Summary: Set in 1950s Las Vegas, Rayner uses the unsettling realities beneath Vegas's
glossy surfaces as symbols of a deeper and more sinister social corruption.
Maurice Valentine is being groomed by important people for big things. He's a
noted Los Angeles architect whose commissions put him in contact with everyone
from gangsters to politicians (and in Rayner's 1950s Los Vegas it's difficult to
tell the two apart). Valentine appears unstoppable until Mallory Walker,
an heiress with a keen eye for architecture, enters his life; but he soon discovers that little about her is as it seems, and after she is apparently
murdered, he is driven to solve the mystery of her true identity.
Comment: Kirkus Reviews gives The Devil's Wind a starred review and Booklist says, "the real-life themes have been covered elsewhere...but Rayner stirs the pot his own way, building believable characters and turning them loose against a recognizable but still swinging backbeat. Throw in a couple of mushroom clouds, and you have a novel with plenty of bang and more than a little heart."
This review was originally published in March 2005, and has been updated for the January 2006 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.
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