“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Review: ANGEL CITY by Jon Steele

I had a crime fiction column published in the Irish Times at the weekend, which concluded with a short review of Jon Steele’s ANGEL CITY (Bantam Press). It ran a lot like this:
Jon Steele’s Angel City (Bantam Press, €20.50) is the sequel to The Watchers (2011), a novel that introduced us to Jay Harper, an English private eye living in Lausanne who belatedly realises that he is not a detective but an angel who is engaged in a timeless war against demonic forces of evil. Angel City opens with Harper foiling a terrorist attack on Paris, which leads to the discovery that a rogue priest is attempting to tap into a celestial power at the ancient Cathar fortress at Montségur in southern France with the intention of quite literally unleashing hell. It sounds fantastical, and it is, but American author Jon Steele, a former war reporter, is engaged in something rather more interesting than tales of the supernatural. The Watchers and now Angel City (the first two parts of ‘The Angelus Trilogy’) read like Paradise Lost redrafted by Raymond Chandler in a fevered dream, in which the demonic hordes are desperate to secure nuclear weaponry and the angels boast the kind of firepower Milton couldn’t have conjured up in his worst nightmares. It’s a compelling modern fable, the time-honoured tale of Good versus Evil rewritten according to a fatalistic theology at a time when technology has finally made possible the worst imaginings of ancient prophecy. – Declan Burke
  For the rest of the column, which includes reviews of the latest titles from Ruth Rendell, Charles McCarry and Tom Franklin and Beth Fennelly, clickety-click here

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