The Angel

Written by Katerina Diamond

Review written by Maureen Carlyle


The Angel
Avon
RRP: £7.99
Released: September 21 2017
PBK

The two CID officers at the centre of the story (Imogen Grey and Adrian Miles), have been through deep psychological traumas, together and separately in two preceding novels.

There is no doubt that Katerina Diamond is a brilliant writer; one who grips you immediately and holds the reader tightly through to the end.  It is however not for the faint-hearted, being blacker than black.  All the characters are damaged to different degrees by past experiences,  and in some cases going back to babyhood.

The story begins with a prologue set in 1986.  The characters are two young couples (friends and neighbours) with each couple having a baby boy.  The disastrous events of one evening are going to affect all their lives.  As the narrative proceeds to the present day, you are continually trying to identify the two babies; who would now be grown men.

The nineteen-year old Gabriel Webb, who fancies himself as a Goth wearing the appropriate clothes has a date with his girlfriend Emma - who has a similarly outlandish wardrobe.  Gabriel's father causes a frightful scene when he sees Gabriel's outfit. Gabriel, with immense satisfaction just ignores him and walks out.

Emma has invited three acquaintances to join them for an evening out. It soon becomes apparent that Emma and Gabriel are complete innocents compared to the other three, who definitely have something of the night about them.  They end up on the railway tracks in a disused signal-box, where drugs are produced.  The girls complain of the cold and Gabriel lights a fire in a metal wastepaper bin. They all leave for a local club, extinguishing the burning bin.  When they have walked away, they notice alarmingly that the signal box is on fire.

The following day Gabriel is arrested by Police Officers Adrian and Imogen.  An unidentifiable body has been found in the signal box.  Gabriel is convinced of his own guilt and thinks of himself as a murderer but when questioned, he refuses to identify his companions of that fateful night.

Gabriel is remanded in prison.  He is by far the most sympathetic character in the book as his experiences in prison form a large part of the narrative.  Incarcerated, he rapidly loses his innocence.  His fellow-prisoners, some relatively good while others are deeply evil, become linked to the main plot (the solving of the murder in the signal box). 

While the police continue their investigation, Imogen is convinced that the perpetrator was not Gabriel. She and her colleague Adrian discover that some of the suspects were in-care at a local childrens home many years ago.  Imogen fears that her own partner Dean, who is an ex-con, may be involved in some way.

The bewilderingly contorted plot leads to a climax which leaves many questions unanswered, although the babies are identified. 

I look forward to the next book.



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