She’s a thief, he’s a killer, and two and a half million dollars is the issue between them in this dark (and sometimes dreary) thriller. Series hero Harry Bosch (Angel’s Flight, 1998, etc.) is on hiatus, and you’ll keep missing him. Not that there aren’t rewards in this story of not-so-good versus evil. There’s Cassie Black, for instance (amoral, yes, yet appealingly vulnerable)—a young ex-con who never saw the Vegas high-roller she couldn’t rob. And though her resume shows 5 to 15, the fall was only minimally her fault. Mostly, it was Jack Karch’s fault. Karch, a self-congratulatory psychopath, is a casino security agent who moonlights for the mob. Hired to set a trap for Cassie’s larcenous lover, he netted Cassie as well, though only because she couldn’t bear to escape. Years have passed. Cassie’s done her time, tried to go straight, failed. She needs “the outlaw juice,” she’s discovered, her phrase for the sense of danger that kick-starts and defines her life force. She also needs the money. One last score, she tells herself. Now the scene shifts from L.A. to Las Vegas and the Cleopatra Casino, where a mark on an extended hot streak has been pre-selected for her. She does the job, then finds, to her astonishment, that the take is not the comfortable $250,000 predicted, but a scary $2.5 mil. It’s mob money, she guesses unhappily. What she can’t guess is how quickly Karch (Jack of Spades, they call him, because he likes to digs graves for those he hits) will be sent after it and her. Weird Jack admires lovely Cassie, respects her skill and resourcefulness, and will kill her in a Vegas minute if he has to. She makes him try. Lesser Connelly: Interesting characters, incident aplenty, but overplotting undermines the mano-a-womano center.