Justin Chase has adjusted to his life as a barkeep (and the Zen lifestyle) after several years of living without his mother and the man he believed murdered her, his father. However, a strange man, going by the odd name of Birdie Grackle, enters the bar where Justin works and tells him that Justinâ€™s father did not murder his mother. He alleges that Birdie himself murdered her at the request of a woman who hired him to do it. Birdie says he doesnâ€™t know who paid him but that for $10,000 he will track her down. Justin does not agree to pay Birdie and does not immediately believe what Birdie is telling him. With his brother Frankâ€™s urging, Justin visits his father in prison for the first time since his father was sent there 6 years ago.
Although Duffy Dombroski was getting heat from his supervisor to go to a required training program so that he could perform better at his social worker job, Duffy jumped at the chance to go to Las Vegas as a sparring partner for Boris Rusakov, the Russian heavyweight champion. Duffy even somehow finds a way to bring his dog Al on the plane and he convinces all his friends but his trainer Smitty to go with him. Duffy doesnâ€™t care that his doctor is worried about his head injuries; Duffy just wants the chance to go to Vegas. Once heâ€™s in Vegas though, things donâ€™t go the way he hoped and he ends up in some unanticipated situations. Tom Schreck provides an entertaining book with lots of adventures, including some difficult and often touching moments with humor and entertaining moments, primarily provided by his basset hound Al and Duffyâ€™s bar friends.