Void Moon (2001)
Book description (from Amazon.com)
New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly writes novels of brilliantly original suspense. In this electrifying tour de force, he takes us into a world of extremes: too much criminality, too much money, and too many ways to die.
In L.A. Cassie Black is another beautiful woman in a Porsche: except Cassie just did six years in prison and still has “outlaw juice” flowing in her veins. Now Cassie is returning to her old profession, taking down a money man in Vegas. But the perfect heist goes very wrong, and suddenly Cassie is on the run–with a near-psychotic Vegas “fixer” killing everyone who knew about the job. Between Cassie and the man hunting her are a few last secrets: like who really set up the job, why Cassie had to take the change, and how, in the end, it might all be a matter of the moon…
Las Vegas is a place of smoke and mirrors, an ideal turf for everything but the law. Under the neon lights, away from the shows and the noise of the slot machines, there’s room for every kind of crime story and a writer like Michael Connelly can build a strong story with characters who stand up for their own space. Like many of his works this novel is a perfect nest of clockworks, each level well timed with the others, everything you find got its proper use and refers properly with the plot. No loose ends, no space for misunderstandings.
The main character, Cassie Black, is a strong woman with many talents under her smile and twice a smany scares on her soul. The main villain, Jack Karch, is a full time psycho with a world of pain to avenge. Add to this odd couple enough money to drive a saint mad, an handful of good support characters and enough drama to cover any TV series for a year and you got this novel. Plus, you got all the usual bases covered. Las Vegas got a strong story on its dark back, the shadows of three generations of mobsters and the dust of too many bodies buried in the desert; it’s the grooming presence in the background, just like the Los Angeles usually described by Connelly in other works.
The plot is very fast, a classic page-turner, but this time it’s a bit too cold, a bit too mechanic. A skilled reader can anticipate almost every twist, sense the changes before reading the next chapter. The book is quite enjoyable but it fails when it comes to keep the reader in the dark, that’s bad news for a thriller. It’s still miles over the average market level but lower than expected. For the hardcore fans of Michael Connelly it’s a must, for everybody else it can be skipped.
Michael Connelly got 28 novels under his belt, many of them translated worldwide. He’s a main presence in the mistery and crime fiction scene, one of the few able to set up characters to real-life sembiances with the detective Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch and the lawyer Mickey Haller. If you need to pick up a writer to get a start with crime fiction, this is the right name to choose.