Literary Las Vegas: Tom Bradley Jr.

Las Vegas author Tom Bradley Jr., who worked as a newspaper reporter and editor in San Diego County and as a public relations professional in Las Vegas and Texas, recently released his first novel, “The Kona Shuffle.” In it, Las Vegas waitress Noelani B. Lee’s life is upended when she receives a payoff to stay quiet about the governor’s drunken pursuits.

“Take this money, move your tush back to the Aloha State, and keep your mouth shut,” a pushy political operative demands.

Seven years later, Noelani, now a private investigator, is waiting for her cousin’s plane to arrive when a complicated new case literally falls from the sky.

Passengers swiftly exiting the Island Skipper 2 after an emergency belly-dragging landing mix up four identical black backpacks. Three are filled with mundane treasures — chocolate, a teddy bear and a text book, a cellphone and half-eaten bag of crushed Funyuns. One is packed with priceless jewelry ripped off at the deathbed of a senile widow. That backpack owner will stop at nothing to get the jewels back.

Excerpt from ‘The Kona Shuffle’

The young man caught Tommy Chunks’s attention when he swiped a black backpack from a short, round woman in the lobby of the King Kamehameha Hotel.

As a seasoned professional, Tommy appreciated the art of common street thievery. He started the same way back in Buffalo; his alacrity in lifting wallets and snagging purses from unsuspecting victims caught the attention of others up the criminal food chain. Through time, he graduated to more important and enriching felonious endeavors. Although, and much to his chagrin, his skills dulled since he moved to Vegas and attached himself to those idiots from Arizona, the Campanella brothers.

Part of it was age, considering he had about ten years on them. Plus, they thought of him as little more than a glorified errand boy on twenty-four-hour call. The morons.

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