My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Void Moon is a unique novel in that shared universe written by Michael Connelly that contains an aging Harry Bosch, Los Angeles homicide detective, Mickey Haller, defense attorney, and Terry McCaleb, former FBI agent. This novel features Cassidy “Cassie” Black, a professional burglar and ex-con who is laboring under the burden of her tragic past. What makes Void Moon unique in the Bosch-verse is the main character is not on right side of the law. Cassie is an expert in stealthy entry operations and the hopefully painless removal of cash and worldly goods from unsuspecting ‘marks’.. mostly in the city of Las Vegas, Nevada. Most of Cassie’s criminal career is in the past, however, and only obliquely referred to in mental dialogue and flashbacks from various characters. We see Cassie at the start of the novel in an attempt to at living the straight life– she’s selling Porsches to Hollywood elite and meeting with her parole agent regularly. A series of events pushes Cassie to give the old life one more try– which results in an escalating tide of bad fortune, chaos, and lots and lots of violence. I won’t give too much of this away, mild spoilers at best here. Let’s just say the heist she is hired to execute did not go as anticipated, and interested parties put Jack Karsch on the case. Karsch is the other great POV character in Void Moon and in many respects he is the polar opposite of Cassie– cold, calculating and psychopathic when he needs to be. I enjoyed Connelly’s interpretation of Karsch. The reader gets the impression that he’s a rather shady private investigator working for organized crime, but the point really gets hammered home when he casually dispenses with a critical witness that links Cassie to the crime he is investigating.. and buries him in the desert. Apparently he’s done this a lot over the years. The plot was constructed well.. a little slow in the beginning as we soak in the major players and what they mean to each other as well as what the events around a tragedy in Cassie’s past means to the story as a whole. That’s the only criticism I have of VOID MOON. Much of how the story develops revolves around the events of how she lost the love of her life (and fellow master burglar), Max Freeling, in a tragic event 7 years in the past, before she was sent to prison as an accomplice. Yet we see very little of it for all its importance.
Like every Connelly novel, apparently, Cassie inhabits the Bosch-Haller-McCaleb world of Los Angeles somewhere, and she is referenced in other works as the literary equivalent of a walk-on- because Connelly is cute that way. I don’t think we’ll see a lot more of Cassie Black, which is kind of a shame. She’s a very engaging character and one of the more interesting females Connelly has written. He doesn’t give her a lot of room to maneuver at the end of the novel so it would interesting how she would re-engage in the Bosch-universe.
Overall, not the best Connelly novel, but far from the worst and better than a lot of other crime thrillers. I liked VOID MOON and would recommend it to Bosch fans or fans of Crime dramas that feature criminals. The technical descriptions of the burglar’s trade was very well written.
PS: I just caught the first episode of the BOSCH streaming video series on Amazon over the weekend. It’s based on CITY OF BONES (first Bosch book I ever read) and very much worth a viewing. Titus Welliver is an excellent Bosch. Recommended.