Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars Never go out for coffee at 3 am..., 31 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Infernal Angels (Amos Walker Mysteries) (Hardcover)
Loren D. Estelman has another Amos Walker book out, and it's almost as good as The Left-Handed Dollar. This novel, Infernal Angels, has that same hard-boiled Detroit atmosphere that litters all of Estelman's books, making for a quick but satisfying read.

It all starts with a late-night quest for coffee. Walker's out of it and goes to the local Walgreens for some more. A cop friend who's staking out the store gives him a tip on some stolen cable converter boxes, which seems like a quick and easy way for Walker to bring in some money. Little does he know that said boxes will soon involve him with the seedier side of Detroit as well as become a national security issue. It also brings in some old friends. The next time Walker runs out of coffee, he may just go back to bed.

Infernal Angels finds Walker torn in three different directions by representatives of law enforcement, and it's fun watching him interact with all of them, occasionally playing them off of one another. Jurisdiction battles are quite common in police novels, but it's interesting to see one from an outsider's point of view.

As usual, Estelman's dialogue is top-notch. Walker quips his way through danger when the going gets too rough. The interplay between the cops, the Feds, and Walker is also excellent. The best example, though, is the conversations between Walker and the various fences where he begins the investigation of the converter boxes.

The characters in Infernal Angels are just as interesting and quirky as ever too. There's Eugenia Pappas, wife of a now-dead criminal, who appears to be trying to take his business legitimate, though she isn't keeping an eye on the people around her. She thinks she can buy her way into Heaven in other ways than just living a virtuous life.

Bud Lite is a musician under investigation for the murder of his producer in Guam, and he now runs a music store which might also be a front for where those converter boxes may have been taken. All of the characters have their quirks, but none of them are one-dimensional.

Estleman renders the story well, moving from the small potatoes of stolen converter boxes into something else that will put Walker in mortal danger, not to mention causing him some more injuries. Yet there are a few slow spots in the book--not good, since it's a fairly short book to begin with.

One other oddity is the long foot-chase in the middle, which not only slows the book down further but also doesn't make a lot of sense. Walker was shot in the leg a few books ago, still limping and taking Vicodin for the pain (as is mentioned numerous times in Infernal Angels), yet he's able to perform an extended chase on foot with somebody who appears to be really fast?

Even with those minor problems, Infernal Angels is a fun read that will bring joy to any fan of the genre.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book © Dave Roy, 2011
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