Angel

Nicholas Guild, Author Carroll & Graf Publishers $22.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-7867-0242-8
In his first novel since the historical epic The Blood Star (1989), Guild returns to the contemporary thriller with a vengeance, spinning an intricate, wonderfully paced tale in which nearly every scene proves vital to the resolution, which peaks only in the novel's two final words. The story begins in Ohio, where a man is brutally murdered in a motel room shortly before his wife and young children suffer a similar fate in their home. The following week, in Connecticut, an elderly lawyer suffers a fatal heart attack while reading a newspaper clipping about the killings. Shortly thereafter, his son, namesake and partner, James Kinkaid IV, discovers that his father had engaged a clipping service to collect stories containing the names of any of 10 men. As Kinkaid begins investigating the list and the fate of those on it (hiring the investigating officer on the Ohio murders to aid him), he finds himself caught up in a parallel mystery: that of Angela ``Angel'' Wyman,the extraordinarily beautiful granddaughter of a wealthy and powerful local family. Angel, whom Kinkaid romanced briefly 10 years back, was ``sent away'' after a brief stay at the ancestral home. Kinkaid comes to believe that Angel may be involved in the recent murders. But what about the death certificate he finds with her name on it? As the terrible secrets of Angel--and of Kinkaid's father--are revealed, the attorney and the woman he loves are brought face to face with the cold hatred of a madwoman. Memorable characterizations enhance this gripping yarn, which features two of the most frightening and ruthless killers in recent fiction. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/30/1995
Release date: 11/01/1995
Genre: Fiction
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