Yukon Books - Whitehorse, Yukon
Yukonbooks.com > Bookends: Dan Davidson

  Bookends: Dan Davidson

Turning Angel

Reviewed: November 19, 2008
By: Greg Iles
Publisher: Pocket Books
644 pages, $11.99

The thing that’s really impressed me about Greg Iles’ work so far is that each of his books has been quite different from the one before. The Footprints of God was a sort of techno-thriller with religious implications. Blood Memory was a standard mystery, but with some really intriguing character development and a complex back story. The title and cover of this one made me wonder what he could be up to this time.

The angel of the title does appear in the book, but the bulls eye image of the angel statue on the cover seems to me to be misleading. The other surprise was that the novel was clearly a sequel, with back story references to another book I had not seen. This book’s narrator, Penn Cage, also appeared in The Quiet One, which I haven’t read and, according to the author’s website, will be the central character in his latest novel, The Devil’s Punchbowl.

The last thing I would have expected from Iles was a series character, but he seems to be doing just that.

Cage is a former lawyer who has retired to become a novelist. He either saved a pile of money while in law or has done very well with his writing, because he seems to have all sorts of time on his hands to pursue whatever takes his fancy, and to spend time with his young daughter. Her mother is dead. There is a woman in Penn’s life, but that relationship doesn’t seem to be going well.

Mind you, his life is not nearly as messed up as that of his friend, Drew Elliot. Drew, along with Penn, is on the board of directors of a small but elite private school. Drew, just in time for his mid-life crisis, has been having an affair with one of the senior students at the school. That would have been bad enough if it had gotten out, but Kate Townsend’s murder leaves Drew as a prime suspect and he turns to his ex-lawyer buddy for help in defending himself.

There are other possible suspects. One in particular is a nasty piece of work, an exchange student from the Balkan war zone named Marko Bakic. It’s very interesting how he fits into all of this.

Investigating on behalf of his friend causes Penn to turn over the rock which is St. Stephen’s Preparatory School, and there are all sorts of nasty things under that rock.

More disturbing however is Penn’s relationship with his baby-sitter, Mia, who seems at first to be a sort of Nancy Drew character, but turns out to have her dark side as well. Due to Penn’s need for childcare services and Mia’s ability to provide insights into the hidden lives of the school’s students, she and Penn become quite an effective team during the continuing investigation, and Penn finds himself almost, but not quite, falling into the same tender trap that captured Drew.

A good part of the tension in this novel is watching that subplot grow while Penn, practically oblivious to the danger, invests more and more interest (which he believes to be platonic) in Mia.

The resolution of all the plots is quite satisfactory. I’m enjoying this author more with each book.

Print Preview


[Special Order Desk]
Great Deals
New Arrivals
Special Offers
Recover password
Contact us
Privacy statement
Terms & Conditions
Shipping Information
Special Orders Desk

Copyright © 2007 Yukonbooks.com