Demolition Angel by Robert Crais
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
An LAPD bomb squad technician is blown up on the job and Detective Carol Starkey, former bomb squad tech, is on the case. Can Starkey overcome her past and bring the bomber to justice?
I first heard of Demoliton Angel last year at Bouchercon when Robert Crais mentioned working on it in secret after LA Requiem. It sounded okay but I wasn't in a hurry to read it. After Carol Starkey appeared in a couple Elvis Cole books, I knew I had to check out her story. I was not disappointed.
At the beginning of Demolition Angel, Starkey is a wreck. She's a chain-smoker with a drinking problem, trying to forget about a bombing that killed both her and her lover years before. Starkey was resusitated and has been dealing with the scars ever since. When a serial bomber rears his ugly head, Starkey has a chance at redemption. Awesomeness ensues. Starkey's a really good character and I hope Crais uses her as a lead again one of these days. Her relationships with the other characters made the book a joy to read even when things were slow.
The search for Mr. Red takes up most of the book. To be honest, I wasn't that thrilled with the book at first. Then Crais yanked the rug out from under me and crazy things started happening. The last 100 pages blew by at a feverish pace.
While being quite enjoyable, Demolition Angel isn't perfect. The relationship seemed tacked on. Also, Demolition Angel was first published in 2000 and since technology is featured quite a bit, I don't think it has aged as well as Crais' other books written around the same time. Other than that, I've got no complaints. It's right on the line between three and four stars.
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