Review: The Angel Maker by Alex North

RATING: 3 out of 5
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Synopsis from Publisher:

Growing up in a beautiful house in the English countryside, Katie Shaw lived a charmed life. At the cusp of graduation, she had big dreams, a devoted boyfriend, and a little brother she protected fiercely. Until the day a violent stranger changed the fate of her family forever.

Years later, still unable to live down the guilt surrounding what happened to her brother, Chris, and now with a child of her own to protect, Katie struggles to separate the real threats from the imagined. Then she gets the phone call: Chris has gone missing and needs his big sister once more.

Meanwhile, Detective Laurence Page is facing a particularly gruesome crime. A distinguished professor of fate and free will has been brutally murdered just hours after firing his staff. All the leads point back to two old cases: the gruesome attack on teenager Christopher Shaw, and the despicable crimes of a notorious serial killer who, legend had it, could see the future.

The Angel Maker by Alex North is a crime story centered around an incident occurring in young Katie and Christopher’s life. Her brother being in the wrong place at the wrong time was assaulted by a random, unknown man who drove up and slashed his face leaving Christopher with a daily reminder for the rest of his life. Katie, his older sister, lives with the guilt of not being there to protect her little brother when it happened.

As the synopsis indicates, the story takes us through a journey of Katie’s life from her mild resentment to always having to be her brother’s keeper to having her own family years later and feeling a sense of duty to protect her own child. Her husband and high school sweetheart has known Katie for many years and feels the weight of this cloud Katie has carried with her their whole life. He sometimes thinks she makes up the perceived threats and it becomes a source of contention between them.

Little do they both know, it’s the constant alertness that helps Katie when things go south.

Without giving away too many spoilers, I will say the first half of the book was a slow burn for me. I purchased the book based on the mention of a serial killer and detective element. Instead, what I got was a long-winded walk down memory lane leading to the meat and potatoes. I almost gave up but I’m glad I stuck it out because the last half of the book was pretty good.

I will say this, Alex has a beautiful voice in his writing but there were a few things I felt were missing from this book. The most important aspect is that I wasn’t invested in any of the characters. In fact, I had a hard time keeping track of the names and people because there were some changes (no spoilers, you have to read it to understand). I wanted a little more of who Detective Laurence Page and his partner were but the author touched so little on them and Chris and focused heavily on Katie. I’m still unsure why? Even at the end, she hands the attention back to her brother who is the center of the story. I was confused on why the story was told from her point of view.

The story got a little more complicated with the involvement of philosophy and theory, but it was an interesting twist I found rather interesting. If Philosophy isn’t your thing, this might be a turn off for you.

I was left with quite a few questions but in the end I don’t regret sticking with the story.

Also? The cover is stunning.

Categories: Reviews, The PagesTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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