Author: Vincent Zandri
Series: Richard Moonlight #1
Publication Date: August 13, 2011
Dick Moonlight is dead for real this time. Thanks to a trio of Obama-masked thugs in a dark downtown Albany alley, he’s purchased a one-way ticket to the Pearly Gates—that is, until he feels his floating spirit painfully pulled back into his bruised but breathing body. And that’s when the real trouble starts.
A private detective with a short-term memory problem due to a wayward self-inflicted slug, Moonlight knows he’s still in danger. Now he just needs to know why. And he’s got plenty of enemies to keep him guessing—the Albany police, the local mob, even the latest love of his life, Lola, can’t be trusted. Only his Vietnam-vet best friend, Georgie, is on the level. But it seems the goons who tried to take him out have bigger fish to fry—chiefly Moonlight’s latest client, Peter Czech, a handicapped nuclear engineer with a mysterious Russian heritage. Czech had something—a box—the gang believes is now in Moonlight’s possession, and they’re willing to get it any deadly way they can. Problem is, Moonlight doesn’t recall Czech giving him any box—of course, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have it. He just better figure out where it is before he winds up dead for the last time.
The Cold War is heating up once again in Vincent Zandri’s latest thriller. Moonlight Rises is a fast-paced, whip-smart tale of a guy who can’t always remember getting into trouble—and can’t seem to stay out of it.
I received Moonlight Rises for review as part of a blog tour, but I wasn’t aware that it was the third book in a series. Usually I will not read a series out of sequence, but I decided to give it a try. Thankfully, not reading the first two books didn’t seem to affect this one. The author did a good job at giving enough back story at the right times to understand what the main character has been through.
Moonlight Rises is a mystery-thriller with a slight twist. Richard (Dick) Moonlight, is an ex-private investigator turned bar owner. But he just can’t let his P.I. ways go, no matter how many problems they’ve caused him. When Moonlight ‘wakes-up’ dead and floating over his body in the hospital, he knows it was one of his many enemies who caused it, but doesn’t know which one. All he remembers was being attacked by President Obama… well, three guys in Obama masks, that is. While floating over his beaten to death body, he sees his girlfriend come in the room, but she’s not alone. Seems as though she has already moved on with a younger man. Then something amazing happens, he’s pulled back into his body and is returned to the living. Now, battered and bruised, Moonlight has to find out who killed him before they do it again – this time for good. Not to mention getting to the bottom of what’s going on with his girlfriend.
Dick Moonlight is a seriously flawed guy, and I like that. He’s already survived an “accidental” attempted suicide, a divorce, the Albany police hating him, and attempts on his life. The man doesn’t give up. Through it all, he keeps his sense of humor – I always appreciate a good smartass. Moonlight enlists the help of his friend Georgie, a Vietnam Vet, medicinal pot smoking “doctor” to help him uncover who killed him and why. The two of these guys together was a fun duo, especially on stakeouts.
The Obama trio is convinced that Moonlight has something they want, but he has no idea what or where it is. People tell him that a client came to visit him in the hospital and gave him something, but he doesn’t even remember any of it. He doesn’t know who he can trust anymore, so he doesn’t trust anyone except Georgie. As Moonlight tries to uncover what his client is really involved in, and why some psychos are trying to kill him for something he doesn’t have, he learns the truth about what’s going on with his girlfriend and her involvement in the whole mess.
There were some parts in the book that made me feel really squeamish. For instance, the incident when he is still in the hospital and the thugs pay him a visit, I seriously had to skim over it. I had my kidney removed not too long ago, and what they were doing to him in the book made me feel lightheaded and I keep holding my side.
Moonlight Rises was an action packed mystery that had me guessing throughout the book. I think it’s definitely more for the adult readers, though.