Angels in Mourning
by David Wind
Reviewed by: Kelly Davis
I'd never had the pleasure of reading any of David Wind's 33 previous novels, but when I finished his latest novel, Angels in Mourning, I made a vow to go back and read the rest of this very talented writer's work. Angels' immensely likeable private investigator protagonist Gabriel Storm (if you think that's a great name, wait until you read his assistant's moniker!) had been falsely imprisoned for many years for the murder of his beloved fiancée, stage actress Elaine Hall. While Storm lingers in prison, only two people believe in his innocence, playwright Scotty Granger and police captain Christopher Bolt. Through much steadfast determination, Bolt and Granger eventually win Storm's acquittal. So when Granger is found viciously murdered in what was clearly a crime of passion, Storm is on a mission to find and bring his murderer to justice. Of course, the more Storm investigates Granger's network, the more he realizes that many people could have wanted him dead. Was it one of the greedy hangers-on who have invested in Granger's new play? Was it a jilted ex? Was it a slimy human-trafficker, or worse yet a pedophilic politician? Who can Granger trust? The Homeland Security agent who may or may not be on the up and up? His own new girlfriend who seems to show up every time someone tries to kill him? I thought I had the case solved by midway through the book, but in reality I'd taken Wind's subtle bait and was way off track.
I will admit I'm a bit of a literature snob, but Wind's narrative not only left my intelligence intact, he did a magnificent job of drawing me into Storm's pleasantly-seedy New York. For instance:
The Westside diner was slow...a throwback from the forties. You know the type, all chrome and vinyl with a checkerboard black and white floor. Old and faded pictures of New York lined the walls. It was a cholesterol heaven of pies, muffins, and greasy donuts heaped in scratched plastic covered trays on the counter. Five big chrome coffee urns, like missile silos, were lined against one wall. A rectangular cut-out separated the dining room from the kitchen. Every sound made in the kitchen reached the eating area.
It takes a lot for a work of fiction to impress me but Angels did just that. David Wind has much respect for his readers and it shows.
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