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Well written and deftly plotted,
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This review is from: The Big Blind (Paperback)
Louise Wener’s second novel is a real departure from her debut outing. In “The Big Blind” she creates a believable and realistic protagonist in Audrey Ungar, a thirty-something maths tutor with slight OCD tendencies, who discovers that she shares her absent father’s obsession with poker. With the help of an obese and reclusive card sharp called Big Louie she sets out on a quest to track down and confront her missing father.
Wener has a finely honed comedic eye (and ear) and her characters crackle with life. As a reader you feel a real sense of identification with the cast, and her characterisations are witty without descending into caricature. Big Louie is really well written, and Wener creates a fine balance between his manic compulsions and the sense of menace that starts to surround Audrey.
The plotting of this book is stronger than her debut novel, and she also managed to make me cry at the final denouement.
I have never been a card player, and therefore have never truly understood the fascination with poker. However Wener succeeds in making the game sound mesmeric, even to a complete novice like me. Now, I just need to go and practice my mechanic’s deal.