TAKE DOWN has an unusual story behind it: in 2009, I was sent to Las Vegas by Men’s Journal to write a story about poker hustling. While researching the piece, I was introduced to a crew of professional cheaters who made their living scamming casinos. The crew had seven members. The captain, the mechanic, a forger, two beautiful women who acted as distraction, and two college age take-off men who actually stole the money. Being around these people was a mind blowing experience. The scams were amazing, and so were the colorful stories behind them. I am considered an expert on the subject of cons and grifts, and yet when I was with these folks, I felt like a wide-eyed kid who’s just started his first day of school. I asked the crew if they would let me write a series of novels patterned after their lives. They agreed, with the condition that I wait five years before publishing the first book.
The waiting period is over, and TAKE DOWN has now been released.
James Swain is the nationally bestselling author of seventeen mystery novels. His books have been named Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews Best Mystery Books of the Year, and he has received three Barry Award nominations and a Florida Book Award for fiction. In 2006, he was awarded France’s prestigious Prix Calibre .38 for Best American Crime Writing. Born in Huntington, New York, he graduated from New York University and worked as a magazine editor and screenwriter before moving to Florida to run a successful advertising firm. When he isn’t writing, he enjoys researching casino scams and cons, a subject on which he’s considered an expert.