cover image The Angel Maker

The Angel Maker

Alex North. Celadon, $28.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-75786-9

When Katie Shaw, the protagonist of this uneven thriller set in the U.K. from bestseller North (The Shadows), was 17, she made an innocent decision that proved calamitous; instead of looking after her younger brother, Chris, she spent an afternoon with her boyfriend. As a result, Katie wasn’t on hand when Chris was attacked by a stranger, Michael Hyde, who tried to cut off Chris’s face. Now in her 30s, she feels even more guilt when their mother reports that Chris, who became an addict and petty criminal, has gone missing. This news drives Katie to try to find Chris, despite having given up on their relationship years before when she turned him in to the police for theft. Chris is also the quarry of a police detective who met the siblings when Hyde assaulted Chris. Meanwhile, a philosophy professor, a fervent determinist, has his throat slit under circumstances that suggest he expected to be killed; Chris was caught at the scene by security video. That the professor’s murder is also linked to a serial killer known as the Angel Maker adds intrigue. Not every twist works, and the potential of the intersecting story lines isn’t realized. North has done better. Agent: Sandra Sawicka, Marjacq (U.K.). (Feb.)