Monday, April 6, 2015

Dying for the Highlife By Dan Stanton Provides Fun Look at Lottery Winner You'll Love to Hate!

This is the third novel in the Dan Reno series and I finally got a handle on who I would cast as the duo of male main characters... I always thought Segal was a cool character, quiet until "involved" and able to take on anybody... Sorta like Dan Reno... On the other hand, Mel Gibson clearly has the talent and personality of Cody Gibbons, who gets a little wild some time... What do you think?!

The next morning Cody and I were drinking coffee on my deck under a gray sky. The cold wind blowing off Lake Tahoe was spitting tiny needles of rain and the grass in my yard looked hard and brittle. Cody sat bundled in his huge green parka.
Let's go inside and cook some more bacon," he said.
"Remember I told you I knew Jimmy Homestead from high school?"
"Yeah, so?"
"Everyone we went to school with came from middle class white suburbia. Some kids had parents that were better off then others, but for the most part, we were all just middle class, right?"
"Pretty much."
I know a few guys from back then who ended up with good careers. But I know a lot more who an't even hold a job."
"Not everyone is destined to live the highlife, Dirt."
"Who said anything about the highlife? Look, I'm not trying to judge someone by how much money they make. I'm just saying I'm surprised to see so many guys, the products of hardworking parents, become job less derelicts. I don't buy that was their destiny."
"You getting philosophical on me again?
I shook my head. "I look at Jimmy Homestead, and I see someone born into a decent family, with a decent amount of intelligence. But he doesn't make it through high school and lives for almost twenty years as a bum. It's the result of a character defect."
"I thought he was just an alcoholic."
"Maybe, but it's more than that. He was too lazy to work, or maybe thought he was above it. He thought the world owed him something."
"Looks like he was right."
"I don't think so," I said...

Dying For The Highlife
A Dan Reno Novel

By Dave Stanton

Winning the lottery is something, I gather, that many people dream about, and so when Jimmy Homestead won $42 million, he accepted that it was his due... Yeah, right!
Given his background and past life activities, it shouldn't have surprised him that all that money would only get him into trouble. And if that took killing him--so be it...
What a joke, Jimmy thought. What a bone-
smoking joke. All anybody can talk about is the
Internet, yea, check this website, check that
website, year, year, you can find anything. What
a bunch of bullshit. Jimmy was at the bar at the
Mirage, trying to drink away a grinding coke-
and-booze hangover. The last three days had
been a blur of casino gambling, liquor of every
variety, and a snowstorm of cocaine. It was too
much, even for Jimmy.
Within the first twenty-four hours of posting
his personal ad, he had received three
responses. Two were from Russian women
who Jimmy learned were part of a mail-order
bride scam. The third was from a dumpy-
looking, dark-haired woman from Sacramento,
who sent him a simple six-word greeting:
"You sound like a real asshole."
The first to reach out was his former step-mother...
That's how Dan and Cody got involved.

Actually, she had hired Dan to find him and he was already on the job when Cody called, telling him that he had also been hired and that it was suggested that they work together. No big deal for either of them since they were partners on many cases. But, Sheila Majorie, the ex-wife also initiated/responded to a fling with Cody, that neither Dan or Cody was convinced was unintentional, although Cody was much more attentive than he normally was.

Jimmy had found his bragging about his having money, plans to buy this or that, and offers of drinks or drugs, wasn't getting him the female responses he used to get. So, even though he didn't know much about the Internet, he placed an online ad:

Handsome, Hung, and Rich. Hello girls. If you're looking for a man that has it all, I just might be availablep I'm independently wealthy and accept only the best that life has to offer. The world's most luxurious hotels are my home, at least until I decide where to buy a mansion. My Lamborghini is rare, my eyes are as blue as the sea, and my hair is the envy of most men my age. I have a fun sense of humor, and am an extremely intelligent and interesting alpha male.

