cover image Overturned


Lamar Giles. Scholastic Press, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-545-81250-4

Famed poker player Nathan “the Broker” Tate is back in Las Vegas and free from death row after fresh evidence overturns a wrongful murder conviction. When he winds up dead outside his casino, his 16-year-old daughter, Nikki, already responsible for running the business and carrying on his legacy at the card table, starts doing some detective work in order to bring his killer to justice. High-stakes gambling, low-level espionage, and more typical high school concerns intersect, though the talk of football rivalries and choosing colleges can sometimes feel out of place against the deadly serious backdrop. Giles (Endangered) excels at pulpy crime drama, including a romance with a wealthy casino heir, scattering a trail of clues and bluffs to keep readers guessing. Racial elements at play—the Tates are black while their rivals, the Carlinos, are white—hover in the background, adding another layer to Giles’s murder mystery. Nikki’s sharp observations and self-deprecating sense of humor lighten the overall mood of this dark and twisty thriller. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jamie Weiss Chilton, Andrea Brown Literary. (Mar.)