Good Money After Bad
"When we meet Chance Skinner, his luck has taken a turn for the worse: he owes money to several angry bookies, the woman he thinks he loves is about to marry someone else, and the grandmother he lives with is growing frailer by the day. But, a true gambler, he's sure it won't always be so bad, partly because he's met a new woman—Gwen—and partly because he's got plans to make big money. Until that happens, Chance is content to scrape up cash by enrolling in a few drug studies. Yet luck is quirky, and at his first drug study he hooks up with the ominous Phase One, a one-eyed drug-study veteran who hints darkly at much bigger money if Chance is willing to take much bigger risks. Will they be worth it? They certainly are for the reader.
Don Evans's Good Money After Bad is thoroughly enjoyable, the most clear-eyed look at the alternative universe of gamblers since William Kennedy's Billy Phelan's Greatest Game. Chance is both self-aware and self-deluding, with a much sharper eye for others' foibles than his own. He also has a peculiar but highly developed sense of ethics, which we see tested as he becomes enmeshed with a finely drawn group of friends and lovers, including Phase One, Gwen, his secret flame Sophie, his Uncle Bud (the world's worst gambler), and Old Man Gurnsey, a friend of Chance's dead father, the bookie to whom he owes too much money, and the man who wants to save him. Finding out whether or not he can is a terrific ride."
— Paul Griner, author of the novel Collectors and the story collection Follow Me