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Lion on Fire: A casino-heist thriller

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  165 ratings  ·  55 reviews

"Sometimes you have to burn your world down before you can live in it"

Brian, a clean-cut, recent college grad, takes a side job in an underground casino in New York City to make extra cash to help his derelict brother out of a jam. Nothing goes as planned, and soon Brian is forced to team up with a charismatic co-worker to rob the mobsters who run the casino.

Lion on Fi

Kindle Edition, 165 pages
Published December 12th 2017 by Precipice Books
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4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  165 ratings  ·  55 reviews

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Paul Falk
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ted Galdi led me on a whirlwind tour through his character-driven narrative. The main protagonist was well-drawn. The storyline stayed on point as the scenes bombarded me with one challenging predicament after another. My stomach did flip flops as the tension built. The well-written action continued to skyrocket until the very end. An ending that caught me by surprise.

Looking to make ends meet, Brian Rolson, age 22, was content to be a limo driver. For the time being. Other opportunities were so
Maria Ryan
Shades of Gray

Brian and Dusty are two millennial males both trying to make extra money for their own noble reasons. They get caught up in the underworld of illegal pop up casinos run by the Russian mob when they both become limo drivers to the secret NYC locations.

Bearing witness to more than they are comfortable with, especially Brian, the more sensitive and straight-laced of the two with a healthy respect and fear of the law, both make the risky decision to avenge a female friend and come up w
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Mafia thrillers and heist/adventure stories
Lion On Fire - a review by Rosemary Kenny

Fresh out of college and ready to set the world on fire, Brian's an upright citizen in the making and his father, an NYPD detective is rightly proud of him.
Unfortunately, such is not the case with Brian's younger brother, in Ted Galdi's exciting thriller, Lion on Fire.

Kip is the complete opposite of Brian - wild and reckless, the last thing he's interested in is ending up like his emotionally repressed (as he sees it), father or boring (by comparison) goo
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Brian is a recent college graduate who is working as a limo driver in Manhattan. His younger brother gets into trouble and asks him to help pay a large debt for him. Brian enlists the aid of his coworker and friend, Dusty, who links him up with weekend jobs picking up gamblers who are going to casinos set up by the Russian mob and run at separate locations each week. They successfully do this until Brian’s father learns what he is doing and throws him out of the house. Following this, he inadver ...more
Michelle (Michelle's Book Ends) Shealy
"Something just doesn't feel right about it. Kip got into this mess by selling drugs, by veering into the underworld. And now I, the good brother who never broke a rule in his life, am supposed to veer into the underworld myself to get him out of this mess."....

Brian is living the way he should be. Smart, reliable and moving up in life. A life with a plan. Until his younger brother, Kip, does something so stupid Brian almost has no choice but to step in. The money he owes a drug dealer will prob
This story has a slow burn to it. Brian Rolson starts off as a good, but naive, fellow who is helping his younger brother Kip out. Their State Trooper dad has strict high expectations of both his sons and Kip has already had a mark against him. Now he’s gotten involved with some drug gangs and owes them $18k, which he can’t possibly pay off in time without help. So Brian, who’s been a limo driver for a while now, agrees to take up driving for this illicit casino business. Manhattan has strict ru ...more
Vickie Sarmina
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brian is such a responsible young adult. He’s going to college, and working to put himself through school. He’s doing the right thing. His father is a Detective with the New York Police Department, and knows he doesn’t have anything to worry about as far as Brian is concerned. However his other younger son, Kip, is another story. Kip has never continued with much as far as income or even school. Brian finds out that Kip has becomes involved with a drug dealer, De’ Anthony. Kip’s drug stash was s ...more
Stanley McShane
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Little brothers can be a real trial! Brian’s younger brother Kip has gotten himself into a world of trouble--this time selling illegal drugs. Brian takes on the responsibility of assisting his younger sibling, but the time period to accomplish this is short and the consequences for the little brother could be deadly if he does not succeed.

Enter Dusty, someone who befriends Brian and undertakes the task of helping both Brian and his younger brother. Dusty and Brian both work at the same company a
Scherry  at The Novel Lady
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lion on Fire is a quick read of approximately 165 pages. A bit of a novella. But in that short span of pages, Ted Galdi has produced a ton of action and suspense.

