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(Webster, Richard)

Re-Deal: A Time Traveler Thriller Novel
[Turner Redeal]
$17.00 $10.00
by Scott Wells Date Added: Tuesday 14 April, 2009
Re-Deal is the story of George Bailey, I mean Walter Mitty, no, I mean Marty McFly, no it was Richard Turner. Well, perhaps it’s an amalgamation of all those. Promoted as a time-travelling thriller, it is less science fiction than a well-spun yarn similar to Pecos Bill or a tall tale like Paul Bunyan. I will say one thing…it is a fun read. And it kept my attention through to the very end.

The story opens by introducing our enigmatic hero, Matt McCain, as the much maligned “loser” who is the descendent of a rancher who lost the farm to the Cyphers family in a poker game in the late 1800’s. Grandfather McCain not only lost a rather sizeable piece of acreage but also he and his family had to serve the new owner as a common laborer for the rest of their days. But the game was lost due to Cypher’s underhanded cheating and Matt McCain dreamed of setting the record straight in the current day.

It is learned early on that Matt had lost his eyesight after the Cypher boys had burned his retinas with a magnifying glass. Matt teams up with one of the “lost boys” turned evangelist who was groomed to be a Cypher henchman. Together they make the acquaintance of a rather unusual lady who turns out to be an angel not too dissimilar from Clarence in Frank Capra’s “It’s A Wonderful Life”. She knows they need to develop their hearts, minds, body and soul so she introduces them to karate school and to theatre that’s held in a church. Matt already has the extraordinary abilities with the “tickets” but she knows that he will need more than skill with a deck of cards for where they are going. They also study the Bible to the point that they understand and believe in and know it all: chapter, line and verse.

Big Lew Cypher threatens to kill Matt’s father unless Matt agrees to deal cards in his favor in a high stakes poker tournament. Matt refuses but knows he has little choice unless he can raise enough capital to play in the game himself. Miss Guided, the angel, knows there is only one way to help Matt so she takes them on a journey back in time where they interact with some of the most famous and infamous characters of the day including: Doc Holliday, Wild Bill Hickock, Wyatt Earp among many others of western legend. One of the people not so well known among the general populace was a gambler named Eric S. Andrews, who some believe was the author of “Expert At The Card Table” and better known by his name when reversed…S.W. Erdnase. Yes, Matt McClain and Andrews get to square off against each other, in a matter of speaking.

The intent of traveling back is not only for Matt to win money to take back to the future to play in a high stakes game to save his father, but also for the angel to make square the past for her poor judgment in not taking better care of Matt’s grandfather when she was supposed to be his guardian angel.

This is a fun journey and a good effort by first time novelist and card expert, Richard Turner. It is a thinly veiled yet highly fictionalized autobiography about his life and interests, though in truth and to my knowledge, Richard has not yet travelled back in time. During the sojourns to the past and dealing with present day villains, no where in this book does the language get crude, coarse or vulgar despite their unpleasant disposition and vile tempers. This is a book that could be on the shelf of junior high or high school students. It takes the reader on a trip not only through time but also of introspection. It shows the development of character and how one must avoid temptation to prevail in the face of insurmountable odds. It is a book of faith and perseverance. Certainly there is violence and lots of fighting (with only Matt and Juan knowing karate in the 1800’s) but the bad guys and the good guys both jump up and live (and heal) to fight again in the next chapter.

I enjoyed Re-Deal and it is all the more exciting knowing that the author is a magician and the references he makes in the book to conjurers, con men and conspirators of long ago. There are no tricks taught in this book and no secrets revealed, but I do feel as if my horizons have been broadened and my faith renewed if you can read the secrets between the lines. I think you will find the same in here, too.

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars! [4 of 5 Stars!]
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