Publication Date: 5th July from Faber.
Source: Review Copy.
No one wanted to say it to me, that the girls were dead. But I knew.
Late 1946 and Charlie Yates and his wife Lizzie have returned to Los Angeles, trying to stay anonymous in the city of angels.
But when Yates, back in his old job at the Pacific Journal, becomes obsessed by the disappearance of two aspiring Hollywood starlets, Nancy Hill and Julie Desjardins, he finds it leads him right back to his worst fear: legendary Mob boss Benjamin ‘Bugsy’ Siegel, a man he once crossed, and whose shadow he can’t shake.
As events move from LA to the burgeoning Palace of Sin in the desert, Las Vegas – where Siegel is preparing to open his new Hotel Casino, The Flamingo – Rod Reynolds once again shows his skill at evoking time and place. With Charlie caught between the FBI and the mob, can he possibly see who is playing who, and find out what really happened to the two girls?
I read this so long ago now that I’ve forgotten all about it and can only remember it was kind of good. Possibly.
I jest of course because Cold Desert Sky like the previous Charlie Yates novels was a thing of beauty. I don’t think it’s any secret that the author and I have become good friends since my initial reaction to the first book, The Dark Inside, but rather than that giving him an advantage when it comes to my reviews actually the exact opposite is true. I am unforgiving and expect much higher standards from the authors I know well so it’s handy that Cold Desert Sky is of the highest quality.
First of all it is definitely my favourite of them. The sense of time and place is hauntingly beautiful and descriptively pitch perfect. The amalgamation of fact and fiction is seamless, clever and highly addictive. We have the mob, the FBI, two missing girls and Charlie -obsessive and determined to find the truth. But how far will he go and what price will he pay?
That is the hook and then off we go on an extraordinarily compelling, genuinely absorbing and totally immersive piece of storytelling that will stay with you long after you turn the final page. The ending to Cold Desert Sky is simply brilliant, edge of the seat time and like the rest beautifully crafted. Huge brownie points for that one.
I loved every moment of it. It was in my top ten reads of 2017 and later this week it will be out there for you all and I highly HIGHLY recommend you give it a go. I mean Bugsy Siegal. Las Vegas. Mystery and mayhem. Plus that Cold Desert Sky. What more really can you ask for?
Pitch perfect noir indeed. A hugely talented writer and an excellent excellent book.
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