The Wild Card by Mark Joseph
A Novel

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Four grown men, friends since childhood-a man of though, a man of leisure, an outlaw, and a cop-reunite in San Francisco for a weekend-long game of cards in the Palace Hotel's Enrico Caruso Suite. Every year they do this. It gives them a chance to catch up, to renew their friendships, to relive their glory days. To smoke, drink, laugh, and lose themselves and their cares for a couple of days. It also allows them to reaffirm, by unspoken consent, that the deadly secret they share has remained safe for another year.

Thirty years earlier, there were five friends. Just out of high school, preparing for college, optimistic and energetic, they took a boat trip up a river. Then an outburst of drunken teenage savagery at a place called Shanghai Bend left four boys scrambling to cover their tracks. And a fifth, Bobby McCorkle, disappeared...

For thirty years Bobby drifted aimlessly: through the firefights of Vietnam, across the United States and back a hundred times, and into every numbed recess of his conscience that heroin and alcohol could take him. He survived by his wits, but he lived by his trade: he became a gambler.

In 1995 construction crews dig up a skeleton at Shanghai Bend. Now McCorkle must rejoin his old pals at the card table and confront their secret together. What does each man bring? How much does each know? And how far will each go to protect the secret? The game begins, the stakes go up. Will they be exposed? Will their lives be ruined? Bluff. Double bluff. Call. Before the weekend is over, these five men will find themselves playing for their lives.

About Mark Joseph

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Mark Joseph is president of MJM Entertainment Group and has had a varied career in the entertainment business as a multi-media journalist and entertainment executive. He is the author of The Rock & Roll Rebellion: Why People of Faith Abandoned Rock Music and Why They're Coming Back. He lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife and children.
Published August 22, 2001 by St. Martin's Press. 320 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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"Poker," thinks Bobby McCorkle, "is monotonous, routine work." Unfortunately, the same might be said of Joseph's repetitive, disappointing and cynical fifth novel (

Jul 30 2001 | Read Full Review of The Wild Card: A Novel

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