Review

Moon Music

by Faye Kellerman



MOON MUSIC opens with the gruesome discovery of a mutilated corpse
in the desert outside of Las Vegas.  The victim, a young
Vegas showgirl and prostitute, has not only been viciously
murdered, but her body appears to have been
half-eaten.  Her left eye is completely
missing.  Enter Detective Sergeant Romulus Poe of the Las
Vegas Metro Police. Poe is particularly disturbed by the
similarities between this case and a long ago, unsolved murder
committed by a killer dubbed "The Bogeyman".   But
something in the present bothers Poe even more. His colleague,
Detective Stephen Jensen, was one of the prostitute's last
customers.

Poe's investigative team includes novice homicide detective
Patricia Deluca, forensic pathologist Rukmani Kalil --- Poe's
on-again, off-again girlfriend --- and the questionable Jensen,
whose obsessive-compulsive wife, Alison, was once Poe's lover.
Kellerman's characters are all wonderfully original and involving,
especially  Indian medical examiner Kalil, with her
flowing saris and knowledge of things mystical --- who keeps Poe
grounded throughout the harrowing investigation --- and Poe's
willful, ailing, alcoholic mother. Romulous Poe won me over early
in the book.  Half-Paiute, half-Italian, he's a
fifteen-year veteran of the force, who knows a lot, but doesn't
know it all, and who has some haunting Bogeymen of a different kind
in his troubled past.

But, Las Vegas is really the main character in MOON
MUSIC.  Kellerman does a superb job of bringing the neon
city to life.  It's all here --- the strip, casinos,
beautiful showgirls, gamblers, pimps,  natives, tourists
--- the good, the bad, the ugly, and the very ugly.  She
has a master's sense of place --- she'll have you reaching for that
set of dice you're sure you actually had in your hand just a moment
ago.  And, she's equally good at putting you in the
middle of the desolate Nevada desert.  Oh, yes…back
to the desert…

Just as Poe and his colleagues start to make headway in the case,
another mutilated body of a young woman is found in the desert
sand, and the team is now faced with the possibility
of  a serial killer.   For Poe, the case
escalates from  bad dream to full-blown nightmare as his
list of suspects now  includes not just the city's
criminal element, which he loves to hate, but someone he hates to
admit he still loves.    

What makes MOON MUSIC such a unique and intriguing read is the way
Kellerman weaves Native American mysticism, metaphysics, and some
nasty twentieth century scientific experiments into the
plot.  If she doesn't make a complete believer out of
you, she will --- at the very least --- have you thinking long and
hard about the possibilities.  

I had only one problem with MOON MUSIC. Towards the end, Patricia
does something no good police officer would ever do,
and  you find yourself saying "Oh, come on,
Faye".  Patricia's actions move the story to its climax,
but a little tweaking could have made it more
believable.  However, none of this ruins the breathtaking
chase at the end of this riveting and engrossing
novel.  

With MOON MUSIC, I took a chance on Faye Kellerman. I had never
read any of her other novels. I had also just finished reading
several crime fiction novels, and was growing tired of what seemed
to be the same old, same old.  Could Kellerman do
anything really different to hook me and keep me
reading?  Also, I'd never been to Las
Vegas.  Would the author convince me that her Las Vegas
was the real thing?

Yes, indeed, Kellerman had a lot to prove to me.  And,
she succeeded…brilliantly. I don't know what my Vegas odds
were, but I feel like I came out a winner, since I thoroughly
enjoyed this book.  

Reviewed by J.M. Higgins on January 22, 2011

Moon Music
by Faye Kellerman

  • Publication Date: July 1, 1999
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Avon
  • ISBN-10: 0380726262
  • ISBN-13: 9780380726264