Friday, November 16, 2012
Review of Money Shot by Christa Faust (Hard Case Crime, 2008)
In Money Shot Christa Faust pulls few punches; the story is noir to its core. Set in the porn industry the narrative could have slipped into a moral sermon of sorts or sensationalism, instead Faust portrays the various aspects of the trade in a matter of fact way, including some of its criminal elements such as sex trafficking. The telling is engaging, with a strong voice and a quick pace. The characterisation is a little thin beyond Angel Dare, but this is very much her story and she’s a complex lead character: vulnerable and resilient, worldly-wise and naive, forward but self-conscious. The plot is relatively straightforward with a couple of nice tension moments and the ending is pure noir. The only thing that didn’t quite sit right was the set-up: the person who is meant to kill her is totally inept and given her own treatment and injuries going on the run rather than to the police didn’t seem to add up and it felt like a plot device. Other than that, Money Shot was bang on the money.