Hard Case Crime: Money Shot

BOOK: Hard Case Crime: Money Shot
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Acclaim for Christa Faust’s MONEY SHOT...

“Money Shot
is a stunner, careening along with a wild, propulsive energy and a deliciously incendiary spirit. Laced with bravado and loaded up with knockabout charm, Christa Faust’s Hard Case debut is the literary equivalent of a gasoline cocktail.”

—Megan Abbott

“I was sucked into the tight, juicy
Money Shot,
from the ripping car trunk start to the hard-pumping climax. This novel is so convincing that you want to believe Faust has been an oversexed, naked killing machine, at least once.”

—Vicki Hendricks

“Money Shot
is smart, stylish, insightful, fast-paced pulp fiction with razor sharp humor and a kick-ass heroine. Christa Faust is a super crime writer.”

—Jason Starr

“Money Shot
makes most crime novels seem about as exciting as the missionary position on a Tuesday night. The results are stunning.”

—Duane Swierczynski

“Wonderfully lurid, with attitude to spare and a genuine affection for the best of hardboiled traditions. Christa Faust is THE business.”

—Maxim Jakubowski

“Christa Faust writes like she means it.
Money Shot
is dark, tough, stylish, full of invention and builds to one hell of a climax.”

—Allan Guthrie

“Christa Faust proves she can run with the big boys with this gritty thriller set in the darkest places of the porn industry. I loved it!”

—McKenna Jordan, Murder By the Book

“Never has an avenging Angel been sexier.
Money Shot
leaves you spent and wanting more.”

—Louis Boxer, founder of NoirCon

“Sam?” I called when I got to the top of the steps.

“Come on in.” Sam’s voice came from the far end of a long hallway.

There was a partially open door with a bright light inside and I walked toward it. There were no fat yellow cords duct-taped to the floor, no adjacent rooms full of giggling girls powdering their implant scars and gluing on false eyelashes. There was no one hanging around smoking or talking on a cell phone. Just that long empty hallway. I like to think I was starting to wonder a little at that point, but I didn’t leave. I just pushed the door the rest of the way open and went right in.

The room at the end of the hall was mostly empty, except for a large wrought-iron bed with a bare mattress covered in plastic. Sam stood against the far wall, beside an empty fireplace. There were two other men I didn’t recognize, but I didn’t get much of a look at them because Jesse was right by the door looking delicious, dark hair tousled and blue eyes smoldering, ready to go. He wore leather pants that hung so low on his lean hips that you would have seen his pubic hair if he hadn’t shaved it off. His sleek, lanky torso was bare and sheened with sweat that highlighted the symmetrical perfection of every muscle. He stepped up to me, gave me an appreciative once-over and smiled.

“Angel Dare,” he said. “Wow. You look amazing. This is gonna be awesome.”

Then he punched me in the face...

SOME OTHER HARD CASE CRIME BOOKS YOU WILL ENJOY:

THE GIRL WITH THE LONG GREEN HEART
by Lawrence Block

THE GUTTER AND THE GRAVE
by Ed McBain

NIGHT WALKER
by Donald Hamilton

A TOUCH OF DEATH
by Charles Williams

SAY IT WITH BULLETS
by Richard Powell

WITNESS TO MYSELF
by Seymour Shubin

BUST
by Ken Bruen and Jason Starr

STRAIGHT CUT
by Madison Smartt Bell

LEMONS NEVER LIE
by Richard Stark

THE LAST QUARRY
by Max Allan Collins

THE GUNS OF HEAVEN
by Pete Hamill

THE LAST MATCH
by David Dodge

GRAVE DESCEND
by John Lange

THE PEDDLER
by Richard S. Prather

LUCKY AT CARDS
by Lawrence Block

ROBBIE’S WIFE
by Russell Hill

THE VENGEFUL VIRGIN
by Gil Brewer

THE WOUNDED AND THE SLAIN
by David Goodis

BLACKMAILER
by George Axelrod

SONGS OF INNOCENCE
by Richard Aleas

FRIGHT
by Cornell Woolrich

KILL NOW, PAY LATER
by Robert Terrall

SLIDE
by Ken Bruen and Jason Starr

DEAD STREET
by Mickey Spillane

DEADLY BELOVED
by Max Allan Collins

A DIET OF TREACLE
by Lawrence Block

MONEY SHOT

by
Christa Faust

A HARD CASE CRIME BOOK

(HCC-040)

First Hard Case Crime edition: February 2008

Published by

Titan Books
A division of Titan Publishing Group Ltd
144 Southwark Street
London
SE1 0UP

in collaboration with Winterfall LLC

If you purchased this book without a cover, you should know that it is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher, and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”

Copyright © 2008 by Christa Faust

Cover painting copyright © 2008 by Glen Orbik

Author photo by Jim Ferreira

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the publisher, except where permitted by law.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

E-book ISBN 978-0-85768-392-2

Cover design by Cooley Design Lab
Design direction by Max Phillips

www.maxphillips.net

Typeset by Swordsmith Productions

The name “Hard Case Crime” and the Hard Case Crime logo are trademarks of Winterfall LLC. Hard Case Crime books are selected and edited by Charles Ardai.

Printed in the United States of America

For Richard S. Prather Words don’t die.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-One

Chapter Thirty-Two

Chapter Thirty-Three

1.

Coming back from the dead isn’t as easy as they make it seem in the movies. In real life it takes forever to do little things like pry open your eyes. You spend excruciating ages trying to bend your left middle finger down far enough to feel the rope around your wrists. Even longer figuring out that the cold hard thing poking you in the cheek is one of the handles of a pair of jumper cables. This is not the kind of action that makes for gripping cinema. Plus there are these long dull stretches where people in the audience would probably go take a piss or get popcorn, since it looks as if nothing is happening and they figure maybe you really are dead after all. After a while, you start to wonder the same thing yourself. You also wonder what will happen if you throw up behind the oily rag duct-taped into your mouth or how long it will take for someone to notice you’re missing. Otherwise you are mostly busy bleeding, trying not to pass back out, or laboriously adding up the cables, the stuffy cramped darkness, the scratchy carpet below and the raw hollow metal above to equal your current location, the trunk of an old and badly maintained car. That’s what it was like for me, anyway.

I’m sure you’re wondering what a nice girl like me was doing left for dead in the trunk of a piece of shit Honda Civic out in the industrial wasteland east of downtown Los Angeles. Or maybe we’ve met before and you’re wondering why it hadn’t happened sooner.

My name’s Gina Moretti, but you probably know me as Angel Dare. Don’t worry, I won’t tell your wife. I made my first adult video when I was twenty, though I lied on camera and said I was eighteen. It was volume one of Marco Pole’s now-famous amateur line,
Brand Spankin’ New.
My scene was just one of five but there’s no question that I stole the show. What can I say? I know where my strengths lie. I had a contract with Vixen Video less than two weeks later and before I knew it I was on the Playboy Channel doing soft-focus video centerfold segments for more money than I earned in a year back home. A porno Cinderella story, but unlike so many of the girls I worked with, I was smart enough to stay off drugs, save every penny, and get out before my pussy turned back into a pumpkin.

Problem was, I just couldn’t stay retired. Like a pro wrestler or a jewel thief, I was a sucker for an encore. I had no idea when I said yes to Sam Hammer that I’d end up stuffed in a trunk.

BOOK: Hard Case Crime: Money Shot
2.03Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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