Review: In Death Angel, Martha Powers has crafted a thriller that perfects the art of misdirection. Everyone in this small Chicago suburb has secrets, and until the killer is revealed on the final pages, his identity remains a mystery.
After Kate and Richard Wagner's daughter disappears and is later found raped and murdered, and as their lives slowly spin out of control when Richard is suspected to be involved in the crime, Kate remarks, "There's no reality to our lives anymore. The unthinkable has become commonplace." This simple statement is the constant element that unites the various storylines in this book and is the basis for much of the suspense.
Death Angel for the most part alternates between two perspectives: Kate's conviction her husband is innocent and her doubt he may be guilty, and police chief Carl Leidecker's on-going investigation of the crime. This literary approach is quite effective as it adds a measure of conflict between these two principal characters though they share a common goal: to see the girl's murderer brought to justice. Along the way the author takes a few shortcuts to advance the plot, but in the end, Death Angel is a compelling suspense novel.
The tragedy of child abduction and murder is all too real. In a preface, Martha Powers acknowledges a Chicago mother whose story was the inspiration for Death Angel.
Acknowledgment: Maryglenn McCombs Book Publicity provided an ARC of Death Angel for this review.
Review Copyright © 2006 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Conspiracy of Silence
Oceanview Publishing (Hardcover), October 2008
ISBN-13: 9781933515182; ISBN-10: 193351518X
Location(s) referenced in Death Angel: Chicago
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Death Angel by Martha Powers
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: October 2006
List Price: $24.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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