Title: Lucky Bastard (Lucky O’Toole #4)
Author: Deborah Coonts
Publisher: Forge Books
Version Read: egalley (via Netgalley)
Publication Date: May 14th, 2013
Categories: crime, mystery, romance
Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley. This in no way reflects my feelings towards the book or the book’s review.
Summary (Goodreads): Lucky O’Toole, the newly promoted vice president of Customer Relations for the Babylon, Las Vegas’s primo Strip property, has never met a problem she couldn’t handle. But when a young woman is found dead, sprawled across the hood of a new, bright red Ferrari California in the Babylon’s on-site dealership, a Jimmy Choo stiletto stuck in her carotid, Lucky’s skills are maxed out.
Of course, her life is already on overload. Her mother, Mona, is pregnant, hormonal, and bored—a triple threat. A song that Teddie, Lucky’s former lover, wrote for her is getting national airplay as he hits the talk shows, pleading for her forgiveness. Lucky is less than amused by the high-powered “infotainment” spotlight on her personal life. She’s having enough trouble fending off Chef Jean-Charles Bouclet, the Babylon’s tasty new dish.
All of this and The Smack-Down Poker tournament, the second-largest poker tournament in the world, is holding its final round at the Babylon. Hookers, theives, players, cheaters, media, and hangers-on descend, looking to win or to score. When one of the players turns up dead, Lucky starts to make connections between the two murders, putting her in the crosshairs of the killer.
Then, just when she’s losing control… life deals another major complication to her personal life… and it’s not going to be pretty.
When I first requested Lucky Bastard from Netgalley I didn’t realise it was the fourth in the series. Fortunately this wasn’t an issue as you were able to pick up most things pretty quickly, without having read the previous books.
The premise of this mystery was really good – Middle of the night, car dealership showroom in a casino with dead woman on a Ferrari, killed by her own shoe. It was a really interesting mystery, and you certainly didn’t see who the real culprit was until Lucky figured it out. There were quite a few little twists and turns in the mystery to keep you interested. Which was good because a few other things fell sort of flat for me.
Unfortunately the summary is somewhat inaccurate (I will try to update it with the Netgalley one, but I am waiting on some issues with it). There’s no talk-shows, and whilst mentioned a few times (particularly when he is leaving her voicemail messages) Teddie doesn’t appear in the novel. She’s also not trying to fend of Jean-Charles either. Sh’e pretty much been hooked by him.
Lucky was really annoying. She seems like a fairly intelligent person but the puns, the over-engaged sarcasm and the cocky-I’m-right-because-I-am attitude just annoyed me, and made it hard for me to read. She also made some kind of stupid decisions, and it seemed like she was taking over the investigation. Which, if she worked security in the hotel I could understand, but she is the Vice President of Customer Relations for the Babylon instead. I guess I just found it hard to connect with her personality and found that I really only finished it because I wanted to know how the murder would be solved.
One thing I liked about Lucky Bastard, other than the plot, were some of the minor characters. Jean-Charles the French chef who is sorta-kinda-maybe Lucky’s boyfriend was an interesting character. So to was Detective Romeo, the youngish homicide investigator charged with investigating the dead woman – it appears Lucky has met him in at least one of the previous books. I also thought Lucky’s mother was an interesting person – a former brothel-owner/worker, who is currently pregnant to her husband (who apparently is Lucky’s father, but she didn’t know it for years). There were others too, but those are the ones I quite liked. The downside of having so many other characters is that it was a bit messy trying to keep them al straight sometimes, particularly combined with how in-depth the murder plot was.
For me in general there was just a bit too much going on in a bit too short amount of time for this to be a comfortable read. If the murder plot hadn’t been as interesting as it was, I don’t know that I would have finished Lucky Bastard because I just didn’t connect with the main character (who is the narrator).