Reviewed by Michelle Stanley for Readers' Favorite
“Oh, it’s not really gambling when you never lose.” - Jennifer Aniston. The House Always Wins: A Vegas Ghost Story is a paranormal fiction tale by Brian Rouff. Small town reporter Anna Christiansen finally gets a serious assignment to cover a band performing locally. She falls in love with Aaron, the bass player, and leaves with him for Las Vegas shortly after the interview. Anna soon becomes pregnant while trying to adjust to her unfamiliar surroundings. They lovingly renovate a dilapidated house haunted by Meyer Levin. Meyer tells Anna about his life, but cannot remember how he died. Pykowski, a sleazy casino owner, terrorizes the couple to sell their house so he can build a parking lot. Anna fights back with help from Meyer. The ghost was a former racketeer who knows the corrupt game Pykowski plays so well. He thinks it’s time to deal a hand the casino owner will never forget.
Brian Rouff’s writing of The House Always Wins: A Vegas Ghost Story is impressive. It’s a charming, fast-paced story beautifully narrated by the main character, Anna. It contains wit, mystery, and a bit of nostalgia. Meyer reminisces about his racketeering life and how developed Las Vegas has become. Anna is a strong-minded person who possesses a sense of humour, even when her problems are serious. I thought the road trip was interesting, also the descriptions of the communities that had seen changes, for better or for worse. The author has shown the other side of Las Vegas in this must-read novel.