Byline: Edward S. Gilbreth
In his 10th hardboiled thriller, Demolition Angel
(Doubleday, $ 24.95),
Robert Crais creates the most unforgettable heroine of crime fiction in
many years. She is Carol Starkey, once the most respected bomb squad
technician in Los Angeles, who was disfigured three years earlier in an
explosion that killed her partner and lover.
Now dependent on booze and pain-killers to muddle
through life in a
second-line police job, Starkey gets involved in an investigation of
blasts thatappear to be aimed at killing bomb technicians -- including
Part puzzle mystery, part character delineation,
the novel is a masterpiece
of construction, combining expertise on sophisticated violence with the
poignancy of victims of acts of terrorism.
As you absorb this novel, you become a firm believer
in the existence
of evil. No other explanation fully explains the willful destruction that
permeates the narrative.
Readers will grieve for Starkey, who cannot bear
to view her scarred body
in a mirror. Likewise, any reader will share her uplifted spirits at the end, in
one of the most tenderly romantic final chapters ever conceived.
(Note: this is an excerpt from a longer article.)
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