Showgirls and mobsters and madmen-good times. The 40-year-old
murder of a Vegas dancer inspires a psychopath's killing spree in
Freeman's delightfully tawdry page-turner.Four decades ago, Amira
Luz was the queen of Vegas: the hottest dancer in the city's
hottest show, pursued by mobsters, magnates, movie stars and pretty
much anyone else lucky enough to catch a glimpse of her. But it all
came to an end when she was murdered in her hotel pool. The crime
was pinned on an obsessed fan, and that was pretty much that-until
now. There's a serial killer in town, and he's picking off Sin City
denizens one by one. The connection? Amira, of course; each victim
is somehow connected to the long-dead beauty. In charge of piecing
together the puzzle is Las Vegas detective Jonathan Stride
(Immoral, 2005). With the help of transsexual partner Amanda Gillen
and cop/lady-friend Serena Dial, Stride sets out to uncover the
killer's identity and end his spree. Of course, it could never be
that simple. This is Vegas, a town where everyone has a cache of
secrets stashed somewhere, and Stride's search can't help but bump
up against a few facts local power-players would prefer kept under
wraps. The author makes a half-hearted grab at gravitas, giving his
leads a set of suitably dark backstories, but ultimately, the story
is pure confection. Murder, money, suspense and sex are accounted
for as Freeman consistently hits his thriller marks, keeping the
action coming and the tension high. The characters are mostly made
of cliche, but, happily, they're entertaining. Stride himself
provides a nicely humane counterpoint to the otherwise breathless
Vegas shenanigans.The height of guilty pleasures. (Kirkus Reviews)
Brian Freeman won the International Thriller Writers' Best
Hardcover Novel Award 2013 for SPILLED BLOOD. Elonda's seen most
things working the streets. But it's a first when her client is
shot dead in the act. Detective Jonathan Stride quickly establishes
that the victim is M.J. Lane, son of a reclusive millionaire film
producer. Any number of people might have wanted to kill M.J.
Another death is troubling the Vegas force - that of a little boy,
killed in a hit-and-run incident involving a stolen car. Then the
body of a woman is found in a remote farmhouse. Could the murders
be linked? It seems the killer wants to send a message about the
brutal slaying decades earlier of a nightclub dancer. That case was
wrapped up quickly. Too quickly? Someone certainly thinks so - and
he's set on murderous revenge for the sins of the past.
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