Who I'm looking for--well, let's put it this way--I only date women who are head turners. Sex is a big priority in my life. If it's a big priority in yours, you've passed the first test. If you have any doubt about your weight, or appearance in general, no need to respond. Please be in your twenties, or perhaps early thirties, as long as you are truly a knockout. I am a breast and butt man--if you are lacking either, no need to respond. Silicon implants are acceptable. I prefer a neatly manicured woman, if you know what I mean. If you've been an erotic dancer, or a model, that may help your chances. Please bring no baggage, and a heavy appetite for sexual adventure. If you are bi, and have friends, that's a plus.

Seriously I just had to share this ad! No wonder he didn't get responses, right?! But it surely does tell readers what kind of guy is now surfing through life due to our fabulous lottery system...Sarcasm, intended...

In any event, one woman finally wrote to him, after she had shared the ad with her husband and decided that this was a great guy to scam...

Then there are those who want pay back for Jimmy's stealing from them in the past--drugs! Which ultimately became part of a Mexican crew who was after him... which wound up in the most dangerous situations of all,
except  maybe when Jimmy's uncle decided to kidnap him and take him for all of his new wealth... You see, most of the others were setting their goals a little lower, a million or two should do...right?

So what you should expect is watching all these different players, which includes Jimmy's father, all begin searching for Jimmy Homestead and all of his millions! With Dan and Cody being the only legit individuals caught trying to keep Jimmy alive... And Cody almost doesn't make it this time!

Readers will have the chance to meet each and every past or present criminals who figure Jimmy Homestead doesn't deserve all that money and demand a share, or more.  Dan and Cody? All they hope is that they ultimately get paid because they've taken the case based upon Marjorie's assurance that she'll get the money! (After all, she had an excellent blackmail basis to approach him, and willing to do more to be sure!)

It really becomes funny when all of these individuals start trailing Jimmy and wind up getting to him just about one right after the other...

Feel Sorry for Jimmy by that time? NOT! Actually, there is a sentimental reunion between Jimmy and his father and they begin a new life together before everything else starts... Then, you might want to say that everybody is out for themselves, for a little while at least... Just like an old cops and robbers flick! Right?!

This is a much lighter novel from Stanton, one that only gets funnier as pages are turning. Obviously by now, we know that Dan Reno solves the case, but this one had more personal issues between the partners to deal with. I enjoyed watching, LOL!

The Dan Reno Series is one that you should definitely check out. Click over to
reviews for Stateline and Speed Metal Blues if you haven't read them! Let me know if you agree with my selection of Steven Segal, even if his fighting style is quite different, and Mel Gibson as fitting the personalities of Dan and Cody... Reno is a fun character to follow and Cody adds a little edgy grit to the pair. Together they're someone I'd want on my side if I needed help! Enjoy!


Born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1960, Dave Stanton moved to Northern California in 1961. He attended San Jose State University and received a BA in journalism in 1983. Over the years, he worked as a bartender, newspaper advertising salesman, furniture mover, pizza cook, debt collector, and technology salesman. He has two children, Austin and Haley, and lives with his wife, Heidi, in San Jose, California.

Stanton is the author of five novels, all featuring private investigator Dan Reno and his ex-cop buddy, Cody Gibbons.


It was 2001, and the bubble was bursting. My timing was bad - a few months previous I had left a steady job to work for a "promising" startup that offered more money. As a salesman, I quickly realized the product they hired me to sell was doomed. I drew this conclusion despite claims otherwise by some smart (and temporarily wealthy) people. Like many during that time, they had been sucked into an illusion.

I sat at my cubicle in Silicon Valley, regretful, certain I'd be unemployed soon. The customers I'd been assigned had all considered my proposals and firmly declined. I had nothing to do, and the boredom was killing me. Spontaneously, I started writing.

Three months later I was at a new gig, one that involved regular travel to Asia. I sat on a jet over the Pacific Ocean, hunched over my notebook, typing like a mad man. The paragraph I had written while employed at the now defunct company had become a novel, and the first draft was nearly finished.

The characters and situations I write about come from a time when my companions were irreverent and reckless, and I participated willingly in endeavors that for a few had permanent consequences. These episodes occurred in places like Sacramento, Reno, Salt Lake City, and Ely, Nevada. Some of my old friends are respectable citizens today, others are in and out of jail, and some didn't make it.

Please feel free to e-mail me at

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