Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Here’s a reworked reprint of something I wrote a while back at another location. It’s a review of the Hard Case Crime release of Money Shot, by Christa Faust. The field of gritty crime novels is often something of a boys’ club, and I suppose there is a predisposition to believe testosterone is necessary to write a story about tough guys (and gals). Money Shot completely disproves that.
The protagonist of Money Shot is a former porn actress named Angel Dare, now semi-retired and running an adult modeling agency. The McGuffin of the story is a briefcase of money that a group of very bad guys believe is in Angel’s possession. In the course of trying to recover it, she is kidnapped, beaten, raped, tortured, shot, and left for dead. Surviving these eventss, she goes on a mission through the sex-trade underworld to get even with the ones responsible.
Angel Dare is a great character. She is resourceful and pragmatic, and doesn’t waste time on philosophical debate when she has an opportunity for revenge. Faust’s writing is dynamic, and she throws a couple of unseen plot twists at you, and I hope we haven’t seen the last of Angel Dare. For those with sensitive dispositions, the story does take place in the porn industry, and doesn’t shy away from the realities of the business.
The Hard Case Crime series has been one of my favorite imprints since its inception. Of the books I’ve read from it (forty or so), there has been only one I didn’t like, a heckuva batting average. Money Shot is my favorite from the series. If you have any interest at all in crime novels, please give this one a try. It’s a wild ride. Besides, just look at that cover. How can you resist?