I picked up my review copy of Void Moon expecting another installment in the fine police procedural novels featuring world-weary detective Harry Bosch. Instead, I found that author Michael Connelly has returned with a hero working on the other side of the law a scam artist extraordinaire.

Cassie Black has been clean for some time now; she sells Porsches in a trendy Los Angeles dealership, a far cry from her previous profession as a hotel thief. In her previous incarnation, Cassie worked Vegas, in particular the hotels along Las Vegas Boulevard, the Strip. It had been an exciting and lucrative profession until the inevitable intrusion of the law . . . Murphy's Law. In the space of a few minutes, the perfect heist went south in a big way, culminating in the death of her partner and Cassie's subsequent arrest.

Now, nearly six years later, Cassie is living the straight life, albeit somewhat reluctantly. She shows up on time for her parole appointments, and she keeps her nose clean. She also monitors the progress of a five-year-old girl the daughter she gave up for adoption while in jail. One afternoon, on a routine reconnaissance mission to catch a glimpse of her daughter at play, Cassie is brought up short by the presence of a For Sale sign on the front lawn of the hillside bungalow where the girl lives. A little judicious probing reveals that the occupants will soon be moving to Paris for an indefinite stay. Fear grips Cassie as she realizes that she may never see her daughter again; she hasn't the resources to go to Paris, nor is she allowed by condition of her parole to leave the county, let alone the country. Cassie needs a big score, and she needs it fast. She needs enough cash to get a pair of fake passports, a couple of plane tickets, and seed money to start a new life. Reluctantly, she places the call that will close the chapter on the straight life once and for all.

ÊVoid Moon is a terrific change of pace for Connelly's readers, even those who are anxiously awaiting the next Harry Bosch novel.

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