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Avon, (July, 1999) Paperback, 505 pages. $7.50

By Faye Kellerman

Reviewed by S. E. Warwick

MOON MUSIC introduces a new cast of characters and a new location-- Las Vegas, where fantasy and reality meld into a third dimension. Romulus Poe is first introduced as a Las Vegas homicide detective investigating a peculiarly grisly murder. A beginning similar to ordinary mysteries.

As clues appear and the cast of characters evolves, this story is anything but ordinary.

Poe himself is a departure from reality. In a city of lavish excess, he chooses to live in a desert home with neither plumbing or electricity. A small man, he has a gargantuan twin, the result of growth hormone treatments gone awry. He visits prostitutes the way others visit fast food establishments and his fiancée, an Indian pathologist understands. His mother and aunt are unrepentant alcoholics and, he has an oddly obsessive relationship with an insane childhood sweetheart who is married to Poe's subordinate.

And that's just the first few chapters. As the tale unfolds, we visit an amoral billionaire with evil appetites, incredibly bloody crime scenes, and the detritus of the nuclear age.

Before the end of the book, which in Kellerman's artful way, seems to be the beginning of even more intriguing tales, Indian spirits, werewolves, shape shifting, and government hypocrisy are all woven together in a surprisingly believable conclusion.

Read this during a full moon, or a raging storm for maximum effect.

This author also writes the Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus series. Titles from that series include: SACRED AND PROFANE, MILK AND HONEY, DAY OF ATONEMENT, FALSE PROPHET, JUSTICE, GREVIOUS SIN, SERPENT'S TOOTH , and JUPITER'S BONES.

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