Money Shot by Christa Faust

(Angel Dare, #1)


It all began with the phone call asking former porn star Angel Dare to do one more movie. Before she knew it, she'd been shot and left for dead in the trunk of a car. But Angel is a survivor. And that means she'll get to the bottom of what's been done to her even if she has to leave a trail of bodies along the way...

"Coming back from the dead isn't as easy as they make it seem in the movies."

Hard Case Crimes have been hit or miss with me. Most I find good but not many great. I know there's more out there waiting for me to discover and fall in love with them - I've read about five (sad number).

Angel is a retired porn star who currently keeps afloat by running a company of working women for the entertainment industry. After receiving a phone call from a director she respects and trusts, she agrees to do one last job - but finds out there is a gigantic catch. Now on the run and having escaped death, she must clear her name and get revenge on those who almost put her in the coffin.

The author doesn't hold back with the porn industry business - definitely more insight than I'd had before (or wanted.) It's told with no apologies in a matter-of-fact way through memories and a present set visit. I had NO idea men put injections there, yikes.

Usually books like this are told through the point of view of men who run into the classic noirish dame, but in this case it was a woman writer doing a good job telling a story with an experienced woman's point of view. The writing style is awesome and casual, easy to digest and read through quickly.

Characterization is well done too, particularly in the strong and independent personality Angel has. Every once in awhile there's a touch of vulnerability that makes her come across more real. Even the "good guys" in this show realism as they sometimes betray Angel when she and I weren't expecting them too.

It's pure crime and no mystery, a well-done and tense book that's well-structured. It gets a little silly and overreaching in the end with some of the deaths, but it does so while still embracing the pulpy feel these kind of books promise.

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