Masterton, Graham - 'Broken Angels'
BROKEN ANGELS opens with a pair of anglers retrieving the broken body of a priest from the Blackwater river near the gloriously named Ballyhooly, near Cork in Ireland. One of the anglers recognises him as Father Heaney, a local priest shamed by accusations of impropriety with boys, but never convicted.
A cursory examination by Scene-of-Crime reveals that the priest has been gelded with a pair of shears. And if you find that a bit much, this probably isn't the book for you. Graham Masterton's background is in horror fiction, and it shows. The gore factor is high, and there are graphic scenes of torture lasting over several chapters.
BROKEN ANGELS is the second book in the Superintendent Katie Maguire series set in Cork. Katie is the city's first female detective. She's intuitive, intelligent and aggressive - certainly not above getting up the noses of the priesthood when she thinks they are standing in the way of her investigation. Which they are. Her enquiries are complicated by a wall of silence set up by the Church, principally the unpleasant Monsignor Kelly, who is so clearly up to something he should be wearing a black hat. Actually, I think he does probably wear a black hat.
Soon another priest has been kidnapped, and it's clear the same killer is responsible. The race is on to find him.
Subplot-wise, Katie's personal happiness is in peril - her boyfriend John is facing bankruptcy and planning to move back to California to set up an Internet business. Meanwhile her sister Siobhán is making a mess of her own love life.
BROKEN ANGELS has possibly the strangest motive I've encountered, and the ending is far more akin to a horror/fantasy novel than to crime. However, it's a tense and pacy read if you don't mind the torture.
Rich Westwood, England
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.
last updated 10/10/2013 13:29