Thursday, September 4, 2008

Falling Angel

Falling Angel Cover
Where is Johnny Favorite? That is what Detective Harry Angel is trying to find out in "Falling Angel" by William Hjortsberg.

Released in October of 1978, just in time for Halloween, readers were introduced to Detective Harry Angel, a good old fashioned pulp-type detective. He is hired by Louis Cyphre (sound familiar?) to find an old-time musician named Johnny Favorite who was last seen about fifteen years prior to the novel's 1959 New York setting.

From the moment he takes the case, Angel runs into strange things that just don't add up. He meets some people who are anything but normal church-going folk. He learns that Johnny Favorite may have been into voodoo as some of the people he has interviewed begin to turn up dead in ritualistic ways. And he falls for an enchanting girl who happens to be a voodoo priestess and may be Johnny Favorite's daughter.

This fast-paced mystery/thriller grips you from page one and doesn't let up until the beautifully executed twist at the end that will finally make you sit back in the chair you've been teetering on the edge of. If Raymond Chandler had written "The Exorcist", this would be the result. This was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best First Mystery Novel in 1979, and should have won in my opinion.

I read "Falling Angel" in about three days, which for me is amazing. A little bit about myself: I tend to have a lot of half-read books, not because the book was bad, but because my attention span for such things tends to run a little short after about a week. So this one grabbed a hold of my attention and clutched it white-knuckled until I finished. "Falling Angel" is tense, tight, thrilling, and highly recommended.

No comments: