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The Black Angel

15 April 2019

The Black AngelThe Black Angel by John Connolly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the fourth book of the Charlie Parker series that I have read, though it is actually number 6 in the series. I read them in the order 2, 11, 2, 1, 6.

I read this one because it was about halfway between 2 and 11, and I wanted to see how the series developed. I think it is the best one, but if you want to read any of them then it is best to begin with the first, Every Dead Thing, because all the others seem to make frequent reference to it.

I’m not sure whether I’ll read any more. The series seems to do a lot of genre hopping. The first book is a mixture of crime thriller and urban fantasy. with a hunt for serial killers and coping with organised crime, but with some of the serial killers turning out to be more than human.

The Black Angel turns out to be more straightforward urban fantasy. Most of the books in the series are based on the stories of fallen angels from the apocryphal <CITE>Book of Enoch</cite>, and seeing them as behind most of the evil on earth. Most of the villains in this book are either fallen angels or think that they are. It is similar to its contemporary work, The Da Vinci Code, but this one is better written, and the plot holds together better.

Like The da Vinci Code it claims to be based on real history, at least as far as the backstory is concerned, and in that respect the historical background is based on real history books and not on dodgy conspiracy theories like The Messianic legacy. But there are still the detailed descriptions of very mundane firearms, and the protagonists don’t even have to use silver bullets, much less holy water, garlic or crucifixes to ward off the bad guys — a Heckler & Koch or Smith & Wesson will do the job. Charles Williams it isn’t, and not even Bram Stoker.

So though I enjoyed this one, I don’t think I’ll be looking for any more, now that I’ve worked out the formula.

I’ve written about the other books, and about the series here: Every Dead Thing, Dark Hollow, The Wrath of Angels, and more generally about the genres, The Paranormal in Literature and Popular Culture.

View all my reviews

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