You may be left wondering how this sweet, honest, law-abiding, respectable young man could possibly have gotten himself mixed up with the Russian mafia and a whole pack of trouble. Brian keeps trying to do the right thing by helping out his brother. All he was going to do is act as a limo driver to earn some big bucks to pay off his bro
Read N' Reviews
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, e-book
Brian is just an average guy living in New York City driving a limo for a company called Big Hitter. He is planning to save the money he is earning to get his own place, so he isn't living with his parents anymore. Those plans get pushed to the side when Brian's brother asks for help coming up with $30,000 to replace a package of cocaine he lost. Brian, not wanting his dad to find out or have his brothers life on the line, agrees to help. He talks to his friend Dusty, another driver, and is give ...more
Schuyler Wallace
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Ted Galdi is a storyteller that eschews the esoteric and evasive language that many writers seem to lean towards today in favor of straightforward and clear prose. In “Lion on Fire,” a short and engrossing novel of wanting to do right but slipping into serious transgression, Brian gets involved with some mobsters who can get ugly.

Brian’s brother has taken on a debt he can’t pay back and Brian assumes the load to clear up a mess. He, along with a friend, hatches a plan to rob an mob-run casino th
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
Lion on Fire by Ted Galdi traces the actions of a recent college graduate as the tries to keep himself employed and his younger brother out of trouble. Brian has decided that driving a limo, rather than taking allow paying internship, is the best way fro him to advance toward his goals in life. When his brother Kip confides that he is in debt to the mafia for losing some drugs, Brian decides that it is his responsibility to get his brother out of trouble by making $18,000 in a couple of weeks. B ...more
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I thought ‘Lion on Fire’ was a great goodread! Ted Galdi had me from the beginning cryptic sentence with his compelling writing style and narrative concerning a mysterious duffel bag and a character hell-bent on reaching a destination on time. My interest grew as the plot grew with main character, Brian going to great lengths to help his drug dealing kid brother. Mr. Galdi’s storyline has exciting play by play action and perfectly chosen words to describe emotional feelings of despair, fear ...more
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shocking and Daring Casino Heist

Brian is a college grad with a policeman father. Brian has always been clean cut and a hard worker. He finds out his brother Kip had a pack of cocaine stolen from him and owes the dealer $30,000 and if he doesn't pay it in a short time he will be elimanated. Brian has a good job driving a limo. When he finds out his brother is in dangerous trouble, he allows himself to take a job shuttling wealthy individuals to illicit gambling games. He later learns the Russian
Pat Allen
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Really Fascinating Story

A stretch-limo driver accepts a job driving for the Russian Mafia. He has to collect wealthy clients to gamble at secret destinations and deliver them there. He does this to rescue his younger brother from a massive drug debt. The irresponsible youngster left a big bag of expensive drugs in plain view in his car, which was broken into. Now he is being held responsible for the full value by the drug dealers. Their father is a law enforcement officer. He is shocked when
Sue Olexa
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lion On Fire by Ted Galdi writes skillfully and his mastery over words delivers a great read. Absolutely NO disappointment with this book! Suspense, intrigue, jam packed action, well built plot and characters, and story telling by Ted Galdi to end all story telling. Just a pleasure to read Lion On Fire. ALL pleasure as the pages turn as fast as one can read them, because it is a definite page turner and I could not wait to turn the page with excitement of what was to come next. That makes this b ...more
Tom Law
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fast paced story which keeps the reader captivated trying to discern what is coming next. The author does not let the story line lag, nor does he get so absorbed in laying out detail after detail so as to overwhelm the story. Galdi lays out just enough information to keep the reader engaged. He then moves the story along so that the reader wants to keep turning the pages to find out what happens next.

