Winning Numbers

An Introduction to the Riley Family

Christian - Fiction
382 Pages
Reviewed on 06/30/2015
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Author Biography

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Eduardo Aduna for Readers' Favorite

Winning Numbers: An Introduction to the Riley Family is an action-packed yarn about a tightly knit family of savants bent on a unique plot to obtain the money they need to fund their philanthropic deeds. Set in locations all over the world, Randall Jarmon's fast-paced tale shows that thrillers about geriatrics can be captivating and immersive, and can teach a moral lesson or two as well.

I loved how Jarmon crafted each character, villain and protagonist alike. No amount of detail was left out to fully create multifaceted and complex characters that are each a product of their own distinct experiences. With these characters, Jarmon manages to vividly portray enjoyable interactions and witty dialogue that are all a welcome break from the swift and brutal action scenes packed into the novel. The flashbacks and exposition that serve to flesh out each character are very well-written and contribute significantly to the overall arc of the novel.

Technology plays an integral part in making the reader believe the novel's central premise. Through the detailed action scenes and the twists and turns along the way, the core of this thriller isn't about guns or death, but about relationships and how they can make an individual better than they currently are, and help them realize their true potential. Winning Numbers: An Introduction to the Riley Family is a good stepping stone to the future adventures of this eccentric, brilliant, and fascinating clan, and gives readers a promising look at what Randall Jarmon has in store in the future.

Samantha Coville

You would think that winning the lottery could make everything better, right? You could afford a mansion by the beach, a car that attracts all the best dates, and eternal popularity from friends and family. Now, what if you could win not just one lottery, but multiple lotteries? What if you could take home all the money from lotteries all over the world? Well, in Randall Jarmon's Winning Numbers, it turns out that it doesn't make everything better. In fact, it makes the Russian mob come after you. It puts your life in danger you cannot imagine. Daniel Riley has discovered this and when his path crosses with Deborah McSweeney, who is being hunted by a drug cartel, the adventure of a lifetime begins. Because, quite frankly, this could be the end of both their lifetimes.

This was a toughie to rate. Yes, the characters were a little un-life-like and I couldn't relate to them, so, obviously, there was a level of disconnection with the story. And there were a few grammar errors found in later chapters as if the author were in a hurry to finish his big novel. But, overall, the action sequences and general idea behind the story line were spectacular. I could easily see this being a movie if the characters were tweaked a little. I love the whole lottery story line; it was absolutely brilliant. There is definitely a lot of creativity inside Randall Jarmon's head and he brings it all to the plate with Winning Numbers.

Rabia Tanveer

In Winning Numbers by Randall Jarmon, Daniel Riley uses his intelligence to understand the lottery system and win big. He religiously follows the theory that random numbers are never random, and to prove that point he starts winning lotteries for his family and for himself. Elated by the discovery, he keeps going on. A Soviet crime ring is also trying to crack the lottery system, and when they learn about Daniel’s method and equipment, they want to capture it and use it for their nefarious plans.

Deborah McSweeney lived a normal life until the day she discovered that her boss was smuggling drugs into the country with a Mexican drug cartel. All hell broke loose after that. A biker gang was hired to find her and kill her. But they are after her grandson as well, and she will do everything in her power to protect him from their evil clutches. When she asks for help from the authorities, they do not believe her. How is she going to keep her grandson safe? As the two dark forces join hands to track Daniel and Deborah down, they too join forces and try to keep their focus on staying alive.

Randall Jarmon did a fantastic job with Winning Numbers. The story was engrossing and very well written. I did feel that the Riley family was a little too good, but other than that the novel was perfect. I really like the way Jarmon handled two different narrative voices and portrayed the personality of the character through it. Plus, Daniel is a super cool nerd. Who wouldn’t want to be his friend?

Faridah Nassozi

The Riley family, just like any other ordinary family, liked playing together; only their toys were super hi-tech and the stakes way too high. A family of geniuses and special talent, the Rileys ran a family business that would make any other family jealous; only this time the jealous family was the Russian cartel. The Russians, desperate to get their hands on the technology that seems to be making the Rileys lottery experts, hired the best assassins in the world to take out the Riley family genius - Numbers - but he was no easy target. While on his latest mission in the Nevada desert, he runs into some unexpected company and saves a woman's life. Deborah has been on the run for so long and she is tired but cannot stop; her life and that of her grandson depend on it. Numbers agrees to allow Deborah and Shawn temporary shelter, but danger just won't stop coming. While they are in the desert, trying to survive ruthless assassins, the ladies of the Riley family are already busy playing Cupid. But surely, at 61, Numbers is a lab rat and confirmed bachelor, and everyone knew that, or so they thought.

Winning Numbers - An Introduction to the Riley Family by Randall Jarmon is a deeply captivating tale that perfectly blends sci-fi, family values, and thrilling stealth action. Without wasting any time, the story dives straight into the body of the plot and sets the pace for what turned out to be one of the best novels I have read. The Riley family is one special family; everything about these characters is fresh, unique, deep and compelling. Randall Jarmon brought out the best on every single page through these characters and the meticulously planed escapades. I loved how the story mellows down as more Rileys are introduced to reveal a well-blended family. Underneath all their elaborate plans, the super hi-tech gear and the genius, the Rileys shared a basic sense of family and I found this so very endearing. The background stories, as they are revealed a little at a time, give thrilling insight into the multi-layered characters that make up the Riley family and what makes them tick. The family is as intriguing as it is compelling.

Jessyca Garcia

I surprisingly really enjoyed reading Winning Numbers by Randall Jarmon. The story follows Daniel “Numbers” Riley, a scientist who has discovered a way to predict the winning numbers for the lottery. Naturally when someone discovers a way to make easy money, bad guys want it too. While the Russian mob is chasing Numbers in order to kill him, he meets Deborah McSweeny, a grandmother running from the Mexican mob with her 12-year-old grandson. With the help of Numbers’ family, they try to stay alive.

If the movies Ocean’s Eleven and The Expendables were to have a love child, then it would be this book. The parts of Winning Numbers that are similar to Ocean’s Eleven are the way everything seemed to go smoothly for the Riley family, even though they were running from the mob, and the chemistry the characters had with each other. Also, the access to all the technology they had was interesting. The thing that reminded me of the movie The Expendables was that Jarmon’s main characters were in their sixties and up, which I happened to like. His character, Daniel “Numbers” Riley, reminded me of Chuck Norris with the way he fought his battles. Sometimes the story was a little predictable, but one thing it did not lack was action. I rather liked the thought that the numbers for lottery drawings could be predicted.

Winning Numbers is listed under the category Christian Fiction, but even if you are a non-believer I still recommend this book to you if you like action. The book does contain a little romance, murder, and a whole lot of guns. I do wish that if Jarmon has found a way to predict the lottery numbers that he shares his secret with me.