, notes from Wanda Marie are addressed to the friends of Davis urging them to bet on a horse named Future Glue that barely qualifies for its races. Something doesn't smell right:
"No one's stupid enough to have a horse work out the morning of a race. Davis fumbled with the HumVee's door and walked to the trailer-Woody monitored his actions in the mirror. Future Glue lolled against the padded and blanketed side of the trailer, held up by a bridle and three straps. The horse's tongue lolled, gray and dry, from the side of his mouth. Davis jogged back to Woody. 'You've been doping Future Glue?'"
HIGH STEAKS is a mystery packed with many subplots all leading to the same conclusion. Davis is a nice-guy hero who is surrounded by misfits; spies; mobsters; and bad cops. The plot is driven by vignettes involving the various characters and their motives, and the denouement is a squirmer for anyone who loves animals and horses in particular. HIGH STEAKS exposes yet another seamy side of horse racing and the greed that usually results in beautiful horses being destroyed. Throughout the story, the drifty but celestial writings of the deceased Wanda Marie provide insight and depth to a well conceived plot.
We can't help but root for Davis to put his life back together, and the lovely Tasha appears just as things are at their bleakest. All's well that ends well, and Davis becomes a humble hero in the end, inviting a sequel. The reader gets to see Davis win and stay unaffected. A good read.
Shelley Glodowski Senior Reviewer
Very Impressed Jan 14, 2004
Swiftly moving, gripping, heartfelt, intelligent, funny, sensitive, emotional, and brutally honest down and dirty. Rob takes you on a journey with masterly crafted interwoven plots, but doesn't let you get lost in them. He gives just enough info to portray the scene and to make the reader feel up close and personal with the characters, but does not overwhelm the reader with unnecessary and excessive detail. And boy could he. Who has this depth and scope of knowledge of so many topics?? Again what intelligence! The characters are all so different and fleshed out really well, you really feel like you're there with them - a sweeping scope of human existence in many of its forms. An intriguing plot hard to put down...It felt as though I was watching a movie. Can't wait to see it! Keep em' coming Mr. Loughran!
Good Gravy Dec 23, 2003
Everything about this book is slick. It ain't like reading, it's like listening to music. It just flows through around-and-through-you. It's slick. I read a lot of mysteries and they're somewhat contrived--I love the town of Nightingale; I care about the people who live there. The minor characters in this book complete this book. They all have souls and friends and families I care about. I actually forgot this was a murder mystery--I cared that much about Wanda Marie, and Zenny, and Davis, and Rohn and John. I really did. Do yourself a favor and buy this book. You'll be delighted. I've never reviewed anything; ever. But this is such an entertaining and delightful book I must.
This will be a movie; hop on the bandwagon early and read this book.
White Trash Treasure Trove Dec 8, 2003
Never have I read such an intelligent dissection of white trash mentality. High Steaks exposes the mores and foibles of Nevadan society--but lovingly. There is a humorous juxtaposition between the slick prose and what that prose describes that is wickedly clever. Very visual book; I can't wait for the movie.