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Byline: Paul Allen

Dead Man's Hand (Quercus, pounds 14.99).

NOW we know why the internet was invented. Not for exchanging information after a global catastrophe - not even to find out what sci-fi fans think about the latest Star Trek spin-off.

No, it was so millions and millions of people could huddle round their laptops and gamble away their hard-earned cash at poker.

The game is so popular these days that it was inevitable that someone would come up with the idea of a collection of stories surrounding this most evocative of card games.

And what a collection it is.

Superstars from the world of crime fiction have come to the table to show their hands and most of them are winners.

There is English crime at its best from Peter Robinson, American cool in the shape of Jeffery Deaver and John Lescroart - and a splendid murder mystery from top dog Michael Connelly.

Great stuff - but will it be enough to drag the mouse mat punters away from their little screens? *****
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Feb 2, 2008
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