Heath Lowrance's Reviews > Moonlight Falls: Dick Moonlight

Moonlight Falls by Vincent Zandri
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's review
Mar 01, 2012

really liked it

Bad decisions: they're the crux of countless great noirs. In Richard Moonlight, author Vincent Zandri gives us a protagonist who almost can't help but make bad decisions. After all, the guy has a bullet lodged in his brain (the result of a botched suicide attempt) that affects his judgment, messes with his memory, and causes him to have occasional black-outs.
Enter the woman, the one who Moonlight's been sleeping with, and who winds up butchered in her bed. Moonlight, a part-time cop and a full-time masseuse, is naturally the prime suspect. He is forced to go on the run, trying desperately to find the real killer and clear his own name... but he's not entirely sure of his own innocence...
Along the way, Moonlight uncovers a conspiracy amongst his fellow police officers, tangles with a creepy albino drug dealer, and learns who he can trust and who he can't.
Zandri has a good bag of tricks that he brings to the table. He knows how to milk the suspense to just the right degree, he makes you really like Moonlight (despite his unlikely name!) and the surprises keep coming up until, literally, the very last page.
Moonlight Falls has more in common with old-school noir, the original paperback writers of the `50's, like Gil Brewer or Charles Williams or Day Keene. Moonlight is a moral guy, but the ambiguity of the other characters--no one is really good or evil--is refreshing. I find myself hoping we haven't seen the last of Moonlight, but then again, maybe he isn't the sort of character who could support a series; part of the suspense of Moonlight Falls is in wondering if Moonlight actually did do the dirty deed, and just doesn't know it. A sequel might make that angle inconsequential.
But if Zandri does bring back our brain-damaged hero, I'm sure he'll find another angle to keep us on the edge of our seats.

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