The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has invalidated a 2014 New Jersey law that would have allowed casinos and race tracks to take bets on sporting events. Chris Christie had pushed it through so that the state could tax the proceeds, but federal law has long outlawed sports betting except in a handful of states were it was grandfathered in.
Christie’s attempt was the inspiration for “A Scourge of Vipers,” the fourth novel in my Edgar Award-winning Mulligan series. In it, the fictional governor of Rhode Island sends the state legislature a bill to legalize sports betting. In response, rich and powerful national forces with something loose (major league sports teams and organized crime) or gain (casino operators and public employee unions) descend on the state to influence, or outright buy the votes of state legislators. Suddenly, millions of dollars flood the state–one in which the average campaign for state legislature still costs under ten thousand dollars.
The result, of course, is that all hell breaks loose.
A Scourge of Vipers by Bruce DeSilva is the fourth in my Edgar Award-winning series of hardboiled crime novels featuring Liam Mulligan, an investigative reporter for a dying newspaper in Providence, R.I. The novel has received rave reviews in The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and a host of other publications. The fifth novel in the series, The Dread Line, will be published in September. You can order that one in advance, or order any of the books in the series, from independent or chain online bookstores by following this link.