Sunday, May 17, 2015

MONEY SHOT by Christa Faust

This is an awesome little pulp crime novel set deep in the porn industry community of Los Angeles's San Fernando Valley, which also happens to be where I lay my head at night! It follows Angel Dare, a
former porn star who now runs an agency for new talent. One night she gets a call to shoot one last scene and she can't resist the urge to prove that she's still got it. But the shoot turns out to be a front and she winds up shot and left for dead in the trunk of a car and framed for murder. She then must use all of her wits to find those responsible and pay them back in full!

I enjoyed the character of Angel Dare, a well-rounded heroine who at first doubts herself and her ability to handle the situation that she's in, but then grows and realizes that she actually can be a badass and totally handle her own with the tough guys and take care of herself. I mean damn, she gets a bullet in the chest and still manages to walk to a local mercado and call for help! It made for interesting reading because at first, I was a little disappointed because Angel felt like your run-of-the-mill damsel in distress, feeling sorry for herself and relying on some ex-cop to help her. But then at a point in the book, you realize that this is all necessary as Angel comes into her own and evolves in a potent character arc that was enjoyable to read! Christa Faust skillfully finds a great balance with her narrative voice, injecting just the right humor at the right times, even managing to get a snicker out of the reader in tense situations.
I wanted to shout something tough and manly like Freeze motherfucker, or I'll blow your balls off! In the end I just pointed the gun and yelled, "Hey!"
And she's the real star of this crime show, that Christa Faust, writing with great confidence and wit, with good pacing and a clever style. Aside from a slightly stumbling resolution, I had lots of fun reading this and I can't wait to see what she does with her other work!
I'll also take some time to mention Glen Orbik, the awesome cover artist who also contributed other amazing covers for Hard Case Crime (including the great cover for David Goodis's The Wounded and the Slain, and the covers for the popular Hard Case's popular Stephen King and Michael Crichton releases), and who sadly passed away while I was in the middle of reading this.
Eventually, morning came instead of bad guys. That was the thing about mornings. No matter how fucked up your life got, how deep and black your despair, how sure you were that you couldn't take another second of this shit, morning just kept on coming.


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