What Happens in Reno by Mike Monson is classic noir. A main character who has plans of grandeur but is destined for disaster, a dame with no allegiances other than to herself, a criminal recently released from prison, and a financial windfall that everyone wants to get their hands on.
When Matt gets money from selling the dilapidated home he inherited after the death of his mother, he intendeds to give some money to his wife to pay for her cosmetic surgery and pay down their ever expanding debt. But once the money is in his hands, those ideas go by the wayside. He quickly decides that a trip to Reno is a better plan of action.
Soon he has everyone looking for him to get their hands on his money. Lydia, who has been supporting Matt through his long stretches of unemployment wants him to give her the money he has promised to her. Lydia’s new lover, Hunter who was recently released from prison, needs the money to pay off a drug dealer he is avoiding, and his step-son Tanner, who is simply looking to impress Hunter and repaying him for the attention he has been lavishing on his.
If Matt wants to make it out of Reno with any money at all he has to keep his wits about him to stay one step ahead of his pursuers. But nothing is as easy as it seems in the world created by Monson. This is a fun, quick read that shows great noir is still being published (or re-released in this case).
Reviewed by Derrick Horodyski