Moon Music

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

The body of a young showgirl and prostitute, Brittany Newel, is found in the Las Vegas desert, mauled and mutilated. The investigation is led by Detective Sergeant Romulus Poe, who is assisted by coroner and part-time girlfriend Rukmani Kalil, police woman Patricia Deluca, and Steve Jensen, whose beautiful but mentally unstable wife, Alison, was once Poe’s girlfriend. Poe is troubled by the case’s resemblance to a twenty-five-year-old murder by the “Bogeyman” and looks for a connection. He discovers that one of the Bogeyman’s victims was Alison’s mother. Just when the team believes that it is making progress in tracking down the killer, another body of a young woman, similarly mutilated, turns up in the desert, this time with links to a powerful local businessman. The investigation takes Poe and his team into a rich casino owner’s office furnished with an indoor grass-covered golf practice area, to a street where painfully young hookers sell their bodies for drug money, and weaves in local history, from the Nevada atomic bomb test sites to Native American mysticism and legends of shape shifters.

Faye Kellerman, known for her stories of Los Angeles police officer Peter Decker and his wife, Rina Lazarus, departs from her usual locale in MOON MUSIC, skillfully incorporating elements of Las Vegas’s rough desert town past and glitzy present into her narrative. Kellerman successfully juggles the interactions of four or five major characters and several subplots to keep the reader interested and intrigued.