Void Moon

Michael Connelly

Published by Little, Brown and Company, 1999
ISBN 10: 0316154067 / ISBN 13: 9780316154062
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Synopsis: 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...

Review: There seems to be an unspoken rule among mystery writers that once the author has created a successful character, the obligation to fans demands regular installments in the hero's life history, whatever the author's literary aspirations. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was famously unsuccessful at killing off Sherlock Holmes and resurrected his detective in response to public outcry. Michael Connelly's police procedural series featuring Harry Bosch has garnered numerous top mystery awards, including the coveted Edgar. But, strangely, it is his deviations from Bosch, including The Poet and Blood Work, that have drawn the biggest readerships--and have won awards of their own to boot (The Poet was honored with the 1997 Anthony Award). Now, once again, Connelly follows up the success of a Bosch book, Angels Flight, with a non-series tale that pushes Connelly's already impressive body of work into new territory.

Void Moon traces the path of Cassie Black, a gifted thief who struggles with the temptation of "outlaw juice" (the burning desire to live the fast life of crime and payoffs) even while she regularly attends her probation meetings. It's not that hawking Porsches to newly flush young Hollywood males isn't satisfying, but... well, it isn't. After years away, she returns to her old striking grounds in Las Vegas for one last big mark hoping to pave her way into a new life. But Cassie discovers that her old Las Vegas is a new town with a new skyline and new (and more deadly) bad guys; it is also a place haunted by the ghost of her lover-partner Max. When her take proves to be 10 times larger than she imagined, her road to freedom runs afoul of the Mob while a morally questionable--and openly vicious--PI sniffs her trail.

With its attractive central character, meticulous plot, and glitzy packaging, Void Moon seems perfectly poised for the New York Times bestsellers list. That is not to say, however, that Connelly has "dumbed down" his usual presentation. The novel displays Connelly's stunning ability to breathe reality into his fiction with the subtle details that can only come from careful research and his years of experience reporting on crime for the L.A. Times. What other author has so lovingly described the aftermath of crime? The jail sentence, recidivism, the numbing visits to the parole officer where "she held the plastic cup she would have to squat over and fill while an office trainee, dubbed the wizard because of the nature of her monitoring duty, watched to make sure it was her own urine going into the container." While we Connelly fans are always eager to read the next Bosch, once again we're not disappointed with Connelly's "vacation." --Patrick O'Kelley

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Title: Void Moon
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: 1999
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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