Angel of the Dark – novel review

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Book review:
When an elderly multi-millionaire is found brutally murdered in Hollywood, and his young wife raped and beaten, the police assume the motive is robbery. Unable to find the perpetrators, the case is soon closed.

A decade later, in different cities around the globe, three almost identical killings take place. In all cases the victim is an elderly male, wealthy and newly married. Again his wife is found severely injured at the scene.
At first it is thought they might be copycat killings, but it soon becomes clear that this is one deadly female killer. Code named the Angel of Death by the police, is she avenging some long-forgotten misdeed, or does she have other motives? Who will be her next victim and how can the Angel of Death be prevented from striking again?

 My review:
Angel of the dark is everything trademark Sidney Sheldon. The story lasts decades, there are innumerable characters, the characters travel so many countries, there are murders, police investigations, lots of suspense and un-expected twists, deceits and revenges and court trials and last but not the least, beautiful women and their beautiful romantic escapades.

LAPD in Los Angeles appoints Detective Danny Mcguire to investigate the brutal murder of an elderly multi-millionaire and rape of his very young wife. When clues lead them nowhere, they assume robbery as the motive and close the case. Though Danny suspects foul play when the wife suddenly disappears but he has no lead to chase. Surprisingly, all the money is donated to charity before her disappearance.

A decade later, three identical brutal murders, in three different cities, take place. All three are elderly multi-millionaires and their wives young enough to be their daughters, all three savagely raped. And in each case, no suspects found and all three wives disappear shortly and donate every penny to charities before disappearing.

Matthew Daley, a film-maker who wanted to make a documentary on the case, code-named Azrael, the angel of death, by the Interpol, assists Danny in getting many clues by his own independent investigations. They follow the leads along with the help of police of countries in which the killings took place and nail down the culprits and discover that their next target is an Indian. Danny arrests the killers red-handed but not before they manage to shoot Matt. (he survives) What follows is a long court trial where the history, reason, method, motive and the punishment of the murderers and killings are revealed to the reader. (a bit disappointing)

Needless to mention, the research, like every other Sidney novel, that Tilly Bagshawe has put into this novel is tremendous. She has woven life-like characters and has been more than successful in displaying her expertise in the genre Sidney Sheldon. (Yes, he is a genre in himself as it’s difficult to confine his novels to a particular genre. Romance, mystery, passion, murder, investigation, suspense, twists, revenge, deceit, larger-than-life-business-empires, you name it, he has it.) Also, what surprised me was, a considerable portion of the novel was set in India. Movies, alright, but this was the first time that I was reading a foreign novel where the plot was partly set in India.

Though it’s a wonderful read, it is a bit clichéd and predictable. This, because I’ve read so many novels penned by Sidney Sheldon himself or because Tilly wasn’t up to the mark in throwing enough suspense and unexpected twists, is very hard to tell. Also, there were a few surprises that took me off-guard too.

The legacy of the master story-teller, Sidney Sheldon, truly lives on. Kudos to Tilly Bagshawe for that.

One can order the novel on flipkart here – Angel of the Dark.

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