This is a very solid book and, to be perfectly honest, I know of no other book on this subject. Oh, sure, Charles, by the time he wrote this was so wrapped up in being a genre writer, it reads like any mid-level hard-boiled crime book. Fortunately that is a style that appeals to me, so no complaints there. But the heart of the story, which, no doubt, required quite a bit of research, is about a man who chooses to be silent until he regains a lost fortune and a lost reputation. Once, he was one of the top cock-handlers around, a ruthless, compulsive man who fell upon hard times and lost everything when his chicken fell short of expectation. But the scenes in the pit are horrific. Gruesome, bloody, gut-churning, one must imagine it is a very accurate depiction of this faded into history form of gambling. Let us not mourn the passing of the great cock-fighting circut because, well, hell, it is an inately cruel and savage spectacle, much like an old-fashioned bare-knuckle brawl to the death. But there is a lot of America in this novel, a harsh, gruesome, desperate side that thumps at night and makes one wonder how far they would go to defend their honor. El Matador in the third pairing, bet on it. If interested, head down to Mexico and ask around the bull ring where you might be able to find a good cockfight. Take a gun because, you're at a cockfight in Mexico and you look like a victim.