Void Moon (Cassie Black) by Michael Connelly

KK Conley Review

MC Void Moon

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Void Moon is one of my favorite books by Michael Connelly because it has a damaged female protagonist. This book is very different from everything else that he has written.

Cassie Black was a thief in Las Vegas along with her partner. When she told him she was pregnant, they decide to pull one last job and disappear. Cassie’s partner is killed during the job, and in Nevada that’s an automatic man slaughter charge for all involved. Cassie serves her time, gives up her daughter for adoption, and lives a straight life. She reports to her parole officer, has a job, and keeps an eye on her daughter from a distance. She believes her biggest problem is that her daughter’s adoptive parents are moving to Paris, and she will lose her tenuous connection. That is until somebody kidnaps the little girl and the ransom demand is for Cassie to pull one more job in a Vegas casino.

There are several negative reviews on Amazon for this book, and most of these compare the book to his Bosch and McCaleb novels. Void Moon is a stand alone story, and, I believe, speaks to Michael Connelly’s talent that he can write something so different. I believe you will enjoy this book as long as you don’t expect it to be another Bosch or McCaleb story. Personally, I wish Connelly would write another book about Cassie Black.

Booklist Online Review:

Life has dealt Cassie Black a very poor hand. Her father simply abandoned the family for the Las Vegas casinos. Attempting to rob a high roller, Max, the love of Cassie’s life, plunged from a casino penthouse through a glass ceiling. Through a quirk in Nevada law and the casinos’ desire to make an example of someone, Cassie, an accomplice in the attempted robbery, was convicted of manslaughter in Max’s death. Now on parole, Cassie is trying to stay straight and live with the torments of her past. Ultimately, she fails and agrees to rob another high roller at the same casino where Max died. But the mark turns out to be a Mob bagman, and Cassie is soon on the run from a psychopathic pit bull of a private eye employed by the casino. Cassie is damaged but tough and resilient–a wonderfully engaging character. Jack Karch, the pit bull, is not only a chilling sicko, he’s also an incredibly skilled investigator. Casino boss Victor Grimaldi is spectacularly reptilian. Lesser characters are very finely drawn, too. Connelly really does his homework: Cassie’s criminal tradecraft–and the casinos’ security systems–will fascinate crime fans. And the pacing of this thriller is as good as you’ll find in the genre. Void Moon offers readers a full house of entertainment. Bet on it. (Reviewed October 1, 1999)— Thomas Gaughan

Amazon Description:

New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly writes novels of brilliantly original suspense. In this electrifying tour de force, he takes us into a world of extremes: too much criminality, too much money, and too many ways to die.
In L.A. Cassie Black is another beautiful woman in a Porsche: except Cassie just did six years in prison and still has “outlaw juice” flowing in her veins. Now Cassie is returning to her old profession, taking down a money man in Vegas. But the perfect heist goes very wrong, and suddenly Cassie is on the run–with a near-psychotic Vegas “fixer” killing everyone who knew about the job. Between Cassie and the man hunting her are a few last secrets: like who really set up the job, why Cassie had to take the change, and how, in the end, it might all be a matter of the moon…

4.1 out of 5 stars, 400+ reviews


3.9 out of 5 stars, 13,000+ ratings

Michael Connelly’s Description

Cassie Black has never looked back.  She walked away from her life as a criminal after one disastrous night that left the man closest to her dead and her life in a shambles.  Now she’s thriving at a job selling Porsches to Hollywood hotshots.  Through everything — even her darkest moments — she has been able to keep going by holding on to one perfect thing, her greatest secret, dearer to her than life itself.

When that secret is threatened, Cassie tosses her new life away like a bad hand of cards and goes back in a sprint to her old line of work.  Her trade was robbing casino gamblers, and she was the very best.  Now it’s the only way she can make enough money fast to maybe make everything right.  Quickly she lines up a mark, a man who has been winning steadily for a week at high-stakes baccarat.  The job goes smoothly until she opens his briefcase…

And discovers a world of trouble she never dreamed of.  Her superstitious friend who lined up the job says it’s the bad-luck void moon having its malignant way.  Cassie knows it’s worse.  She’s crossed paths again with her life’s nemesis, the man who destroyed everything six years before.  He’s Jack Karch, a private investigator by day who does bloody work for casino owners by night.  Walking back into his sights is the worst thing that’s ever happened to Cassie.  Getting out alive will take all her skill and luck and faith in that one good thing…