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Grave of Angels Paperback – August 7, 2012
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About the Author
Born and raised in New Jersey, Michael Prescott attended Wesleyan University, majoring in film studies, then pursued a career as a screenwriter in Los Angeles. In 1986 he wrote his first novel; published steadily since that time, he is now the author of twenty-two thrillers, one of which, Shiver, was recently made into a movie starring Danielle Harris and John Jarratt. Currently at work on a new book, Prescott is also republishing his older titles in e-book editions, which have found a wide new audience.
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There is the normal struggle of good versus evil and a parallel subplot of whether God truly exists and/or cares. For me it was more of the 'same old same old' and tiresome to read. Perhaps it's time for me to give up on bad guy novels and turn to something more uplifting. Perhaps something by Clive Barker. (Only kidding).
Set in LA, the story is tense and liberally peppered with gunfire. We mingle with rich people selling their souls for money and young girls losing their souls for fame and fun. Carnal encounters on the sly add occasional spice. The cast includes a class-A bad guy who enjoys killing friends and enemies alike.
His name is Jack Swann, and he's fallen in love with a teenaged tabloid idol named Chelsea Brewer. This will turn out to be very bad news for Chelsea. Happily for the plot (but not Chelsea), Swann is the kind of psychopathic monster who won't die, no matter how many people go gunning for him. The action is non-stop, to use a very appropriate cliché.
Chelsea's official protector is Kate Malick, head of Guardian Angels, a security firm that specializes in bodyguards for celebrities. She takes her work all too seriously for her own health.
The action slows down only long enough for people to reveal embarrassing things about themselves. In one such scene, we discover why Kate once joined the Sisters of Mercy and why she got kicked out. Kate has the helping instincts of an angel without the angelic disposition. Like a nun, she dresses all in black. Unlike a nun, she can shoot and hot wire cars. Her faith is in tatters, but that could change...
If you're looking for pure entertainment in the thriller category, and you can handle some unpleasant episodes of violence, Grave of Angels might be just the thing.
Our protagonist is Kate Malick, an ex-nun who runs a firm that provides bodyguards for Hollywood stars. This story centers around Lindsay Lohan...er, i mean Chelsea Brewer, a Hollywood starlet drinking and partying herself to death while her greedy mother and ex-con father ignore it as long as it doesn't affect their cut of the royalties checks.
On what seems like a normal night of drinking until she vomits, then drinking some more, things go horribly wrong. Chelsea is kidnapped by a former partner of her father, an oddly compelling sociopath who has been known to torture people to death for fun. And unfortunately for Kate, this isn't the only thing going down that night.
With the exception of one secondary character whose actions are extremely excessive when compared to his motivations, the characters in this book are all remarkably coherent and believable. They all have their reasons, they all act in ways that make sense given what we know, and so on. The action is tight and well described, requiring the temporary suspension of disbelief mandatory for any thriller novel or action film, but not breaking through to the other side and ending up just plain laughable.
(In fact, the only just plain laughable scene in the entire book was the unintentional comedy that often results when male authors try to describe a sexual encounter from the female's point of view. Not only did it come off as silly, but it was less sensual than a driving scene a chapter or two earlier in which Kate pilots her jag down a windy road.)
Just as the one sex scene in the book is brief and mostly sterile, the brutal torture and murder of several people happens mostly off-camera. Their injuries are described, in brief and after the fact, so it's not torture-porn despite the antagonist having a fetish for torture.
I can't decide, even despite letting some time pass between finishing the book and writing this review, if the end was a cop-out or not. Depending how you read it, it's either a deus ex machina, or a totally legitimate development of the characters and the world they're in. Ultimately, i still enjoyed the book, so maybe it's somewhere in between.
Lastly, this is almost certainly the first in a series. Amidst all the murder and mayhem, the author carefully assembles the rag-tag team that will surely face another crisis, complete with car chases, gunfights, and computer hacking. And i'll probably read it.
Most recent customer reviews
Michael Prescott delivered as promised.
Unlike some authors who produce so many books every year, I can always rely that he took great care with...Read more