Moon Music: A Novel
“Fascinating....Fast-paced and dynamic.”
—Dallas Morning News
“Kellerman is taking a big risk here, and I think she pulls it off in fine style.”
With Moon Music, New York Times bestseller Faye Kellerman leaves Los Angeles and heads to stranger territories: “Sin City” Las Vegas, Nevada. Taking a brief hiatus from her mystery series featuring LAPD Homicide Detective Peter Decker and his Orthodox Jewish wife, Rina Lazarus, Kellerman delivers a masterful stand-alone crime novel that crackles with suspense and tantalizes with a touch of the paranormal. The horribly savaged body of a once-beautiful Vegas showgirl is discovered in the desert not far from the world-famous Strip, plunging Detective Sergeant Romulus Poe into the heart of a bizarre, full moon-soaked mystery that could cost him everything he holds dear in life, including his sanity.
In Moon Music Faye Kellerman turns her attention from the streets of Los Angeles, where her previous novels were set, to the casinos of Las Vegas. A mutilated body of a young woman is discovered in the desert and Detective Sergeant Romulus Poe sets out to determine who could have committed the murder and the brutal desecration that followed. His team of investigators include the tall and lusty Steve Jensen, novice Patricia Deluca, and medical examiner Rukmani Kalil. The relations between the four are complex and add depth to this tale of deadly dealings: Poe carries a torch for Jensen's mentally troubled wife and knows of his colleague's philandering; Kalil and Poe are engaged in an off-again, on-again affair. Although collectively they feel as though they are making progress in the case, another similarly mutilated corpse is found within a matter of weeks, turning the mystery from that of a peculiarly brutal murder in the singular to the search for a serial killer. In leaving behind LAPD detective Peter Decker and his wife, Rina Lazarus (last seen in Serpent's Tooth, 1997), for this Las Vegas mystery, Kellerman unfortunately also abandoned the warmth and depth of characterization that mark her series' books. Featuring Las Vegas homicide cop, Romulus Poe, in the murder investigation of two prostitutes, this tale also trades in the series' foundation in religion (Orthodox Judaism) for sensational pseudo-scientific and/or supernatural suggestions of lycanthropy. The first prostitute whose badly mutilated corpse is found in the desert was the onetime mistress of Poe's fellow cop Steve Jenkins. That complication exacerbates the two cops' already strained relationship: Poe and Jenkins's wife, Alison, who were high-school lovers, still harbor feelings of attachment. Alison's mental and emotional instability figure large in the narrative, which also involves the above-ground testing of atomic bombs at the Nevada Test Site when Poe and his twin brother, Remus, were infants. (The boys' growth was severely stunted; Remus, the first to be treated with growth hormone, became a seven-foot giant; Rom, treated less aggressively, achieved a normal height). Alison, a teenager when her mother died under suspicious circumstances, may also have been affected by radiation fallout. More deaths and mutilations lead to a climactic action scene at the Test Site, but it and the sketchy resolution are no more convincing than the dialogue, the characterization or the plot in this neon-lit disappointment from a writer capable of much better work. Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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