Jack Karch
Created by Michael Connelly

JACK KARCH is a Las Vegas PI who, although not the main charcter, figures prominently in Connelly's Void Moon. It's an interesting book in that the 'protagonist' (Cassie Black) is a hot prowl burglar trying to make the one last score so she can run away and start over, and the 'villian' is Karch who is employed by the Casino she pulls the job in to track her down and eliminate her. He works well as a villian since over the course of the book he kills a half dozen people, some of them just for being in the wrong place, and even sees fit to bury some of the bodies out in his favorite spot in the desert. Karch's father was a professional magician who used to open for the Rat Pack on the Vegas strip before his hands were systematically crushed by irate mobsters. Jack used to perform with his father when he was a kid earning him the nickname Jack of Spades. As such, he knows quite a bit of magic and has perfected several sleight of hand techniques that he alternatesly uses to charm children (one he kidnaps) and adults (several he kills). He calls to mind Arthur Morrison's Horace Dorrington with his particular amoral view of the world and his clients. A skilled investigator, fluent liar and cold-blooded killer -- a great combination for a private investigator! Karch and Cassie are just two of the lively characters in a well-crafted crime tale that evokes the hard-boiled Parker novels, and (with intended reference) Jack Finney's Oceans Eleven.

Philip Eagle laments in his entry for Horace Dorrington on this site:

"There are countless PI writers who enthusiastically create brutal or corrupt coppers by the precinct-full, but who shy away from creating a truly amoral private investigator, even as an opponent for their knight in shining armour."

Apparently, there is nothing shy about Michael Connelly who has created just such a PI in spades. Jack of Spades to be precise.




Respectfully submitted by Dale Stoyer.

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