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One-Armed Bandit
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     A Hot slots Murder Mystery!


Title: One-Armed Bandit

Author: Dennis N. Griffin

Publisher: Publish America, Inc. (January 2003)

Genre: Mystery

Paperback: 216pp

ISBN: 1592862608



Rating: Highly Recommended


March 15, 2004


Las Vegas area Patrol officers responded to a radio call regarding a convenience store robbery where four people have been brutally slain.


Store surveillance tape-recorded the robbery and shootings.


The motive for the shooting may have been robbery, however, that aspect of the case remains under investigation, while crime scene and forensics personnel are called out to process the scene.


Assigned to the case are long time veteran of the Metro Homicide Force, Steve Garneau and his younger partner of two years, Terry Bolton.


Once detectives review the surveillance tape, the identity of the shooter is uncovered, a man identified only as a cold-blooded killer and dubbed: "One Armed Bandit."


Clues provided by the surveillance tape immediately show that robbery was not the motive and detectives move quickly to solve the case to keep from losing track of the killer.


Within several weeks of the murders one-by-one suspects are grilled for information, as the motive begins to unfold. News of scandalous and incriminating evidence, as well as conspirator names are revealed, leading detectives closer to the murderer.


Author, Dennis Griffin grabs reader's attention from page one with descriptive details as the murders occur. The suspense surrounding the victims, as well as surprises keep readers on the edge.


Congratulations Mr. Griffin, you have done detective sleuths proud!

Review by Juanita Reynolds


An Interview with Dennis N. Griffin



To start this off, why don't you give an idea of what the book is about?


Answer: One-Armed Bandit follows the investigation by Las Vegas Homicide detectives into the murders of four people during the apparent robbery of a convenience store. The trail takes them from the seedy side of Sin City to rural upstate New York, and on to the Halls of Congress in Washington, D.C.



Where did you grow up and was reading and writing a part of your life?


Answer: I was born and raised in upstate New York. I have enjoyed reading since my elementary school days. I didn't become interested in writing until I started my first manuscript in 1996.



Who were your earliest influences and why?


Answer: I always liked detective stories. Mickey Spillane and his PI Mike Hammer. His books couldn't come out fast enough to suit me.



What would a typical day be like for a writer?


Answer: Review and edit previous days work. Do research if necessary, particularly for non-fiction. Work on promotion and marketing. Write. 



How long have you been writing and in what capacities?


Answer: Since 1996. My first five books were fiction mystery/thrillers. Since then I have completed my first non-fiction followed by another fiction. Am currently working on my second non-fiction.



Which is more difficult to write - Fiction or nonfiction and why?


Answer: For me, non-fiction. I am a fanatic when it comes to accuracy, so I have to spend a lot more time on research and detail.



Has there ever been a time when you wanted to throw in the towel and give up? And if so, how did you defeat those instincts?


Answer: Yes. After spending nearly two years on my first manuscript and never being able to get it quite right, I threw the whole thing in the trash. Unknown to me my wife rescued it. A couple of days later she handed it back to me and convinced me to give it another try.



What is the hardest part about being a writer?


Answer: Discipline.



Do you have any hobbies? What are they? How do they enhance your writing?


Answer: In addition to reading, I live in Las Vegas and enjoy playing video poker and craps. A few hours of gambling refreshes my mind to get back to writing. Also, you can meet and see a lot of interesting people in a casino. I sometimes develop characters for my books based on these individuals.



Articles and media alike make it sound as though the only way to rise to the top is to sacrifice. What do you find to be good sacrifices?


Answer: For me, doing research and marketing my books and myself is very time consuming. I sometimes have to say no to social engagements in order to complete what needs to be done. However, I enjoy interviewing people and digging through records and newspaper morgues. Talking with bookstore owners or managers and librarians to get them to carry my books or schedule an event is also fun, at least for the most part. 



What question do you get asked more than any other?


Answer: Do you think I should write a book?



Whats the coolest thing a reader has said to you?


Answer: "I love Clancy and Cussler. You're going to be in their league pretty soon."



What has been your feedback from readers? What do they say to you about their interpretations of your book?


Answer: My fictions have received good reviews by readers. They seem to like my style and characters. I won't know about my non-fiction until it is released later this year.



Do you think that as a writer you are more prone to watching what goes on around you and observing behaviors than most people are?


Answer: Yes. As I said earlier, I watch people and sometimes use their characteristics in my books.



If one were looking to start his/her own career as a writer, what would you suggest his/her first step to be?


Answer: Make a commitment to devote the necessary time, effort and resources to produce a quality product and get it noticed.



What kind of movies do you enjoy?


Answer: Mystery/thriller and action/adventure.



What is your favorite city to visit, but one that you wouldnt want to live in?


Answer: New York City.



Whats the best part of being a writer?


Answer: Meeting a lot of nice people; and hopefully providing a product that entertains the reader.



What's next?


Answer: Huntington Press will release my first non-fiction, Policing Las Vegas The History of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, later this year. My latest fiction, Pension, will be published by Publish America within the next few months. I am currently working on my second non-fiction, The Battle for Las Vegas The Law versus the Mob. It will focus on the years of 1971 through 1986 when Chicago mobsters Tony Spilotro and Lefty Rosenthal (characters based on them were played by Joe Pesci and Robert Di Nero in the movie Casino) ruled Vegas. I hope to have the manuscript completed by early next year.


Betsie's Literary Page thanks Mr.Griffin for this interview and wish him all the success with his present novel, as well as with all future works.