Review: Hollywood Station police captain Josie Corsino's latest case involves the murder of a young starlet. While never routine, this investigation is made more difficult — and personal — when it turns up there is a connection between the dead woman and her son in Fallen Angels, a mystery in Connie Dial's "LAPD" series, though not featuring the character of her previous two books.
Hillary Dennis is found dead in a home in the Hollywood Hills, the scene of a wild party the night before. Complicating matters is that the most likely suspect for the crime is the son of a Los Angeles city councilman, who just happens to be a friend of Josie's own son, David, a talented pianist just getting his start in the music business. Josie is willing to write the connection off as an unfortunate coincidence until a second murder victim is found, Hillary's agent Misty Skylar. When Josie asks David if he knew Misty, she's surprised at his answer: Misty was his agent, too. But Josie is too experienced to know that "it was always foolish to think things couldn't get worse" … and they do.
Fallen Angel is a stellar example of a police procedural. But its strength as such may be a distraction to some; this is a very detailed account of a murder investigation, primarily from the perspective of Josie Corsino. Her thoughts on the case, her co-workers, her superiors, her family, and anyone and everyone else who enters her sphere are spelled out here. Police work is sometimes tedious work, methodically working through clues that lead, one hopes, to a solution to the crime. It is also intersected with the politics of the job and, at least in this case intentionally from a plot perspective, family life. There is — or at least from a reader's point of view, seems to be — a lot of authenticity in this novel. That's good, even great, for fans of police procedurals. Maybe not so much for those readers, who expect the narrative to move along briskly from point A to point B. Still, the plot does move along, if not always briskly, in often unexpected ways. This exceptional novel deserves a wider audience; it is that good.
Acknowledgment: The Permanent Press provided an ARC of Fallen Angels for this review.
Review Copyright © 2012 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Fallen Angels: Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
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Fallen Angels by Connie Dial — An "LAPD" Mystery
Publisher: The Permanent Press
Publication Date: April 2012
List Price: $29.00