Friday, December 18, 2015

Dark Fantasy: A Mike Angel Mystery by David H Fears

"In late 1966, the world’s richest man, Howard Hughes, took occupancy of the top two floors of the Desert Inn on the Strip in Las Vegas. After his time was up he refused to vacate the space, and wound up buying the Inn for thirteen million dollars from the Mob.

Earlier that year Mike and Rick were called to an empty apartment where the body of a world-famous glamour model, a twin, was posed with flowers. The scene tipped Mike’s equilibrium, and when the surviving twin hit town he struggled with his darker fantasies.

Mike crosses the line when he breaks into a gallery’s back office and dark room to discover a strange pornographic film involving the dead twin and an underage boy. After viewing the film with Rick and Molly, Mike is persuaded to turn it over to the police, and take the heat for his actions. The film mysteriously disappears from the police evidence locker.

Hired by the surviving twin, also a model who makes Molly a bit jealous, the case leads Mike to Las Vegas, connections to local racketeer Big Jim Elkins, L.A. mobster Mickey Cohen, and then to Howard Hughes in Las Vegas. Can Mike gain entrance into the Hughes penthouse and verify Hughes’ possession of the porno film involving the dead twin? He’ll need an ingenious plan, which is supplied by a sexy Swedish blonde he meets at the newly opened Caesar’s Palace. If the plan to get in works, can he escape alive and get out of town? He cannot trust the Vegas authorities or even the FBI, who have been surveilling Hughes for bigger issues and offer no help.

Another complex novel, this set in Portland and Las Vegas in 1966, Dark Fantasy is the 7th in the Mike Angel Series, and follows Dark Moon. Just over 72,000 words. Warning! This is a Noir Novel complete with sarcastic humor back when PC wasn't eroding logic. If you find yourself laughing occasionally, that's okay. It's not a comedy."

Dark Fantasy is the 7th book in the Mike Angel series, and while you may want to read them in order I find I had no trouble getting into the story even though I have a haphazard way of jumping from book to book out of the order in which they were written. One of the things I love the best about the Mike Angel series is the way that facts are woven through the fiction, for example this story touched a bit on Howard Hughes bizarre and OCD-like behavior in his later years. It adds a great deal of realism to the story and more than once I found myself googling dates and names of gangsters to see what else was true, sort of like a bit of a history lesson wrapped up in an entertaining story. I also love how it all comes together at the end, nicely tied up with no loose ends to leave you hanging.

I received a complimentary copy for review

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