Fiction: “Money Shot” by Christa Faust

Money Shot is another title from the Hard Case Crime publishing imprint, and I am making it one of my life’s goals to read all of their titles. I’ve enjoyed every title I’ve read so far — all three of them; each one has had just the right blend of violence, sex, and humor that, in this case, was the perfect palate cleanser to all of the non-fiction books I’ve been reading over the past two months.

Important Fun Fact!: Christa Faust was the first female author published by Hard Case Crime. And after reading Money Shot, I want to write like her, because she is awesome.

The story follows Angel Dare, former queen of the porn industry. She has “retired” from video, but is still in the industry by being an agent for women who are in or joining the industry: arranging shoots, dancing, that sort of thing. One day, she gets a call from her mentor to do “one last shoot,” and out of fondness she goes to the location. Of course, Admiral Ackbar don’t have nothing on me, and I’m still a little surprised that Angel was able to walk right into what turned out to be A TRAP, because upon arrival she gets beaten up, tied up to a bed, raped, and asked about a briefcase of money.

Turns out, Angel was around the day the girl the bad guys are looking for lost a briefcase full of money, and the bad guys want to know what Angel did with it. When she admits she doesn’t know, they toss her in a trunk and shoot through the trunk, hoping to kill her. Lucky for the story, she survives, and now she’s on a mission of vengeance: find the briefcase before the bad guys do, and — in the spirit of my two favorite vigilantes — kill ’em all.

She teams up with a security guard from her building, known solely as Malloy. There’s some interesting tension between the two characters, as Angel doesn’t want to rely on him for support, but recognizes that for the most part, she can’t go on this journey by herself. I will admit the way the relationship resolved itself was a little bit unfulfilling, but it makes sense in the story for how it happened.

I liked the story — there’s plenty of violence, and also, plenty of fun porn talk. But most importantly, and I breezed through it in, like, four days, which was awesome, compared to the three weeks it took me to read the last 200-page book I read. Not only would I read it again in the future, I’m also looking forward to the sequel, Choke Hold. But seeing as how this year I’m not buying any books (Christopher Moore’s Sacre Blue excepting), that one will probably have to wait.

Grade for Money Shot: 3 stars

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