The Angel Tapes

David Kiely, Author Thomas Dunne Books $23.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-16772-1
A series of tiny but irritating inaccuracies plague this far-fetched but highly charged series debut. After an underground bomb detonates in Dublin just days before the arrival of the American president, the technologically altered voice of the bomber contacts the Dublin police, telling them that there are more bombs planted throughout the city and that if they don't come up with $25 million, one of the bombs will be used to kill the visiting dignitary. Dublin copper Blade Macken seems an unlikely choice to lead the investigation. His nights tend to pass drunkenly, and he's an easy target for a female journalist who clumsily seduces him. His family life is a mess: he and his son, Peter, are obsessed with proving that the lover of Blade's estranged wife (Peter's mother) can support her financially. The new lover is also sleeping with Blade's teenage daughter. All this stuff is distracting, but it at least serves as a kind of weird harbinger for the character of Angel, the bomber, who is pursuing a twisted vendetta of revenge for an old murder--a case which also involved Blade. Although Blade's sudden transformation at the end from thuggish drunk to action hero is hard to swallow, this sloppily constructed tale nonetheless packs quite a visceral wallop. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997
Release date: 10/01/1997
Genre: Fiction
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