Avenging Angel: A Kingman & Reed Novel
Adult; Mystery/Thriller; (Market)
There’s a night stalker loose in Sioux City
who believes she’s on a mission from God.
Woodbury County prosecutor Hillary Reed believes all things are possible with God—including putting her together with an unlikely significant other, Sioux City Sentinel-Leader reporter Tom Kingman. But when a killer named Gabrielle starts sending Tom handwritten notes claiming to be God’s avenging angel, Hillary concurs with Tom’s assessment: “It’s more likely Gabrielle has been dropping acid while reading Leviticus” than getting divine direction to slash some throats.
Meanwhile, Hillary faces professional challenges, including a nagging feeling that she’s prosecuting the wrong man for murder. When Gabrielle starts to show a personal interest in Tom, pressure from Tom’s pious stalker and Hillary’s high-profile court case builds until it triggers a bombshell revelation that could blow Tom and Hillary apart.
Plot/Idea: 6 out of 10
Originality: 4 out of 10
Prose: 6 out of 10
Character/Execution: 5 out of 10
Overall: 5.25 out of 10
Plot: The plot is solid, but slow-paced and predictable.The serial killer here is a foe most readers will have encountered before, and this one doesn't offer any new twists in behavior or motivation.
Prose: The writing is straightforward and clear, but frequent info dumps slow the story. Repetitive and unnecessary details also distract and make the story drag.
Originality: The setting—Sioux City, Iowa—offers a glimpse of some new territory for thriller fans, as does the opposites attract, forbidden fruit romance between the protagonists. Unfortunately, the serial killer never rises above stereotype.
Character Development: The protagonists are well-rounded, and secondary characters are reasonably well developed. Unfortunately the villain is a predictable caricature whose identity will be obvious to readers.
Date Submitted: July 13, 2017