I purchased the Kindle edition of John Locke’s Donovan Creed novel, Vegas Moon for $0.99, motivated mostly by the price and the author’s tagline of “Every 7 seconds, 24 hours a day, a John Locke novel is downloaded somewhere in the world.” I simply couldn’t resist.
The novel begins with sleazy Las Vegas high roller Lucky Peters undergoing an anesthetic-free colonoscopy by a Jamaican proctologist.
After the procedure, Lucky retrieves disturbing cell phone messages from his mistress regarding hit man Connor Payne. Mr. Payne is paying her a visit and she is terrified. You see, she has in her possession a device that can activate a chip implanted in Payne’s brain. When activated, this chip will turn his brain into mush.
Again, um, yeah.
After the mistress meets her end at the hands of Payne (the code she types to activate the chip backfires), Lucky enlists the help of another hit man, G-Man Donavan Creed, to protect his wife. There were several brain-mushing devices made and Lucky’s wife has one of them. There is one problem – Connor Payne and Donovan Creed are the same person. Of course, Lucky doesn’t know this, much to Creed’s advantage as he is in search of the remaining devices. While in bodyguard mode, Creed is introduced to a dizzying array of characters: Lucky’s sexy young trophy wife, Gwen, her pet rooster, and Lucky’s depraved Vegas associates.
Oh, and Creed, in the midst of his bodyguard duties, also takes the time to assassinate a terrorist in a busy airport.
OK, the good. This is an easy, breezy (about 186 pages in the paperback edition) read that is good for a few laughs. There are some solid one-liners and it is a perfect time-waster. Now, the bad. The plot is so improbable and over-the-top that it should be categorized as a fantasy along the lines of the popular vampire and werewolf tomes currently saturating the market.
Reviewing this book leaves me perplexed. The story is trashy and unrealistic, but it does grab you. The characters are miscreants, the protagonist is a complex anti-hero, but boy are they funny! The truth is, I liked this novel. Mr. Locke is a good writer, but this plot is groan-worthy. I recommend Vegas Moon only to those who truly enjoy this type of “literature”. Two out of five stars.