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VINE VOICEon 1 July 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Central character Kate Malick is a professional security operative to celebrities in LA. She is someone with a past, with a past, as is revealed throughout the book in easily digestible portions. In short a headstrong runaway became a nun, failed at that and is now a tough worldly and street wise woman operating in the darker heartless side of LA, yes we are in Raymond Chandler territory, but Michael Prescott's style is faster (the narrative takes place in less than two days) and the twists and turns are not so challenging to follow.
Basic plot, spoilt star and serial train wreck Chelsea Brewer is a handful to keep out of serious trouble, separated parents of said girl are in denial over her behaviour, her reckless style makes her an easy target for kidnap by a seriously dangerous professional killer Swann, who is apparently being paid by someone else but has his own agendas (yes agendas, this man thinks several steps ahead all the time). This becomes a duel of wits between Malick and Swann not just over Chelsea Brewer, but into just who is hunter and hunted. This in itself is captivating, but there are a series of classic Noir characters; the sleazy, the violent, the loyal, the tragic, the vain and the chancers, some of whom are beyond redemption, others who might just come out wiser. These weave in and out of the narrative each with their important part to play. No more about the plot that would not be fair, for this is a very good page turner and you need to enjoy the proverbial thrills, spills and twist yourself.
I found the central characters interesting in that they were not the cardboard or plastic types in lesser put-together books. Malick has emoitional scars, but not cynical, still something of a compassionate idealist looking for sense in the world. Swann is deeply disturbing but thank you Mr Prescott, he is not one of these cod-philosophy spouting serial killers of young women or defenceless. This man can take it as well as dish it out. Not a likeable villain though, he has no saving graces. He sees himself as a predator simple as that. Chelsea, of course is annoying to begin with, but as the book progresses I began to hope she made it safely, she has some redeeming qualities even with parents like hers! Also a layer of tough resourcefulness.
Michael Prescott worked as a film script writer and this shows in his sharp precise chapters which read almost like scenes from a film. A bit like your favourite DVD, scene by scene with commentaries. The style works very well, read the book over a 24 hour period and did not find one dull page. Very good entertainment. If you like this genre you will not be disappointed, if I like me looking for something of a change, try it out.
And finally, just as an extra appetiser, without giving anything away, I truly enjoyed the `Huh! Wha? Oh my!' instance towards the end of the book. To know what I mean you will have to read it.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I wasn't sure what to expect from Grave of Angels. I felt that a plot featuring an ex nun now working as a security professional might be just a reach too far, it does sound wacky, but I enjoy a challenge and gave it a go. It's really good. Kate Malick's the lead character and she must have been a Carmelite nun with some attitude because now she's running "Guardian Angels" bodyguards and referring to people as "smiling turds" however; it soon becomes obvious that there's a mystery surrounding her time as a nun, and nothing's quite as straightforward as it might appear. Kate employs people to run security for the rich and famous. Everything's going well until Chelsea, the client from hell, and a psycho called Swann enter Kate's life and suddenly she's tested to the limit. There's a lot of action, the plot moves along at a cracking pace, and I enjoyed that the dialogue is short and choppy because it adds to the tension. Incredibly easy to read, lots of twists and turns to keep you hooked and excellent character development. Quirky is possibly the best way to describe Grave of Angels, I can't say that I found it "harrowing" or a "journey into the depths of evil..." as described on the jacket, but it's a decent thriller with a modern plot surrounding celebrity and security and I found it an OK read.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Publicity blurb states author Michael Prescott majored in film studies and then worked as a screenwriter, so perhaps it is not surprising how `Grave of Angels' reads like a form of horror movie. Even so it lacks suspense as the worst of the `baddies' is made known on page 1. and the storyline becomes a sordid exposure of his characteristics as psychopath, killer, torturer, stalker, kidnapper, blackmailer and double dealer. There is little to offset this as other persona come across as 2-dimensional and poorly developed, and they range from unattractive to hideous. There is gratuitous violence and offensive reference to religion, but a major rant about `Grave of Angels' is how it is built around today's obsession with celebrities. At best these are hollow, charmless individuals with only superficially applied appeal, yet more often are vain and boorish with their major objective to be famous. It is bad enough for `Grave of Angels' to endorse celebrity culture, but to promote it via a sordid storyline with crude language is even worse!
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on 27 August 2016
I read to be entertained, I like the way the characters were laid out in this book, the bad guy unmasked in the opening pages was a necessity, as one of the main characters. It is a story of addictions and personal battles, highlighting the sometimes seedy element of celebrity and the price sometimes paid by child celebs. A former nun turned security professional sounds absurd but as an opener to a series of books it's a good beginning, hopefully the next book in the series isn't taken up explaining her past the way so many authors do, readers have good memories, we're not daft, we do remember characters.
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VINE VOICEon 7 August 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
An interesting take on a new PI - an ex-nun, turned security guard to the celebs. Well, it sort of works though Kate Melick is a character not especially developed too well in this story. Her faith or lack of faith rather, gets in the way of her job - a sort of should she kill him or shouldn't she?

