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Ripley, Mike - 'Angels Unaware'
Hardback: 398 pages (July 2008) Publisher: Allison & Busby ISBN: 0749080833

ANGELS UNAWARE is the fifteenth in a long-standing series of comedy thrillers by Mike Ripley, featuring lovable PI Angel.

As the book opens Angel is settling down to fatherhood in rural Cambridgeshire with his feisty partner, famous designer Amy May. He agrees to do a job for an old friend, Terence Patterson, and track down Benji Nicholson, a gay scriptwriter who has gone Awol from a film set funded by Patterson's banking employers. When Nicolson doesn't turn up to his own mother's funeral, the disappearance becomes more concerning, and Angel has to go up north to Manchester and Yorkshire to investigate.

Up in Manchester, Angel joins forces with fellow PI Ossie Osterlein, who has been hired by Nicholson's husband to find him. The action unfolds in Manchester, Yorkshire and London as Angel investigates Nicholson's life and milieu, clashing with the local police, psychotic Eastern European gangsters and a German porn star in the process. In the meantime, Angel has also to contend with an increasingly grumpy wife, an irresponsible hippy mother who has outstayed her welcome and Springsteen, a spectacularly cranky cat.

ANGEL UNAWARE is for the most part an entertaining comedy thriller, with a surprisingly serious hard centre to it. Mike Ripley has a pitch perfect satirical sense of contemporary urban society, and a keen eye for the comic in family relationships, with both Angel's and Osterlein's mothers adding to the general mayhem. I look forward to the next instalment in this series.

Laura Root, England
November 2008

More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 2/11/2008 09:25