Ginger McNair was furious when a hotly contested anti-casino initiative she was running was handed a blow because a city councilman reneged on his supporting vote. After the meeting, Ginger planned to meet with Santa Monica councilwoman Kathleen Dyson, a strong supporter of the anti-casino campaign. When Ginger arrived at Kathleen’s work place, she found the woman dead. Before she could leave, Ginger was assaulted by a mysterious intruder.
Homicide detective Dave Mason and his partner are assigned to the case. Mason is struggling with the breakup of his marriage, but when he meets Ginger sparks begin to fly. In the meantime, the fight for a casino continues with billions of dollars at stake. The initiative is backed by real estate developers, politicians, and hotel and business owners who want the crowds, and money, the casino will draw.
When a local paper states a witness saw who killed Dyson, Ginger realizes her life is in danger. Her father is a Range Master with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, and her brother is a Sheriff’s deputy in the same precinct. They decided to provide support in addition to the coverage Mason is giving her.
Even with the increased amount of protection around her, Ginger disappears. Mason and his partner Delgado pull out all the stops as they try to find her before the killer strikes again.
No Dice is the first Dave Mason detective story written by Mar Preston. She has since written the follow-up Rip-Off. A third murder mystery set in her California town is in the works as of this writing.
A former Santa Monica political insider, Preston has written a story loosely based on her experience. The characters are relatable, and relationships are well developed and understandable without going into too much detail - a technique that can sometimes slow down the pace of a story.
The characters are dealing with work issues as well as personal relationship problems in a realistic real-life manner. In many books, readers see very little of the behind the scenes drama that goes on in families who are involved in such emotional issues as police work or politics. Preston wisely includes such issues which makes the characters seem like people we can relate to.
No Dice is an easy, fast-paced, enjoyable read. That the author has already continued the series is good news for Dave Mason fans.
A special thank you goes to Pertinacity Press and author Mar Preston for providing a complimentary copy of No Dice for our review. If you would like any of Ms. Preston’s books, they are available at Amazon.com.