Our hero-protagonist, Richard Moonlight, has a bullet fragment lodged in his brain. This is no ordinary bullet fragment either, it found its way there via a gunshot delivered by Moonlight! As the story unfolds, there is a sense of urgency that builds. The quirky premise is somewhat similar to the movie from 2000 named “Momento.” There has been a crime and it must be solved. The police chief’s wife, Scarlet, has been murdered, or did she commit suicide? To make matters worse our hero may have been one of her last visitors.
Moonlight is a human time bomb who has had more than one serious failing of common sense. Clearly, his filter for right and wrong was damaged by the bullet fragment. Considering he placed the fragment in its present location during a botched suicide attempt serves to validate the notion that he’s not all there.
The relationships in the story are tightly intermingled. The charm and peril of living in a small town are well portrayed as Moonlight relies on family and friends to solve the mystery. The names of the characters serve as double entendres; the adulteress is “Scarlet,” the former cop partner who steals Moonlight’s wife is “Cain” and the painfully simple young cop is “Joy.” Added to this group are two government agents whose interrogation forms the premise for Moonlight’s recounting of his escapades. Several more deaths pile up along the way. All of them tie neatly back to our hero. It’s up to him to use his faulty brain to clear himself of the charges.
What’s not obvious is when the testimony ends and Moonlight’s thoughts about his situation are being shared with the reader. Author Zandri has spun a super shaggy dog story that begins a bit haltingly and shifts gears into a powerful pace that holds the reader’s interest. This book is filled with plenty of action and excellent character development.
This review was written by Ruta Arellano. A review copy was provided by Baker Public Relations.