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A Killing of Angels (Alice Quentin Series) by Kate Rhodes
Review by Joseph B. Hoyos
Minotaur Books Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781250014313
Date: 25 February 2014 List Price $25.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

A heat wave broils London while a vicious psychopath, hailed by the media as the Angel Killer, slashes the employees of the Angel Bank. Forensic Psychologist Alice Quentin is helping the Met Police create a profile for the killer who leaves behind white feathers and photographs of angels at each crime scene. The case becomes personal for Alice when she is attacked and one of her friends is murdered.

Kate Rhodes writes awesome whodunits that are wonderfully bizarre, gruesome, and macabre. With their high body counts, unpredictable plots, mentally unstable characters and perverse villains, her novels are simply mesmerizing. The villain in A Killing of Angels is truly perverse; the police are having a frustrating time determining the motive. The killer's identity remained a mystery until nearly the very end--a fiery end that befitted a novel involving angels and demons, mostly demons.

Alice Quentin helps patients battle their demons while she battles many of her own. She is one of the most flawed heroines I've ever met, which also makes her one of the most realistic ones. Her family is extremely dysfunctional. (It makes the Charles Manson family look almost normal.) Each member suffers from an addictive personality. Alice's deceased father was an alcoholic, her mom is a control freak, her brother is a drug addict who has begun reading clouds for prophetic signs, and she is addicted to running. She was training for a marathon; now she is running for her life. One of her crazed, schizophrenic patients, Darren Campbell, is stalking her.

Several of the murders have occurred near the same locales where Jack the Ripper slew his victims. Alice lives and works in the heart of London and the reader is taken on a tour of its hot spots such as Piccadilly Circus, London Bridge, Borough Market, Hyde Park, Tower of London, and Trafalgar Square. Unfortunately, London is suffering an unbearable heat wave while the demonic Angel Killer is slashing their way across London, killing the rich, the beautiful, and the privileged employees of Angel Bank. The name is an oxymoron. Angels do not exist at this bank. Some would say the victims deserved to die at the hands of the Angel Killer just as some say the prostitutes deserved to be stabbed repeatedly by Saucy Jack.

Steeped with medical and police procedures, A Killing of Angels is a fast-paced, expertly crafted whodunit that will appeal to fans of gruesome, macabre crimes. The flawed heroine, Alice Quentin, is likable; many of us in the workforce can relate to her. Many reader will also have had to deal with backstabbing, butt-kissing coworkers such as DS Steve Taylor who torments Alice. Fortunately, there is the downtrodden underdog, DCI Don Burns, who assists her during her investigation of the Angel Killer.

I recommend readers jump on this enthralling new series by reading its first novel, Crossbones Yard; incidentally, prostitutes were targeted for death in this one. It is my prayer that angels are watching over Kate Rhodes as she labors, hopefully, on another Alice Quentin chiller.

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