What Really Happens in Vegas: True Stories of the People Who Make Vegas, Vegas by James Patterson and Mark Seal

c.2023, Little, Brown 
358 pages

By Terri Schlichenmeyer
The Truth Toledo

Hit that “spin” button.

Hit it again, one more time, move onto the next “one-armed bandit,” take in a show, watch water dance, gawk all you want. A lot of people work hard to make your Las Vegas experience one you’ll never forget. As you’ll see in the new book What Really Happens in Vegas by James Patterson and Mark Seal, it takes a village to keep a city going.

It’s 5:30 in the morning, Las Vegas time, and people are up and moving.

Some have been awake since the night before, sitting in front of a slot machine or at a card table with a pile of chips. Others, like the elite crew of divers who keep the Fountains of Bellagio running, are ready to go to work.

Vegas, as Patterson and Seal show, is not just glitz and glamour and lights and sounds. Las Vegas is also where some 52 million people arrive at the local airport to start their vacation – and, in some cases, they jump-start their bank accounts at the airport’s slot machines.

Speaking of money – if you have it, you can get almost anything you want, as long as it’s legal, just by asking. Want a private flight in? Your own limo? Big shopping? Before you drop the expected Big Bucks in a casino, want to relax in a secret suite that few are allowed to see?  Or maybe you want to hear stories of “Sin City” legends, mostly men, but for one fierce woman who revolutionized the Strip.

You can see a circus in Vegas, one that was originally Canadian. Visit a downtown museum that tells the tale of this desert city. If you win big, meet the people whose job it is to get your money to you at all costs. See how fine dining came to Las Vegas and who keeps it there. And find out how a famous slogan for this dazzling city came to be…

Pick up What Really Happens in Vegas, read two pages, and you’ll know one thing for sure: You’ve hit the jackpot.

In every city, there are stories and behind-the-scenes characters who keep the place lubricated but in Las Vegas, even those folks assume a certain (and deserved) mantle of glitter. Authors James Patterson and Mark Seal let readers in on secrets and into secret places, sharing out-loud stories of everyday folks, just doing their jobs.

Then there are the tales that feel like they should be told in whispers.

Sure, there are comments from comfort-makers who talk about the wealthy, and anecdotes of singers, stars, and mobsters in this book, just as you’d expect. But readers also become privy to the things nobody back home wants to talk about, the jobs that don’t make your alumni profile, and the parties that… well, that stay in Vegas.

And that’s what you’ll want to do, once you start this fascinating behind-the-scenes peek. What Really Happens in Vegas is a book with a thousand stories and for fans, it’ll be a hit.