As fictional characters go, Lucky O'Toole knows Vegas. If you need an upgrade on your hotel room at the Babylon, she can help. If you need a good table at the hottest restaurant, she can help. If you need tickets to the hottest show on the strip, she can help. And....if you need help clearing yourself of murder, she can help with that, too. The newly appointed vice president of Customer Relations for the Babylon hotel is back for another adventure in Lucky Bastard by Deborah Coonts.
A young woman's body is found splayed across a Ferrari in the Babylon's on-site car dealership. The method of murder? A fancy shoe, with the heel planted in the victim's neck. That would shock most people, but for Lucky it's just another at the Babylon. The victim was discovered by Paxton Dane, a one-time suitor for Lucky's affections. The plot thickens when Paxton reveals the victim is his estranged wife Sylvie. Hmmmmmmmmm??? Did he do it? It seems mighty suspicious. Certainly my mind went straight to him, but that's just too convenient. In books like this, it's hardly ever the first suspect thrown in our direction. You have to peel back the layers to get at the truth, something Lucky O'Toole is an expert at.
Although, Lucky is reluctant to believe anything that comes out of Paxton's mouth. Lucky's own life is in a state of flux. She's still reeling from her breakup with Teddie, who is now a big-time singer. She's unsure if a new relationship with Jean-Charles, a drop-dead gorgeous chef, is worth the investment. Her mother, Mona, is pregnant and hormonal. Her father, the Big Boss, is still flexing his muscle around the hotel. Lucky hardly ever has time for herself. Sleep is a luxury for mortals. With each new book in the series, Lucky just seems superhuman. Nothing seems to faze her. One moment she is investigating a murder with Detective Romeo and the next she is helping a guest arrested for solicitation....of his own wife. Yeah I had to laugh at that last one. A lot of strange things go on in Vegas.
Of course Sylvie's murder is part of a much larger conspiracy, involving robbery and high-stakes poker. It took me a while to figure out the conspiracy. A lot of the characters have a language that seems native to Las Vegas. They have their own lingo. They have their own metaphors. I found myself wondering what everyone is talking about. Lucky is a good character, but sometimes her banter, fast talking, and one-liners can wear thin. I prefer the moments when Lucky can slow down and take a breath. Those are the moments when she appears less like a superhero and more like a vulnerable woman going through the motions.
In my opinion, the book ends with a major cliffhanger. Deborah Coonts definitely left me wanting more from this series. I have to know what happens next. If you want to know what I'm talking about, you're going to have to read the book!!
Rating: Give it a try
Note: I received a copy of the book from JKS Communications as part of a blog tour.