Angel of Death – Ben Cheetham
A disillusioned detective with nothing left to lose.
Catching criminals is all DI Jim Monahan has ever been good at. Just ask his ex-wife. Now he’s staring down the barrel of a lonely retirement. Worse still, he’s no longer sure he believes in the law he’s spent his life upholding. Then comes a call that will test what remains of his belief to its limits and beyond…
A shadowy ring of powerful people who’ll do anything to protect a depraved secret.
In Sheffield a soon-to-be bankrupt businessman has gone on a murderous rampage against his own family. The man and his wife lie dead in their burning mansion. Their son and daughter are found outside, riddled with shotgun pellets, barely alive. It seems like an open-and-shut case. But the charred ruins of the house reveal evidence of a second sickening crime – one involving a young girl who went missing fifteen years earlier…
A damaged prostitute hell bent on revenge.
In Middlesbrough a woman stares down at a violent punter she’s just shot dead. Her entire life Angel has been abused by those who claimed to love her. Now she’s finally had enough. It’s time to stop running. It’s time to start fighting back. She’s going to make them pay for what they did to her. With the murdered man’s gun in her handbag, she heads south on her deadly mission. And as the bodies begin to pile up, only one thing is certain – life will never be the same for anyone caught in the path of the ‘Angel of Death’.
This review was prepared for BookAddictShaun and appears on his site www.bookaddictshaun.co.uk
Angel of Death explores what happens when people in different walks of life reach the end of their tether. A policeman, his marriage over, facing retirement and no longer believing the law can fully extend justice where it may be required. A prostitute, sick of her dependency upon drugs, of being used and abused by clients and of her perpetual cycle of misery. A businessman who has a dark secret and is facing bankruptcy who decides to end it all.
The action kicks off right from the start of the story and Ben Cheetham does a great job of keeping the pace flowing. We follow Angel, a prostitute with a drug dependency. She is concerned that a girl, new to the streets, may have taken a potentially dangerous client to a remote part of town. Angel persuades one of her clients to try to find the girl before she comes to harm, however, she arrives too late to save the girl from receiving a beating. In an act of retribution Angel kills the girl’s client before taking the injured girl to hospital. From this point on Angel is on course to taking a degree of control back in her life.
While Angel is struggling to regain some independence the story switches to a struggling businessman who has decided that suicide is the only option he has left. Before he can end his own life he has a few loose ends to tie up first – the resultant fall out comes to Angel’s attention when it is reported on the news. For Angel, seeing the businessman on the news, one of her worst memories resurfaces and she decides to visit old haunts with a view to settling old scores.
Cheetham has created an attention grabbing thriller which kept me reading well into the wee small hours. Angel is a flawed character yet believes she is following the correct path in her attempts to punish those who have taken advantage of her. She is aided, indirectly, by DI Jim Monahan who is prepared to put his career on the line to see ‘justice’ done but he does not believe that the due process of the law will be able to punish the guilty. Can Monahan use a vengeful prostitute to bring down a few corrupt individuals? If he does then what may the consequences be? All becomes clear as the plot unfolds and, in keeping with the tone of the book, there are not always happy endings to be found.
On the strength of Angel of Death I would be more than willing to read more from Ben Cheetham. This was a well written and action-packed read. Great characterisation and more than a few unexpected twists kept me entertained to the end. I would award Angel of Death 4/5 and add Ben Cheetham to my list of authors to watch out for.