The story is a pretty predictable tale of a young man needing to make a quick buck who gets invo
Maria Matthews
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lion on Fire is a world far beyond my reach. The world of Brian and his family, at first sounded like many other middle-class families but as the book progressed I discovered them to very different from what I first thought. Brian, without giving too much away was a good guy caught between a rock and a hard place. He sought a way to help his brother and this led him far beyond his normal life. The story ran at a neat pace, the writing was strong, the only but I would add is that I would have lik ...more
Irene Adam
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a free advance e-copy of this book and have chosen to write an honest and unbiased review. I have no personal affiliation with the author. Wow! He was just trying to help out his brother and didn’t expect to get into so much trouble. A casino heist by amateurs goes awry and there is a surprise ending. This is a good story as far as it goes. I would have liked more content and further character development. This book is worth the read and I would like to read more from Ted Galdi in the ...more
Will Decker
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
An entertaining story of good people doing bad things with a good dose of naivete thrown in. The character development isn't bad, and the editing is really clean, but there are small holes in the plot where time seems to skip through. One such time for example is when Brian apologizes to Igor for showing up late and with his girlfriend. That was a moment in time I would have really enjoyed. Unfortunately, it was glossed over, along with many more. My point is, when you have a good story, don't r ...more
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What would you do if your brother's life was on the line and you were the only one who could help? Would you risk your own life to protect his and do whatever it takes?
This short story shows us Brian's experience doing everything he can to protect his brother for the inevitable, even though he has no desire to be a part of the things it takes to accomplish this.
Thanks to the author for the opportunity. I had a hard time putting this one down!
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story is well written. Brian needs money to help his idiot brother out of a bad spot. He then gets in over his head with the Russian mob but can’t do anything about it without putting a hit on his own head. He has to find a way out. It’s not a genre that I like but I can’t fault the author. There is prequel a short story, where Brian goes to his friend Dusty for help to make extra money. There doesn’t seem to be a point with it except to introduce the reader to Dusty.
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-read
Slow Paced


I found the story slow paced yet multi faceted in many ways. Firstly the underlying idea of wife/ women beaters and people's views and actions to override their natural instincts.

Secondly how far people are prepared to go in order to protect their loved ones and family, and that sometimes friends are as much family as your own flesh and blood.
Phillip M Lewallen
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Intriguing, exciting, suspenseful

Want to drive a limo, work for the Russian mafia in an illegal gambling operation? Then this is the book for you. Watch through the lives of two young limo drivers as their lives are involved in something more than they ever imagined. Great and exciting ending! This book should be a movie! A great read!
lesley bradbury
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fine read

Well I enjoyed that read was nice and easy to read, it could be put down and pick up easily. I also liked the story I don't know if is going to be another book but id like them to meet up again !!! Id recommend it to my reader friends (seams less of them social media has taken a few away) I'm going to be looking for another book by this author.
Cheryl Montgomery-Nolan
While I received an ARC of this book, I have made an independent decision to post this review. Brian is a limousine driver recruited to shuttle people to and from an illegal casino. He took this job to help his younger brother out of a serious jam with some shady people. This book is his story...
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing

I really enjoyed this book and I'm glad there is a prologue explaining how Brian and Dusty, know each other. It's a well thought out story and makes you wonder what is going to go wrong or right with the plan. A great story, by a talented writer, really hope to get to read more books by Mr Galdi x
Hope Gerhardstein
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
The good brother decides to help his younger brother who has gotten himself in trouble by selling and losing drugs. Brian teams up with Dusty a coworker in the limo driving business and they hatch a plan to rob the Russian mob that they are working for. Nothing goes as planned and this has a surprise ending.
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What we go through

The story is a familiar one, brother owed lots of money to the really bad guys, gets his older brother involved to help raise the $$$. The plan falls apart. There's mass hysteria, police, and guys and money. I enjoyed the characters and plot.
Emily Scalisi-Smith
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Worth the read

To be fair, I'm not really one for thrillers, but I did enjoy this book. It wasn't a deep read, but it was entertaining and worth reading, especially if you want a quick heist story.
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Ted Galdi, an Amazon #1 bestselling author, has been featured by Kirkus magazine, ABC, FOX, iHeartRadio, and many other media outlets. He’s a winner of a Reader Views Reviewers Choice Award and a Silver Medal in the Readers' Favorite Book Awards. Ted is a graduate of Duke University.

His available releases are the books Elixir, An American Cage, and Lion on Fire, and the short stories A Road to Now
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