When a young star, high on the excessive lifestyle too much money can provide is snatched from under the noses of Guardian Angels, Kate's security company, not unnaturally, Kate Mellick has to find her.

In so doing, we come across a plethora of people, some good, some bad and some, well, they fall through the gap in the middle. The story reads well, though for a security expert, she seems to lose her charges will regular ease, mainly because she similarly loses her various guns. In fact, throughout the book, all the characters who carry a gun seem to drop them or whatever. So, Chelsea Brewer, the young celeb, is found, is taken again, is found, is...oh well, the story does rattle along and leaves the reader rather bemused, none more so when, towards the finale the outcome is determined by a less than earthly scenario.

On the theme of bemusement, I do wonder why a Jaguar XK (Kate's car of choice) purrs like a panther; maybe a Panther purrs like a jaguar? Anyway, if you shut your mind to these offcuts and concentrate on the story, Kate and her rapidly dwindling team are reasonably okay, better than others in this genre but in need of filling out, I think, should the author decide he has a follow-on in mind.
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on 20 October 2013
This is the first of Michael Prescotts books that I have not been able to finish.There was just something about the story that didn,t engage me.I have read and enjoyed all the other books by this author so this one was very disappointing.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 11 October 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a competently written crime thriller starring Kate Malick, a former Carmelite nun who now provides security for celebrities, employing an assortment of heavies in the role of bodyguards as her `Guardian Angels'. One of her clients is kidnapped and there follow somewhat frenetic and at times rather violent and bloody attempts to free her and to capture the perpetrator.

Whilst this is a reasonable read, there is nothing which raises it above the numerous stories in this genre. The angle of having an ex Nun investigating is interesting, but in the end the author did not play on it enough or make it sufficiently distinctive to give the whole book any sort of unique flavour. Kate, herself, does not appear to be the most competent of professionals and seems to manage to put herself in some personal danger rather needlessly. Clearly she will need to get her act together if she hopes to survive many more books!

The climax works reasonably well, but I did feel the end was unnecessarily drawn out and did not add very much once the outcome was clear. There is really not a great deal else to say about this book short of retelling the story in more detail which will probably not assist would be readers. It is an OK and quite fast moving read, but there is not a lot there to make it memorable.
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VINE VOICEon 23 December 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It's a given that any fictional hero or heroine has to have an unusual or interesting back story. Not many of them can lay claim, however, to once have been a novice nun - but this is the tale of one such heroine.

This is not a tale of the plucky novitiate sidekick from the Father Dowling Mysteries, nor is it in the same family-friendly tone. There are scenes of both explicit sex and violence in the book, which deals with the abduction of a Hollywood starlet whose career and private life seems to share a similar path to that of Lindsay Lohan. Of course you'll have guessed it's not as simple and straightforward as that, so we're treated to a series of action set-pieces that encompass car chases, murder and betrayal, all linked by a fine thread of redemption - except in the case of the bad guys, of course.

This was a very satisfying, if graphically violent and sexual, book to read, with my only criticism being that one of the subplots was left open-ended. But if you're looking for action and an easy-to-follow plot, written in a no-nonsense pacey style, this book is easy to recommend.
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VINE VOICEon 26 October 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Take the name of a central character from Marcel Proust, Swann, a feisty and randy young investigative seeker of lost souls who had once been a Carmelite nun ( albeit briefly) a spoiled childbrat of a pop star with one of the silliest modern girl's names ever invented mix thoroughly in a shady, sleezy noiresque milieu and you have a wonderful thrilling experience of a book.

Kate Malick is just a great invention ~ non-conventional, impossible to work out though a woman formed by her daily experiences who has the guts of a man and the sensitive understanding of a saint ( he first scene with Lazarus truly moved me). She is definitely a new kid on the block.

The narrative itself follows well worn grooves cut by Reichs and Co but that does not deny its originality and unputdownable readabilty, the sure test for a good crime novel.

This will not disappoint a reader of the genre and, even though at times it reads like the scenario for a new tv series, it grips and draws you back. Good one!!
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on 27 October 2014
a refreshingly humane detective book. I like the main character, Kate, immediately. The villain was believable and frightening in his clear but disturb thinking. Twists and turns continuously but I could follow it all without having to go back to see where certain characters had entered the arena.
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