Review: Death Angel

Rating: 1 / 5

Drea Rousseau is a gangster's moll. She's lived for 2 years with Rafael Salinas, a drug smuggling crime-lord, convincing him of her stupidity and her absolute devotion to him, all the while ensuring that she puts by enough money for a secure future when she wont have her looks to trade on. She thinks she has Salinas where she wants him, until Salinas makes a little deal with an assassin he hires. As a reward for a job well done, he agrees to give Drea to him for a couple of hours. Drea, humiliated and in a furious rage swears to make Salinas pay and runs away. With 2 million dollars of his money. Salinas hires the same assassin to kill her, but as the hitman hunts her down neither he nor Drea have an inkling of how radically their lives are going to change.

It's pretty difficult reviewing this novel, without giving a lot of the story away. The rest of the book follows Drea's footsteps as she chases after the money with little side trips into Salinas, the assassin's, some FBI detectives' heads and all the dull details about banking and finance you never knew and could care less about. And a miracle in the middle of the novel which sets up both characters for their ultimate redemption.

I consider Linda Howard to be a hit-or-miss author, when she's good she's unputdownable, but unfortunately has a lot of turkeys too. Considering what it is about her novels I like, I think along with the decent writing and humor I like that she creates strong characters. In fact, one of her books Cover of the Night, has a thoroughly implausible storyline - a handful of goons besiege an entire American town - I still liked it immensely because I liked the lead pair and all the sundry characters of the town.

So, where this book fails is in the premise, creating believable characters whose moral rescue and redemption the reader understands, is involved in and is rooting for. And it's even more dissociative for the reader when the hero is nameless for almost a third of the story. Drea started off as a good character, pretending to be a blond bimbette but actually a shrewd, smart woman who looks out only for herself. But I found it hard to believe that such a street-smart character fell in love, with an assassin no less, over a few hours of sex. And the hero's motivations were even less apparent to this reader. To get the two together Howard employs a spiritual/ psychic plot device which brought the book to a grinding halt for me, and I could only skim thereafter.

I guess that's about all I can discuss without going into major spoilers. The rating is so low because Howard does have some truly good romances out there.

If you are a new reader some of her better titles are Dying to Please, Cover of the Night ... hmm, I'll add more when I think of them. Dont pick up Shades of Twilight, Open Season or this one :)


avdi said...

Wont ! I like my pulp fiction pulpy and tasty.. if it is not, i trash it.


Excellent review from you again.

eye-in-sty-in said...

hey the polt looked good to me - smart woman, gangster, assasin... but if u say its bad, its gotta be!

precision is ur middle name!

Smita said...

Perfect review :-)

Will remember the author and the books too be picked or to be missed ;-)

BTW me n WIAN met was fun meeting him...

Bouncing-Bubble said...

fab review. hv never read this author. but yes, the plot looks good.will try the reccos...

couchpapaya said...

hi guys, was offline for the entire week. will slowly try and catch up with everyone, thanks for stopping by the review.

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