Mathew McCain is a card mechanic- basically he can expose a cheater at cards a mile away. Part of the reason he’s so good is because he’s mostly bling. The Cypher family (a crime family in New Mexico) had him blinded as a youngster. They forced him to stare into the sun while they held a magnifying glass over his eyes.
Mathew McCain’s family are essentially slaves to the Cyphers. Mathew’s ancestor Lucas “the loser” McCain lost is land and freedom in a poker game against John Cypher on July 12, 1882.
Well the story begins with Mathew being drugged and shoved out of a window. He’s rescued by Miss Guided, an angel in disguise. Miss Guided also rescues, Juan who is an orphan raised by the Cypher family to be a goon. Juan is responsible for keeping an eye out for Matt. Strangely enough, Juan does believe in God. Anyway, Miss Guided rescues him too! She takes both young men to a location where the Cyphers can’t find them. She leaves them in the care of a pastor and arranged fro them to have karate lessons at a local school.
Five years later, Juan is a 3rd degree black belt and a strong man of faith. Matt is on the verge of earning his black belt. On the day of his test, which includes fighting 10 black belts back to back, one of the Cypher goons shows up at the test as one of the black belts Matt has to fight. He successfully earns his black belt, but the goon has been ordered by Big Lew Cypher to bring Matt in. Big Lew is hosting a huge poker game and wants Matt to deal to ensure a Cypher victory. Miss Guided arrives in the nick of time, and tells the pair about the mission.
They are going back in time to prevent Lucas McCain from losing in that infamous poker game. In order to enter the tournament, Matt must earn enough money to pay the entry fee. So the three visit all the lucrative gaming houses in the west. They meet Wild Bill Hickok, see the event spawns “The Dead Man’s Hand. They even run in to the psychotic Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp. Oh did I mention that Big Lew’s son manages to travel back in time with them. Of course once he overhears their plan, he tries to thwart them at every turn.
This was a very entertaining book. The author took the main storyline (Lucas McCain) from an event that actually happened. I was very intrigued by the author’s knowledge of methods of cheating at card. I was more impressed to discover that Richard Turner is a card mechanic himself. He has appeared on Ripley’s Can You Believe It.
I received this book from Lillie Ammann. Some weeks ago, I answered a question on Faith N’ Fiction Saturday regarding what we would like to see in Christian Fiction. My response was science fiction and a superhero. Lillie left a comments mentioning this new book. She interview Richard last week. It turns out that Richard’s eye sight is 4 times worse than what is considered legally blind. I thought this gave Matt’s character an added layer of realism. So if you are looking for a fun read, definitely pick this book up.