In the years since Money Shot was released, there have been a lot of really passionate reactions about the character of Lalo Malloy. I’ve got a few things I’d like to say about him, but I’ll be addressing an issue in the plot that you may not want to know if you still haven’t read the book.
And if you’re reading this blog but you still haven’t read Money Shot, what the hell are you waiting for? Go buy it now while I talk to the rest of the class.
Malloy’s betrayal caused a some pretty strong emotions for a lot of readers. Which, I’ll admit, was my intention. But I was genuinely surprised by readers who felt that his actions were “out of nowhere” and “not believable for his character.” So let me set the record straight here once and for all.
Malloy was after the money from day one. Maybe I’m a cynical bitch, but to me the notion that Malloy’s willing to dance through bullets to help someone he barely knows just because he’s a swell guy is “not believable for his character.” He constantly brings up the briefcase and how important it is that they find the dough. The only reason he’s involved with Angel at all is because he wants that money.
It isn’t until the night that they become intimate that he has a moment of weakness, feels like a heel about what he’s planning to do, and asks her to run off with him. When she makes it clear that isn’t gonna happen, he goes back to plan A and bails with the cash.
I thought his motivation and intention was crystal clear, but clearly a lot of readers missed it.
I’m fascinated by the way readers take what writers give them and build their own conclusions. They form their own pictures of the characters and fill in their own subtext. I know I do it when I read. I think everyone does, and that’s part of what makes reading so enjoyable. But it’s really odd when the conclusion reached by some readers is so different than my intentions. Then again, I remember someone complaining to me that Orbik’s cover painting was all wrong because Angel is blonde. (She does bleach her hair after cutting it short, but she’s a natural brunette.)
I guess it’s not so different than sex. No matter how close two lovers are, they are each inside their own heads having their own unique experience.