, which was published in 2000, is another standalone from Michael Connelly, the creator of Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller. The protagonist is Cassie Black, a beautiful young woman who was once a very skilled burglar who specialized in ripping off big marks in Vegas. But then a job went catastrophically wrong; Cassie's partner and lover was killed, and Cassie was arrested and sent to the pen for six years. Now free, she's living in L.A., selling Porches, and reporting regularly to her probation officer.
Cassie has a special reason for now walking the straight and narrow, but she still occasionally feels the outlaw juices flowing, and selling cars to rich guys doesn't do much to calm them. Then Cassie suddenly finds herself in desperate need of big money fast and so, with no other option, she agrees to do a job that will earn her enough money to flee the country and build a new life.
It means going back to Vegas and running some very high risks. It will also bring her into conflict with a very bad operator who has no compulsion whatsoever about killing the people who get in his path, even in a minor way. Inevitably, the best laid plans will go awry, and Cassie will be left to her own wits and considerable talents if she's going to survive and complete her larger mission.
This is a very taut, interesting book that grabs the reader from the beginning. Cassie is a very appealing character, and Connelly obviously did a lot of careful research for the book. The technical details, even though dated now, are especially intriguing, and after reading the book, I'm not going to feel safe in a hotel room again for a good long time. A very good read.